Saturday, December 15, 2012

It’s Time to Get Realistic About Gun Control

Once again, pure evil visited a community in America and the media wasted no airtime informing the world of it. At least 28 people, 20 of them small children lie dead because of the callous act of a lone mentally disturbed gunman who felt he should end so many lives at an Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Barack Obama said, “As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it’s an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago -- these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a long time gun control advocate says, “With all the carnage from gun violence in our country, it’s still almost impossible to believe that a mass shooting in a kindergarten class could happen. It has come to that. Not even kindergarteners learning their A,B,Cs are safe. We heard after Columbine that it was too soon to talk about gun laws. We heard it after Virginia Tech. After Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek. And now we are hearing it again.

Boston, Massachusetts Mayor Thomas Menino adds his voice with, “Now is the time for a national policy on guns that takes the loopholes out of the laws, the automatic weapons out of our neighborhoods and the tragedies like today out of our future.

Actress Mia Farrow left on twitter, “I don’t want to hear one idiotic word out of the NRA. Gun control is no longer debatable- it’s not a ‘conversation’- It’s a moral mandate.

Bombastic filmmaker Michael Moore brayed, “The way to honor these dead children is to demand strict gun control, free mental health care, and an end to violence as public policy.

Within hours of the news breaking of the carnage, as level-heads were saying “now is not the time” for more discussion on guns,, a spin-off the far left sent out an email blast stating, “We are beyond heartbroken as we think of the kindergarteners and others that died today in Connecticut. Today is the 3rd day this week when there’s been a mass shooting in our nation. We are parents. Many NRA members are parents. And none of us want to live in a nation where children are gunned down. #Todayistheday for the NRA and for Congress to step up and start proposing laws that protect children and all people.

Throughout the day and continuing today we read of more calls for new laws concerning guns in America. From the style of gun to the capacity of the magazine, even to the false claims of “automatic weapon,” the cry goes out to “do something.”

I agree, we must do something and we must do it soon to protect our children and our families.

December 1, 1997 saw three students killed and five wounded at Heath High School in West Paducah, Kentucky.

May 21, 1998 we saw two students killed and 22 others wounded in the cafeteria at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon.

April 20, 1999 in Littleton, Colorado 15 students, including the 2 shooters and one teacher were killed, 27 others wounded at Columbine High School.

April 16, 2007 saw Seung-Hui Cho at Virginia Tech University killing 32 students and faculty, and wounding another 17 people.

And now, December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, 20 children and 7 adults are dead, including the mother of the shooter.

And it isn’t only schools were it happens. We recently saw the shooting at the Clackamas Town Center Mall that left 3 dead, including the shooter.

Back on October 16, 1991 saw 23 people slaughtered as they peacefully dined at a Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas by a madman.

November 5, 2009 saw Maj. Nidal Hasan murder 13 soldiers and injure 32 others at Ft. Hood, Texas.

July 20, 2012 saw another madman kill 12 people and wound scores more in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater.

We have seen far too many of these incidents, but those demanding more gun laws, more gun bans and neutering of the NRA all miss the common denominator in every one of these shootings.

Each and every one of them happened in a place that already had a strict, no guns allowed policy.

That’s right, in each case, the gunman was already openly ignoring and in violation of existing gun laws as well as ignoring the policies of “no guns allowed” when they entered and began their carnage, knowing there was little to no chance of anyone stepping up to oppose them.

In simpler words, our increasingly strict laws against guns and their use has never stopped one single bullet exiting the barrel of any criminal or madman. They pay no attention to written law and often the gun used was stolen or obtained illegally.

Even those who obtained their gun legally and “snapped” pay no heed to laws and if bent on killing masses of people, seek out those “gun free” places to carry out their mayhem.

