Today on Blogcritics
Home » Wisdom Versus Control: A Look at Our Right to Bear Arms

Wisdom Versus Control: A Look at Our Right to Bear Arms

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

The most heinous example of acting out has once again occurred, this time by a gun-wielding young killer, Cho Seung-Hui. He was a very troubled and violent young person, as we’ve also come to learn, who was acting out in the most criminal of ways. This time, though, the aberration cost 33 people their lives, 32 of whom were innocent victims, doubling the loss of life of one previous episode.

To further the hurt, he chose to send his message just four days before the eighth anniversary of another disaster, the Columbine High School bloodbath. That ‘acting out’ episode resulted in the massacre of thirteen kids at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999 by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Eric and Dylan decided they, too, needed to make a statement to the world. Like Cho, they were willing to give their lives to make it.

The obvious blame will fall to gun control (or lack of gun control) in this country, and I am certainly not going to minimize that fault here. The United States is looked on globally as getting it so terribly wrong when it comes to that issue, and we deserve every criticism that falls upon us for that. 

Long have we heard, “Guns don't kill people, people kill people.” My answer to that is, "Yes - people with guns." One of the biggest supporters of guns and the National Rifle Association (NRA) was one Dimebag Darrell, the guitarist for Damageplan and Pantera. Ironically, he was killed during a 2004 shooting spree at a Columbus, Ohio nightclub. With him went five other people, including the gunman. He was 38-years-old.

I have a slogan for you, NRA: "Live by the gun, die by the gun." Unfortunately, those that don’t live by the gun are all too frequently taken, too. It’s all too easy for crazies to get their hands on guns in this country in spite of the NRA’s ridiculous argument in support of firearms. How far could Cho have gotten if he’d had to strangle those 32 people? Or stabbed them? Or put poisonous gas in the air system?

My grievance here goes beyond that, though. One picture of an angry 23-year-old with guns in both hands should be message enough to the NRA, to the legislators, as well as to families and friends alike who see the signs of rage and distress in these individuals and do nothing.

In almost every instance, when a situation such as this occurs, we get a history of the person. In almost every case, the person was or still is being treated for emotional issues. Psychiatrists have perhaps examined these people and agreed that there is a violence problem, but done nothing beyond writing them up. They're free to walk out of a doctors office, purchase a gun, or guns, and go on murderous rampages.

Who is at fault exactly? We all are: the families who don’t acknowledge there is a problem, the friends who don’t want to snitch and may well pay with their own lives for their honor among friends, the school system that doesn’t follow up on kids with known issues, and the gun culture that misuses excerpts of the second amendment to justify arming themselves.

The Second Amendment is among the most misunderstood provisions of the U.S. Constitution: “That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and their own State, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military shall be kept under strict subordination to and be governed by the civil power.”

The legal precedents are far from clear in that amendment. They are also pathetically sparse, at best. There was an article in the Yale Law Journal a few years ago entitled "The Embarrassing Second Amendment," suggesting a reluctance on the part of the courts and the legal community to deal with our issues today. In almost every other aspect of law, the Bill of Rights has been broadly construed to restrain the states as well as the federal government.

Few today would argue that states can abrogate the right to free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment, yet many are prepared to do nothing with the Second Amendment on the grounds that the framers were sage and knowledgeable men. Perhaps they were — I’ve no doubt this is true – but let’s not forget these same men penned that slavery was fine, even owning some themselves.

Today we are appalled at the very thought of someone being held in bondage. Slavery was bad. The constitution, as written, permitted it, and a duly ratified amendment was required to put the matter right. These men, who were responsible for the Bill of Rights, were living in a different time. Their rulings and implemented amendments from back then have brought us to today.

No, they could not have foreseen the urban violence on the scale we have today, but if they’d had a crystal ball to gaze into, do you think they would have written those murky words back then? Or at least as obscurely? Since you don't hunt elk with a hand gun or quail with an AK27, I think they would have done a much better job of passing this into one of the laws of the land.

Dragging out that old chestnut, “Two wrongs don’t make a right,” you don’t arm yourself against an armed person. You implement stronger laws that make it much harder for criminals to arm themselves, thereby making the world a safer place for all.

