January 17th, 2011 03:18 PM
If I were a columnist (Arizona Safeway shooting)
Across America, legislators both pro- and anti- gun are struggling with how we could have, and might still, prevent shootings. The attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords, which was an active shooter event more than a pure assassination attempt, has once again brought gun violence and the specter of abominable gun freedom restrictions into the national spotlight. The media is beating the drum and the usual suspects are dusting off their gun control platforms.
The questions being asked are, "How could we have stopped Loughner? How can we stop the next Loughner?" These are simple, yet incorrect questions based on a shortsighted interpretation of the situation at hand. We must have the right questions in order to arrive at the proper conclusion. The question, one that no one is spilling across their lips, is, "How can we keep an American citizen with no criminal record and no mental health admissions from shooting someone?"
We can't, and we shouldn't. Not if we want to keep saying, "It's a free country." On January 9, 2011, approximately 312 million Americans did NOT shoot anyone. My calculator doesn't even give me a value, other than zero, when I attempt to work out the percentage of one Loughner against the population of the United States. To have laws sufficient to stop a lone gunman bent on leaving the purview of the law abiding, and sowing death, would require us to trade our free society for a system that would make England look like a free fire zone, and North Korea a model of openness and democracy. In short, it is not going to happen.
This wonderful country we call America was constructed with a theater sash to hold it's citizens in check, not a barn door. It is way too late to consider fundamental changes in our freedoms for the sake of appeasement or token action. We have let one deranged individual dictate our national consciousness. That is a greater madness than the one it contemplates. It has been forty plus years since Oswald, Ray and Sirhan led us toward a myriad of gun laws and regulations that have proven to be massively impotent at preventing murder. Murder is simply part of the human condition; mitigated but never abolished. It has been successfully perpetrated with innumerable tools ranging from cars to fire, fists and sticks, with victim counts large and small.
To stop criminal activity, particularly murder, is just not possible in the America of 2011. Neither America or any other country at any other time in history has been very successful, either. The only meaningful answer to this problem, that would at least yield partial results, would be to roll back, or move forward, to the kind of America that we enjoyed in long days gone by. We should embrace limited government, limit our interests in foreign countries, rejoin our communities, reset our tax code, turn to God and the church for answers, and care for our fellow man on a personal level. We need to recreate a society where every citizen is valued and encouraged to excel. Say hello to your neighbor, get involved in local events, stand up for your convictions.
We need to remove the laws that restrict citizens from bearing arms for the defense of self and others. Had an armed citizen been within a few yards of Loughner, the situation would have been resolved with many fewer victims. Perhaps Loughner, and many others, would be deterred by the knowledge that an armed citizen would quite surely be nearby, instead of the remote possibility of encountering resistance. There was one armed citizen, Joe Zamudio, who came from across the parking lot and helped hold Loughner down. Under a proposed 1000 foot sterile area, Mr. Zamudio would have either been absent or guilty of a crime for sprinting to the sound of gunfire to help. Jeanne Assam stopped an active shooter in a Colorado church before he could mount a high body count in 2007. She stopped a man with a military style rifle by properly employing her handgun and God's guidance. We need more Zamudios and Assams. Obviously crossfire, an oft used talisman for gun control, is no longer a problem once the shooter is put down.
Gun control is not the answer. There are millions of guns in circulation. Magazine control is not the answer. There are millions of standard capacity magazines in circulation. Ammunition control is not the answer. There are millions of boxes of ammunition in private hands. Loughner committed several murders on January 9. He had no problem committing several felonies. He would not have been deterred if his crimes had been more illegal, or slightly more inconvienent to carry out. Another Loughner will still be able to commit the exact same crimes despite the enactment of every currently proposed law.
People control is not the answer. I have no desire to live in a society that encourages citizens to turn in their fellow man for not meeting someone's definition of normal. A lot of us fall into this category, yet we will never commit a crime more loathsome than speeding. Neither do I wish to live under the constant monitoring and control of the government. As an American, I am free to go about my business or pleasure until I violate the freedom of another citizen. There is no greater testament to the greatness of America than this. We are the spirit of the cowboy and the pioneer. Our freedoms are what have made us the envy of the world. To destroy one would be to destroy them all. Let us not, as free men and women, sink into the mass of childlike vulnerability, triviality and oppression that is the rest of this world.
Our government must ultimately return to it's core duties and leave the citizens to bask and blossom in new found freedom and responsibility, or we will all share the poison fruits of asking the wrong questions.
"Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18
Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
Paramedics With Guns Scare People!
January 17th, 2011 04:02 PM
Very good post. I agree with you completely and have wondered why I haven't heard this from anyone else. Thanks for posting.
January 17th, 2011 04:10 PM
Although I fully understand your point, I'd reply that just because we can't stop house fires, doesn't mean we shouldn't try; we can keep them to a minimum. Trying to stop house fires, as trying to stop gun violence is something which is done on a multi-front basis: fire safety education, improved household appliances, better building codes, and so on. In many cities you can't turn on your furnace till it has passed inspection. That doesn't make the city government "anti-furnace."
Originally Posted by paramedic70002
Just because we can't stop gun violence doesn't mean we shouldn't try to keep it to a minimum. E.g., there are so many tragic ND accidents and children getting their hands on guns-shootings each year. We can't stop it, but we can reduce it with a combination of stuff, some of which we already do, and some more things we don't do. Everything from take a hunter's safety course or a gun handling course, or CHL course, to the educating people about the use of gun safes and gun locks in homes with children.
We can't stop auto accidents, but we can make safer highways, safer cars, improve driver licensing and testing standards.
We can't lock up every person we suspect of being "off" upstairs, but certainly we can do a better job of things than we are doing right now. We all know that there are plenty of people walking the streets with anger management issues and violent tempers. We all know "mellow cats" who become violent idiots when they have had a few drinks. Yet, there are few if any public service announcements (advertisements) advising people who think they have such problems to seek assistance, or advising people who know someone like that on a) how to help the person; b) how to recognize danger signs.
I'm not willing to give up on making the world a better place just because the job is hard and seems impossible.
Please don't confuse trying to make our world safe with being anti-gun, or anti-gun owner. I suspect almost everyone here in one way or another is an advocate for gun safety. Just look at how we jump on some folks who post about things they have done with their guns that they should not have done.
I also think most everyone here (not all but most) feel fairly strongly about things like not mixing drugs/alcohol and guns, not following the basic safety rules, the negligence of the many who won't maintain their gun in a safe condition.
Last edited by Hopyard; January 17th, 2011 at 05:53 PM.
January 17th, 2011 06:06 PM
I think we can go a long way at making us safer from gun crimes without enacting new and more restrictive legislation. Lets take a look at whats in place now and see about carrying it out, rather than coming up with new stuff.
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
January 18th, 2011 02:34 AM
this all sounds great.
Originally Posted by Hopyard
but it is in the details that our freedoms are eroded away. I am sure that a new law saying a mental ill person may not own a gun will keep then from committing murder 6 times to 6 strangers.
I for one do not wont more laws and more useless red tape.
you want to keep people safer? repeal many of the laws on the books that restrict where you can carry. unlike the recent AZ shooting, most happen in gun free zones by design.
"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution, which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." -1792, James Madison
There are always too many Democratic, Republican and never enough U.S. congressmen.
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