Monday, December 10, 2007

Gun Control Kills People

December 10, 2007

Our media seems to enjoy publishing endless stories of abuses of gun ownership by private citizens, furthering the agendas of Gun Control advocates. Every time we read of another tragic shooting resulting in loss of life, we are deluged with politicians grandstanding in speeches and offering more legislation to curtail our first amendment rights.

Well meaning, but misguided citizens demand gun free zones, areas that essentially restrict legal law-abiding citizens with concealed carry permits from carrying their guns. From schools to shopping malls, time and time again we have seen the tragedy of gun free zones unfold as gun men enter the zones and begin firing, too often killing and harming many.

From the massacres at Columbine High School, in Littleton, Colorado, to the murder suicides at Virginia Tech, we are inundated with stories of these tragedies, often used to show us why guns need to be outlawed.

This past weekend, Sunday December 9, we saw yet another tragic shooting take place, again in Colorado, but at a mega-church of 7,000. Unlike previous shootings, though, we are not being inundated with calls for new laws or tightening existing gun laws. Perhaps because once again, a citizen with a concealed carry permit and properly trained in the use of a firearm, brought the carnage to an end by using her firearm to protect the 7,000 in attendance at the church when the shooting started, “taking the shooter down.”

Previous incidences of law-abiding citizens stopping shooters in their tracks have also received little media notice over the years. Virtually ignored by the media and gun control advocates is the column found in “America’s 1st Freedom,” the NRA’s magazine, Armed Citizens, continually stating true stories of private citizens that protected themselves or others by their own guns.

Incidents like the Appalachian Law School Shootings and the Pearl High School shooting, although reported, obscure the fact that it was students or administrators with their own private guns that put a stop to the shooters before they murdered more, each time with no harm to the shooters themselves.

Those points are glossed over while gun control advocates obfuscate and demand tighter gun controls.

News reports of the shooting at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, identify Jeanne Assam as a “Security Guard,” insinuating a hired guard. That is not entirely true. Ms. Assam, an attractive blonde churchgoer, appears an unlikely “Security Guard,” in the traditional sense. She is a former Police Officer from Minnesota, but is a private citizen who volunteered to provide security at the mega-church in the afternoon, attending morning services herself. She and others volunteer to provide some security at the church and yesterday, her services were sorely needed and she came through, like others before her.

As a regular churchgoer, she blends in with others without letting on she is legally armed and with the full permission of the church Pastor. Yesterday, the wisdom of this arrangement came to fruition. If ever the Women’s Rights groups need a heroine to hold up to the public, Ms. Assam fits that bill. Time will tell if she is so embraced.

Like them or not, guns are a fact of life. They are available, usually much easier if illegally obtained than those purchased legally. Criminals are becoming increasingly bold, knowing that many citizens are now unarmed and that current gun control laws have historically not been enforced.

Gun control advocates repeatedly say that if we have time to get to a gun, we have time to call the Police. While there is an element of truth in that statement, I am left wondering what do they propose we do in the 10 to 30 minutes it may take for an officer to arrive?

Gun ownership is a serious responsibility, as Jeanne Assam showed yesterday. Those that own a gun have a responsibility to become trained in the proper use and maintenance of them.

Crimes involving the use of a gun are even more serious and must be dealt with swiftly and harshly by Police and the Courts. If one is killed in the process of committing a crime with a gun, their intended victim should not be turned into the criminal by gun haters.

Lastly, gun free zones need to be abolished. Time and time again we have seen that they result in law-abiding citizens leaving theirs behind while criminals easily bring theirs in with the resulting carnage.

Responsible and properly trained teachers, administrators, volunteers or citizens should be allowed to carry concealed weapons, if so licensed at the areas now seen as easy targets. As long as criminals have guns to use against us, we must be allowed to properly defend ourselves within the law.


UPDATE: This post received the Top Op Ed Award this week at Digital Journal. My thanks to all who read and showed an interest in it.


Lonsdale said...

“a citizen with a concealed carry permit and properly trained in the use of a firearm, brought the carnage to an end”

Now, as Paul Harvey would say, here is the rest of the story. The “citizen” was a former Minneapolis, MN police officer acting as a security guard for the church. She used police techniques in her encounter with the gunman.

Her actions were commendable. However, she was hardly an average citizen with a concealed weapons permit. Unfortunately many persons who hold concealed weapons permits are not properly trained in the use of firearms or police techniques. Therein lies the rub.

LewWaters said...

Lonzie, you really should read the entire article before commenting. I stated she was a former Police Officer. Still, "former" is what counts. While Police do have training in guns, so do others, like ex-Military and even hunters and members of the NRA.

Jeanne Assam is a regular member of the church who attends morning services and volunteers as securityin the afternoon, along with several others.