That’s not control. That’s sheer wisdom.

About This End Up

  • http://phummers.typepad.com/obxonstage Pete Hummers

    You imply, by the imprecision of your writing, that the Second Amendment actually states: “That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and their own State, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military shall be kept under strict subordination to and be governed by the civil power,” rather than identifying it as what you think it means or what you would like it to mean.

    To the contrary, in its entirety, it reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    And your paragraph that begins “Few today would argue that states can abrogate the right to free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment, yet many are prepared to do nothing with the Second Amendment…” is confusing. It appears to mean “not many would argue in favor of changing the First Amendment,” but to the people in the second clause of your sentence who would take the same position on the Second Amendment, you use the conjunction “yet,” implying a difference in the two stances.

    What could have stopped Cho would have been other armed citizens.

    And, taken with the clause in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security,” one result of the Second Amendment would seem to be to protect the citizenry from their own government, if it goes bad, something I think you might agree has already happened.

  • http://back-to-the-egg.blogspot.com/ Ginger

    Pete;
    You’re absolutely right & I realized moments after I’d submitted my post that it was wrong, however too late then to do anything about. The line should have read “”Few today would argue that states can abolish the right to free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment. My whole point was to say that not all amendments should be cast in stone based on the First Amendment – one of the few pure of error. Some need changing.

    You say “What could have stopped Cho would have been other armed citizens”. I respectfully, but vehemently disagree with this.
    With other armed & frightened students at the scene, that opens the potential for three times the carnage! With early unsubstantiated reports that morning that the shooter was a middle-eastern Islamic student, there is every possibility that an innocent person could have been shot in the atmosphere of hysteria. Even if other armed students on campus had correctly identified the shooter, there is no guarantee that they might not have shot one another or killed many innocent others by frightened accidental firing.

    I go back to my initial point in saying many there were to blame for what happened that day. Cho was for the most part ignored. He made people uncomfortable or in the case of his roommate, found him mildly amusing; but that was it!
    And don’t you find something terribly wrong with the fact that all of these mass shootings have occurred in gun-free zones? I know the gun supporters will wag their finger & say “SEE? Controlling guns doesn’t work.”

    Which is why I don’t blame that one thing for what happened at Virginia Tech.
    This kid, with smoldering hatred & violent thoughts, was let go on about his life there & it eventually led to this. No-one really got to *know* what was going on in this persons head. It’s one thing for the prof to say she saw something wrong & suggest counsellings; it’s totally another to follow up & make sure he got it!

    I think today with the world opened to us on the internet, we’ve lost the ability to look beside us. Who’s really in our class, our office or in the house next door?

    We have chosen to live our lives today by ‘not getting involved’. Not interfering with others – just stick our ipods in our ears & plunk ourselves down in front of the computer & cluck our tongues at what people are doing. Many have even stopped reading or watching news because ‘it upsets them too much.’
    Oh yes, my heart really bleeds for those folk! Let’s hope they don’t get caught in someones crossfire.

  • W. Gibson

    Of course to the liberal the answer is always more government. What will you tell the 2 million people who annually defend themselves with guns? Sorry, because a few crazies and felons abuse guns you must pay the price? Despite your somewhat cryptic rewriting of the 2nd Amendment there is ample historical evidence to show the framers intended to guarantee an individual right to own and carry firearms. Criminals are criminals because the disobey the law. With over 200 million guns in circulation in this country all making them illegal will do is disarm the law abiding making them even easier targets for the criminals and the crazies. You, and other liberals, seem to think carrying a gun makes you lose all reason and emotional control. Most CCW holders will go out of their way to avoid trouble when they are carrying. My gun is with me as a last resort option to defend myself or others in a life threatening situation. Odds are very good if someone else in that building had been armed the body count would have been lower. Yes, there is a lot of blame to go around but I wouldn’t put any of it on the gun. I would put most of it on liberal activist judges and the ACLU who have made it so hard to restrain even a clear nutcase against his will.

  • Lon

    Ginger is an idiot, one armed victim could have stopped the maniacle perpetrator.

  • Arch Conservative

    Yeah I have to agree with you Lon…..Ginger’s arguments are pretty idiotic.