This argument on disarming American citizens is not new. An April 30, 1866 editorial in the New York Times argued against students carrying pistols, citing “A boy of 12 has his pantaloons made with a pistol pocket; and this at a boarding-school filled with boys, who, we suppose, do or wish to do the same thing. We would advise parents to look into it, and learn whether shooting is to be a part of the scholastic course which may be practiced on their boys; or else we advise them to see that their own boys are properly armed with the most approved and deadly-pistol, and that there may be an equal chance at least of their shooting as of being shot.”

For a very long time we have seen efforts to establish what opponents to guns label as “common-sense” gun regulations. And for a very long time we have seen those very regulations ignored and violated by criminals and madmen, seeking out those very well known “gun-free” areas to carry out their dastardly deeds.

What those who condemn the gun ignore is cases where an armed citizen out a stop to any carnage by drawing their own legally concealed firearm, just as thousands of homeowners have done, defending and saving their own lives and the lives of others.

News reports may mention citizens stepping in to stop the mayhem, but often do not mention that those who stepped up did so with their own gun, many times not needed to even fire it, shooters stopping realizing they were about to be shot.

Suzanna Gratia-Hupp gave an emotional account of seeing her parents gunned down in the 1991 Luby’s cafeteria shootings before Congress and how her compliance with the then Texas Law prevented her from saving her parents and others, leaving her own firearm locked in her car. The gunman paid no attention to the law that was expected to keep people safe.

A 1997 school shooting was stopped in Pearl, Mississippi when Vice-Principal Joel Myrick retrieved his Colt .45 from his truck and held the shooter for Police as he was about to leave Pearl High School, headed to the nearby Junior High to continue his carnage.

Had Mr. Myrick been allowed to have his gun on his person he might have been able to prevent at least some of the dead or wounded, but he definitely prevented more deaths planned at the other school.

In 2002 we saw a lone gunman who decided to terrorize the Appalachian Law School being tackled by three students, two of whom were armed, putting a stop to the gunman’s plans before the body count reached that we saw in the Virginia Tech shooting years later where no one was permitted to be armed.

Again, the gunman ignored the laws and regulations, seeing easy targets in another “Gun-Free” school campus.

We saw another gunman who decided to slaughter worshippers at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado brought down by an armed citizen in attendance that day before he killed more.

April 2012 saw a knife wielding man stopped dead in his tracks in Salt Lake City, Utah as an armed citizen put an end to his rampage stabbing and slashing others.

Time and again, qualified, licensed citizens have sprung into action stopping criminals and madmen before their rampage caused a much higher body count than planned.

We are just now learning that the shooter at the Clackamas Town Center was confronted by a man with a concealed carry license.

Since it is now known the gunman had several loaded magazines, did he take his own life thinking he was about to be shot or arrested, ending his body count at 2 instead of dozens that he might have hoped for?

Time and again we see where properly trained, legally licensed citizens with a firearm prevented high body counts when these criminals and madmen go on a rampage. No law passed, no matter how bold you may print “we really mean it this time” has stopped these gunmen.

Guns are here and criminals have no intent of surrendering their gun, no matter what law is passed. If they want to create mayhem, they can obtain a gun easier by illegal methods than legal.

If they don’t have access to a gun, many just use a knife, a hammer, a screwdriver or mix regular household items into an explosive device to carry out their intent.

They just ignore the laws.

Guns were banned in England and strict controls put on them. Yet they saw an increase in gun crime.

They also saw such an increase in knife crimes, where the victim was unable to defend themselves due to those strict gun regulations, doctors began advocating a kitchen knife ban.

What else will they propose be banned or heavily regulated before they wake up and realize the problem is not in the tool used by criminals and madmen, but the criminal and madmen themselves?

We do need gun regulations, no one argues that. Certain people should not be able to purchase or possess a gun. Few people argue that.

But guns are here to stay.

We do not need to disarm innocent people and leave them an easy prey to madmen and criminals. As we saw in examples above, a properly trained and licensed teacher, vice-Principal or Administrator in a school could put a stop to the mayhem before it grows.

When seconds count, Police are but minutes away.

How many more must die while waiting on them to arrive?

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