    She expects us to believe that the most likely scenario that would have occurred if other people on campus had been armed would have been that people would have been shooting each other left and right based on rumors they heard.

    That’s not what would have happened.

    If someone in the classroom Cho went to had been armed there is a good chance they might have realized he was there to do harm and popped a cap in his ass before he killed 32 people. That’s more than likely what would have happened.

    I would expect a good liberal like you to understand that you can’t take away people’s rights based on what “might” happen, Ginger. After all it’s you libs telling the rest us we can’t do this and we can’t do that to prevent what terrorists “might” do because it infringes upon our rights but you’re the first ones to say American citizens shouldn’t have the right to own guns because they “might” use them improperly.

  • http://back-to-the-egg.blogspot.com/ Ginger

    Lon – good answer. Because my thoughts on all this are different than yours, I’m an idiot. I’m impressed by your intelligent rebuttal.

    As to the other posters, I did say the lenient gun laws were only one of many things that contributed to this all happening, not the only thing.

    I address this to Arch Conservative; I am not telling anyone to do anything – I’m asking you. I’m asking you not to immediately go on the defensive & get all chippy worrying that someone is going to take away your toys. But to admit that those toys in the wrong hands are deadly toys.
    My brother owns over 150 guns. He has a gun club & teaches kids from the age of ten through eighteen how to handle a gun safely. He feels the gun laws in this country have to be revised to keep them out of the wrong hands. I agree with him.

    As for wanting the government to control everything – please! You’re not serious? You got that from what I said? Er, in a perfect world when the government was the people, perhaps. Today? Yeah, that’s what we need on top of this.

    And W. Gibson, you said > “You, and other liberals, seem to think carrying a gun makes you lose all reason and emotional control. Most CCW holders will go out of their way to avoid trouble when they are carrying. My gun is with me as a last resort option to defend myself or others in a life threatening situation.”<

    No, I don’t think that at all, & why you would get that from what I’ve said is swiping me with a somewhat broad liberal brush wouldn’t you say? You assume a lot there.
    I commend you for toting your firearm safely & for the right reasons. Now if we could just make sure that all other gun carries were as conscientious.

    Hey! I live in Philly. They aren’t, believe me.

  • randleland

    What I’ve been wondering about is how many, if not all, of the victims died out of passivity. Had three or four pounced on this guy like angry primates (stabbing his neck with a pencil, gouging his eyes with keys, tearing his ears off, punching his larynx, breaking his fingers, stomping on his kidneys), how many fewer than the thirty-plus would have died? I can only hope that the next time someone enters a LARGE GROUP OF PEOPLE, that rather than being slaughtered like sheep, they rise up and viciously resist–e.g., as I hope they would, should someone again try to hijack an airliner, with a knife.

  • Dave

    Ginger,

    I think you are being too hard on yourself. Your question is quite valid, that is, why did not people jump on this guy???!!!

    It’s because young people are so afraid of guns. Guns are not the bad guys; the bad guys are the bad guys.

    Thanks for taking the time to express your opinion. Many people don’t.

    Regards,
    Dave

  • Arch Conservative

    “He feels the gun laws in this country have to be revised to keep them out of the wrong hands. I agree with him.”

    So you honestly think that tightening gun laws is going to keep guns out of the hands gang members and other such violent criminals?

    If you believe that I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.

    You interested?

  • http://back-to-the-egg.blogspot.com/ Ginger

    Arch Conservative;
    No,nothing will keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but that still doesn’t justify making it easier for them to buy them, does it? There has been three instances of guns getting into the wrong hands near me in just the last five months. One in Vegas when a robber broke into a house, took the gun out of the owners bedside table & killed both him & his wife in bed. The other was a mugger taking the gun from a man trying to defend himself & turning it on the mans’ son as he was fleeing. The third was a boy finding a gun in his own home & accidentally shooting his three year old sister in the throat. Can you see why I feel that *if* they aren’t there for the wrong hands to get a hold of them, we are safer overall?

  • Arch Conservative

    “No,nothing will keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but that still doesn’t justify making it easier for them to buy them, does it?”

    Talking to you is like talking to a wall Ginger.

    Try and follow ok?

    Criminals, for the most part, aren’t going to obtain guns through legal channels.

    So all your grand ideas about creating legislation to prevent the bad guys from getting guns is absolutely worthless.

    Bad guys don’t obey gun laws now and they won’t obey any new ones that you want the govt. to make.

    You’re not making anything easier for criminals you’re just wasting your time and breath.

    Pretty simple concept.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Arch, so you’re saying that criminals are getting guns from people who already own them legally?

    And that reducing the number of guns in circulation wouldn’t make it more difficult for them to get hold of weapons?

    Or that the police couldn’t do a better job of getting illegally owned weapons off the street?

    Hmm. Simple concepts indeed!

  • http://back-to-the-egg.blogspot.com/ Ginger

    Arch Conservative – try & follow? May I suggest you do the same? I did give you two examples of criminals getting guns from other sources & had those guns not been there, they wouldn’t have had them.
    Also, & counter to what you say, Cho did buy one of his guns through Roanoke Firearms, a store you might consider legal channels.

    And the other one was bought at another ‘legal’ online store – Green Bay-based TGSCOM Inc. His ammo was bought through ebay.

    You think I’m like talking to a wall?

    I have only two things to say to these remarks. I don’t follow anyone, I can think for myself in this free country. And two, do us both a favor? If I’m that tough to converse with, then just don’t. I’m happy to say I will lose no sleep over it. =)
    Ta-ta…

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    I’m curious that this line of reasoning (i.e. arm all the sudents so they can gun down their attackers) seems to be trotted out so frequently.

    Do any of you actually recall your college / university time? You remember any of the drunken idiots, the dis-associated loners, the lonely, depressed people away from family and friends for the first-time, the frat-boy camraderie, the jealous boyfriends or girlfriends, the jackasses with low or no impulse control, the multiple social cliques – in short, the college / university social environment in its entirety?

    And you want them all armed.

    2nd Amendment aside, this type of thinking is a recipe for disaster, it is a knee-jerk, foolish and ill-thought response.

    You want thousand Cho’s to bloom? Making Colleges and universities into a free-fire zone is not the way to halt this type of suicidal mass spree killing, rather you would be giving it a huge impetus by making access to weapons for potentially dangerous individuals even easier.

    It might reduce the ability of a psychotic individual to kill 32 at one time, but my guess is that you would be trading 1 killer for many, moving from wholesale to retail. You would definitely not make it safer, you would increase the liklihood of gun-related deaths across all of American’s campuses.

    So yes, one well-armed student could have halted Cho’s spree. If.

    Or maybe you just kill a thousand one or two at a time….better you think?

  • http://back-to-the-egg.blogspot.com/ Ginger

    Deano;
    A voice of reason. How did you get in here anyway? ;)

    That was pretty much my rationale behind my post too…never mind college or university. Just any place you get masses of people with strong views and different opinions, jealousies or anger. Uhuh, allow them all to arm themselves and point them to the pub.

  • SonnyD

    Ginger and Deano: Boy, some people will go to any extreme to try to prove they know best, eh? Who ever said all the students should be armed? It was assumed you would understand that a person should be qualified to handle a gun responsibly before they were issued a permit to carry. But you have to go and get silly about it.

    It would be reasonable to guess that on a campus the size of the one in VA a number of people would qualify. Among the large number of employees including teachers, office staff, custodians, grounds keepers, etc. there must be quite a few retired military, former law enforcement officers, and just plain citizens who have attended classes on gun usage. Then, there are a lot of students who enlisted in the military because it was a way to get financial aid to attend college. These are people who know how dangerous a gun can be in the wrong hands.

    If these people can pass a background check and get a license to carry a gun, they are not going to be doing the stupid things you seem to think anyone who owns a gun will be inclined to do.

  • ss

    Gun nuts like to say

    “What could have stopped Cho would have been other armed citizens.”

    You know, there was a case that puts that assertion to the test.
    A kid went on a shooting spree at a mall in Utah. He killed five people, including a 15 year old girl, before being shot and killed himself by an off duty cop.

    The armed off duty cop did in fact stop the rampage.

    But only after innocent bystanders had already been killed.

    Sorry gun owners, but you might as well face it. Your fetish for a lethal toy gets more people killed than it will ever protect.

    Incidently, anyone care to guess when that incident occured?

    February ’07

    Two months between shooting sprees.
    That’s what you get when you live in a country armed to the teeth.

  • sr

    Ginger, what is an AK 27?

  • SonnyD

    ss: You say he killed 5 people and then someone shot him before he had the chance to kill 32 people. Now, what, exactly, is your problem with that?

  • ss

    Sonny D

    My problem is he had the oppurtunity to kill the first five because guns are easy to get.

    You’ll also note the last time we had a shooting spree, before VT, was two months ago.

    Now name one country with strict gun control where a shooting spree that killed five people was followed two months later by a shooting spree that killed 32 people.

    If you can.

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    SonnyD,

    Please note that I did not cite either a specific comment or the post as a source for commenting – I commented on the line of reasoning that arming students would prevent similar events from occuring. It has been a recurring theme both in the comments on this site and several others as well as a point raised by a number of media commentators. If you haven’t heard the suggestion, I daresay I’m surprised.

    Yes, there are a great number of responsible, trained persons who can and do carry guns in a responsible manner. The difficulty is not the responsible ones, the difficulty is when you make access to guns widely and easily available without developing a level of responsibility in the gun owner.

    On your last point “If these people can pass a background check and get a license to carry a gun, they are not going to be doing the stupid things you seem to think anyone who owns a gun will be inclined to do.”

    Cho passed.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/clavos Clavos

    Cho passed.

    From which the only logical conclusion is that it wasn’t much of a background check.

  • ss

    Clavos, we disagree on alot but you seem like a pretty reasonable guy.

    Can you name one country with strict gun control where a shooting spree that killed five people was followed two months later by a shooting spree that killed 32 people?

  • SonnyD

    Deano: Passing a background check to buy a gun and being licensed to carry a concealed weapon are two entirely different things. I did read several comments that suggested that a gun free zone was no guarantee of safety and that if someone had been armed the killer might have been stopped before he killed so many people. At least, some lives could have been saved. I did not see a suggestion that every goofy teenager should be armed to the teeth.

  • http://back-to-the-egg.blogspot.com/ Ginger

    sr;
    Forgive me – since I don’t purchase guns, I would have obviously had a problem getting the one I wanted when what I meant was an AK47, now wouldn’t I? But then you knew what I meant, so maybe the person I was buying it from would have known too.
    By the way, while we’re pointing out things people don’t know, tell me without googling it, what a Itech 3.8 X-Factor is? We are each knowledgeable about what is closest to our hearts.

    Chavo – no, I agree; it wasn’t much of a background check, was it. I wonder just how often that happens when a sociopath decides he wants to make a statement by killing people?

    SonnyD – you said [some people will go to any extreme to try to prove they know best, eh? Who ever said all the students should be armed? It was assumed you would understand that a person should be qualified to handle a gun responsibly before they were issued a permit to carry. But you have to go and get silly about it.]

    It would appear so…or were you referring to Deano & I? ;)

    Neither one of us inferred that all the students should be armed or even meant that. I can’t speak for Deano of course, but I understood that he, like myself, only meant one other student besides the killer/shooter. Not that it matters; that’s still too many guns to have in a volition situation.

    So how do you decide who on campus has a gun then? And how do you control how many bring them in? Keeping in mind that they somehow missed Cho bringing two guns into a gun free zone? In my original blog I blamed many for this massacre – I still do.

  • SonnyD

    Ginger: Yes, you did make some good points when you mentioned family, friends, schools. I did notice that when I read it. But, when you post an article here, you have to be prepared for readers to pounce on anything they disagree with. Sometimes it’s only one sentence out of an entire article. Sometimes a comment is directed at someone else’s comment without identifying which one. Sometimes the comments drift off onto another subject that has nothing to do with what you wrote. Try to maintain a sense of humor.

    On the other hand, you knew when you wrote on this subject that you might get some strongly worded disagreements, didn’t you?

  • ss

    It doesn’t seem like any of the people who want to blame the family, the media, etc, can come up with a country that has strict gun control where shooting sprees occur as frequently as eight weeks apart.

    Oh well. It must be society’s fault.

  • http://back-to-the-egg.blogspot.com/ Ginger

    ss – Well, in the case of Canada where there are strict gun regulations, they’ve done a study province by province. Seems the more guns in a province, the more death by gun in that province. Even suicide. More guns = More gun death and injury. Imagine that!

    Canada has always had stronger firearms regulation than the United States, particularly with respect to handguns. In Canada, handguns have been licensed and registered since the 1930′s, ownership of guns has never been regarded as a right and several court rulings have reaffirmed the right of the government to protect citizens from guns. Handgun ownership has been restricted to police, members of gun clubs or collectors. Very few (about 50 in the country) have been given permits to carry handguns for “self-protection.” This is only possible if an applicant can prove that their life is in danger and the police cannot protect them.

    As a result, Canada has roughly 1 million handguns while the United States has more than 76 million. While there are other factors affecting murder, suicide and unintentional injury rates, a comparison of data in Canada and the United States suggests that access to handguns may play a role. While the murder rate without guns in the US is roughly equivalent (1.8 times) to that of Canada, the murder rate with handguns is 14.5 times the Canadian rate. The costs of firearms death and injury in the two countries have been compared and estimated to be $495 (US) per resident in the United States compared to $195 per resident in Canada.

    The Case for Gun Control

    Australia the same:- Australian states with registration had significantly lower rates of homicide and suicide with firearms than states without registration of firearms.

    Efforts to reduce gun death and injury must also consider primary demand. It has been suggested that “gun culture” is largely an American construct which is reinforced by the absence of effective laws and the normalization of violence. Much of the demand for guns, particularly military weapons and handguns which serve little practical purpose, may be fueled by violent movies and television which tends to link heroism, to guns and violence.

    In passing their recent firearms regulation law, the British were explicit: they saw in it a rejection of American style “gun culture.” The suggestion that there is a link between values and gun violence is not new.

    Martin Luther King himself said in November of 1963,”By our readiness to allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at whim; by allowing our movies and television screens to teach our children that the hero is one who masters the art of shooting and the technique of killing… we have created an atmosphere in which violence and hatred have become popular past times”

    Hey! He said it, not me. You gun promoters will have to take it up with him when you get to heaven… if you get to heaven. =)

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Ginger’s righteous claims of indignation against the NRA and proclamations of “wisdom” do not in fact constitute legitimate argument.

    I can understand folks thinking that gun control might be useful on the margins, though in practice it doesn’t seem to be any bit successful. But I have very low patience for the pure dishonesty of the more strident gun control advocates.

    There’s just pure willful dishonest blindness to statements like “How far could Cho have gotten if he’d had to strangle those 32 people? Or stabbed them?” The author certainly knows better than thinking that if we just outlawed guns, then Cho wouldn’t have gotten them.

    Even if you accepted the fantasy argument that we even COULD do away with guns, surely the author knows that there are a lot of other ways to kill besides inefficient strangling. How many people could you massacre with a simple fire, or by running people down with a car?

    It is most especially dishonest to portray the horror of VT as the worst massacre or mass murder in American history, “doubling the loss of life of one previous episode.” Perhaps the author has heard of a fellow named Timoth McVeigh, for example. I forget the exact numbers, but probably that was somewhere in excess of 10 times the VT toll. Maybe Ginger would favor outlawing fertilizer or fuel oil.

    The cheap sanctimony of the closing paragraph was particularly unimpressive. ““Two wrongs don’t make a right,” you don’t arm yourself against an armed person.” Defensively shooting someone who is armed and trying to kill you or others is NOT wrong. It is the most RIGHT thing you can do. And unlike the stubborn pretense that you can just pass laws to make psychos not act like psychos, shooting them actually DOES make the world a safer place.

    Also the cheesy bio claim of being “non-judgemental” is both self-congratulatory and obviously dishonest, as evidenced by the scorn heaped here on the NRA and anyone else foolish enough not to be a reality-denying liberal.

  • http://back-to-the-egg.blogspot.com/ Ginger

    Jeez Al, lighten up!!!

    quoting you…
    The cheap sanctimony of the closing paragraph was particularly unimpressive. “Two wrongs don’t make a right,” you don’t arm yourself against an armed person.” Defensively shooting someone who is armed and trying to kill you or others is NOT wrong. It is the most RIGHT thing you can do.

    Y’know, I’m beginning to get the impression that some of you deliberately are trying to not understand what I’ve said?
    I said – you have no need to arm yourself against someone if they aren’t armed themselves! I said nothing about facing an armed person unarmed. I said if guns weren’t available, then no-one would need a gun to fend against anyone. Pretty simple principle.

    you said“Also the cheesy bio claim of being “non-judgemental” is both self-congratulatory and obviously dishonest, as evidenced by the scorn heaped here on the NRA and anyone else foolish enough not to be a reality-denying liberal.”

    Actually, I have brought a number of different things to this forum, not just the need for some measure of gun reform, but other important things that could have/should have been done in the case of the Virginia Tech incident.

    And I’ve defended my opinions cleanly & I thought clearly, without resorting to attacks on anyone; which I was led to believe weren’t acceptable here. Apparently this is a novelty to those who like to tote a piece? So far I’ve been called an idiot & sanctimonious & self-congratulatory & even a veiled inference that I’m a liar. That seems to roll off your tongues so easily.

    I’m not going to be pushed to play by your game rules, but I do have to ask if you’re having a bad week at work or do you always act this belligerent when hiding behind the safety of your CPU? Or do you just basically have a bug up your ass all the time?
    ‘Cuz I gotta be honest, I’m not impressed. I moderate three hockey message boards & chat rooms & I deal with this stuff from kids (or those who act like kids) all the time.

    FYI, when I first started blogging, I wasn’t able to sum myself up in any way, so I asked my oldest daughter & my husband to write something they thought I should put there. I chose what my husband wrote, so no, it’s not self-congratulatory at all. It’s not even my words, but my daughter & my friends endorsed it. I’ll pass it along to them that you thought it was cheesy.

    One thing I have learned through all this; the modicum of respect I did have for some gun owners just went way down & now I’m more concerned than ever. Your need-to-be-right attitude far out shadows what others are saying so it really wouldn’t matter what anyone else said since you’re obviously always right.
    I know when I’m wasting time, so I’ll leave it at that. You guys can be your own rah-rah club. One thing’s for sure though; as long as we keep letting kids kill kids or a disgruntled employee wipe out whole offices or business parks, you’ll never have to wonder why the US is looked upon with disrespect the world over. If you can live with that, fine, but I can’t. Besides, I need to respect myself too.

  • http://wp.blogcritics.org Deano

    I can understand folks thinking that gun control might be useful on the margins, in practice it doesn’t seem to be any bit successful

    Really? What do you base that claim on Al? Every stat I’ve seen indicates that gun control is quite effective in Canada, the UK, Australia, Japan…

    Is it perfect? Hell no, but the basic rule of reducing the number of easily available handguns, having mandatory licensing and regulatory controls for owning a firearm and restricting access to specific types of weapons seems to be more effective than not doing so. The opposite scheme in the US doesn’t seem to be particularly effective, based on the stats.

    You have any solid evidence to the contrary, I’d love to see it.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Ginger, you can pass all the laws and take away all the rights you want and you won’t stop mass murders from happening. Cho’s body count puts him at #7 on the mass murder list for the last century in the US. #s 1 through 6 all killed more people than Cho and NONE of them used a gun to do it.

    Laws take guns away from law abiding citizens and not from criminals. All you want to do is create a nation of perfectly emasculated victims.

    Dave

  • Joe

    Dang, this place is chock full of hippies. VT was a gun-free zone, do you understand Ginger? A GUN FREE ZONE. What additional laws would have turned Cho back at the campus border? None.
    You talk of banning guns but what you’re really after is a magic spell that makes them all vanish. People like Cho, intent on violence, will find a way.

    Every stat I’ve seen indicates that gun control is quite effective in Canada, the UK, Australia, Japan

    Check your math Ginger, Google “London gun crimes” and come back. We’ll wait.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Joe, better checks on people wanting to buy guns would have stopped Cho for a start. That’s nothing to do with hippies or anything else so please stop the sneering.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Christopher, we actually have an excellent background check system for those buying firearms. The problem in this case is on the other end. Cho never got put into the system for being a psycho when he should have been. As someone wrote in another article, the failing here is on the school administration and the psychiatrist who examined Cho for not being more proactive and having the guy committed and thereby getting his name in the system so he couldn’t buy a gun.

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    What exactly is the background check?

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    You fill out a rather extensive form, which includes personal info including your Social Security Number. It also includes various questions which you have to answer and swear to, including whether you’ve been treated for mental disorders or been convicted of a crime.

    The gun seller then calls in to an office at the FBI which checks your SSN and address and other info against their records, which include everyone ever convicted of a crime or committed to a mental institution or under suspicion of connections to terrorist groups. If you show up on that list then you fail and can’t buy a gun.

    Dave

  • http://back-to-the-egg.blogspot.com/ Ginger

    Well Joe, you don’t need to wait, because it was me who posted the comment here already about the safety of Canada, Australia & the UK with their gun *regulations*. (see post #28)

    I was also the one (see further back) that said since VT was a gun-free zone & Cho still got in, that guns weren’t the only contributor to the problem. I blamed a breakdown of a lot of things by a lot of people.

    However, I’m not seeing any parents, students or teachers, college facility people, psychologists, psychiatrist or police here acting all incensed because I “singled them out” & attacked them. I see only those who have tunnel vision on one issue & haven’t read beyond that. ‘Oh my gawd, there’s another one of them hippie types going’ after our guns.’

    If you feel that there’s nothing wrong with the gun laws in this country, and are willing to live with the lives lost due to improperly regulated guns in this country, then we truly are in dire straits. I invite you to come & live in Philly & see first hand just how people can (sic) protect themselves with guns. My weekend went like this-

    [9 deaths raise Philly homicide total to 125
    4/23/2007, 12:32 a.m. EDT
    The Associated Press

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — It was a violent weekend in Philadelphia, with police reporting nine deaths that raised the city's homicide total to 125 this year.

    Bullets cut through several neighborhoods, as seven of the latest homicides happened on city streets, while two people were killed in their homes.

    The violent weekend comes despite three anti-violence conferences held in Philadelphia last week. On Friday, three forums were held by groups searching for a way to stop the violence on city streets. Philadelphia recorded more than 400 homicides last year, a nine-year high.]

    Of those nine homicides this past weekend, how many were by gun? All of them. Just think; in one month our death rate by gun can surpass VT.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    So you don’t have to explain what you want a gun for?

    Or how you are being trained to use it properly?

    Or where you store it and it’s ammunition?

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    They don’t ask any of those questions on the federal form if I recall correctly, Christopher. However, individual states do have additional requirements, such as requiring that guns be sold with trigger locks for safety.

    The general assumption is that people in the US who buy guns know how to use them. The segment of the population which buys most of the guns passes on training from generation to generation. I learned to shoot from two of my uncles who learned to shoot from my grandfather. There are also plenty of safety and skills courses available if you need one.

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    The road to hell is paved with bad assumptions…

  • http://back-to-the-egg.blogspot.com/ Ginger

    Bang on, Christopher…if you’ll permit me the pun.
    The assumption of anything is what generally proves the downfall of most well intentioned people. And many well-intentioned men in the past, those considered geniuses even, have fallen into that pitfall as well. They’ve ‘assumed’ their findings and discoveries would be used for good. Do you think for a moment men like Rutherford and Einstein had any idea that one day the atom actually would be used to build a bomb?

    When Einstein proposed his famous equation E=mc2 and wrote warning Roosevelt the power of the atom could be used to make a weapon, I’m sure he assumed that man was more intelligent than to actually build one and use it against himself.
    The problem with having a working brain is that we ‘assume’ everyone has one.

    These posters here that are citing flaws in the system when it comes to the registration and purchase of guns, are so afraid that they’ll lose their guns, they’d rather preserve the status quo than work toward a safer and more respected country. All I’m advocating is that we fix that system and make it work, not just do a cross country gun sweep!