Had you really read the ntire post, you would also see that I said, "Responsible and properly trained teachers, administrators, volunteers or citizens should be allowed to carry concealed weapons, if so licensed at the areas now seen as easy targets."

Grumpy Old Man said...

Right On!

We just posted a similar article but I like your title better.

As you mentioned at the end of your article, gun owners should have training. This is provided by the NRA, local gun clubs, sometimes the local police, etc.

Keep up the good work.

Al (Grumpy Old Man)
PS. I just voted on your article at RealClearPolitics. Your link from there to your article is broken.

Jeff Dowdle said...

An armed public is a much safer public. Gun Free Zones should be outlawed.

Hard Cheese said...

I must join Lonsdale in condemning those who would project a pro-gun agenda upon a sad and tragic situation. The security guard was simply doing her job. She was on duty and had cooperated with others in a security and evaucation plan after learning of the prior shooting at the church's sister facility in Arvada. She was on alert. The fact that she was a former police offeicer and utilized police techniquest should not be minimized simply because police agencies are often at odds with the NRA and other gun rights groups. This was not simply a citizen with a weapon and for this we can all be thankful. To treat the security guard and former police officer as anything less than a trained professional is disrespectful.

LewWaters said...

Give it up, Cheesey. While she was once trained in proper firearm usage, so was I. If I shot someone breaking into my home with intent to do my family and I bodily harm, would I too be a “trained professional” in your estimation?

Ms Assam was a VOLUNTEER, not a for hire guard. Your typical obfuscation won’t fly on this one.

Look back at the Pearl High School shooting and Appalachian Law School shooting linked above. Were they also “trained professionals” in your estimation?

You and lonzie may “condemn those who would project a pro-gun agenda upon a sad and tragic situation.” But, I condemn anti-gun advocates who minimize and obfuscate the obvious, that someone else there with a gun, a VOLUNTEER, put a stop to what very well have been an even more tragic event, had she not.

I also see the latest efforts at claiming he died as a result of a self inflicted gunshot wound, ignoring the fact that she shot him numerous times, as even more disrespectful.

Grumpy Old Man said...

This is reply to Jeff Dowdle above.

Maybe a gun free zone would serve a practical purpose...

Especially if the Pro gun-free citizens put a sign in their front window and on their doors like this one from the Patriot Post:
Gun Free Household sticker

That would definitely do wonders for the gene pool. : )

Lonsdale said...

"I also see the latest efforts at claiming he died as a result of a self inflicted gunshot wound, ignoring the fact that she shot him numerous times, as even more disrespectful."

Colorado Springs Gazette:

"Four of five bullets fired from the gun of a security guard at New Life Church hit Matthew Murray during his deadly shooting spree at the megachurch on Sunday afternoon, according to autopsy results made public Tuesday."

"But a bullet Murray fired into his own head is what killed him, the El Paso County Coroner’s Office said Tuesday."

"Guard Jeanne Assam, 42, fired at Murray inside New Life Church, hitting him twice in his legs and once in his wrist, authorities said. Police spokesman Lt. Skip Arms said Murray also received a superficial wound in the chest, likely from one of Assam’s bullets that deflected off his highpowered assault rifle."

"After those wounds took him down, Murray shot himself with one of the two handguns he was carrying, Arms said."

Lew, no one is saying that the actions of the security guard/ex-police officer did not stop the gunman. Although your revisionism of facts is legendary, for the time being I have to go with the Colorado Springs Police Department and the coroner. Of course, in your world the Colorado Springs Gazette and the Denver papers could be liberal shills and not telling the truth.

Hard Cheese said...

Rightwing Political Correctness?

We're not allowed to think of Jeanne Assam as a "guard," even though she used to be a cop and was acting as a guard. We have to think of her as "one armed church member, trained and prepared to use her weapon," because that's the way this story becomes a conservatively correct legend.

Ordinary citizens need guns because ordinary citizens are the first line of defense against crime -- that's the gun crowd's first principle. So pay no attention to Assam's training and professional experience as a police officer. Pay no attention to the fact that she was on duty.

In fact, she was no more an average parishioner than a trained volunteer firefighter (with prior professional experience) at a house fire is an average citizen.

But we're not allowed to say that, because the gun myth requires her to be average. But, by the church's own admission, she was tasked to provide armed security -- she wasn't just a random person in a pew who happened to be armed. So she's being called a "plainclothes security officer" because (although she was a volunteer and a parishioner) she was acting as a plainclothes security officer.

Perhaps an “average” citizen who carries a gun to church could have stopped the gunman. However, that did not happen here, so that point need not be addressed or argued. Lew, you have gotten yourself in trouble before by changing the facts to support your argument. “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” (Daniel Patrick Moynihan)

LewWaters said...

no one is saying that the actions of the security guard/ex-police officer did not stop the gunman.

Lonzie, please learn to read and comprehend. I said I find it disrespectful, not that they claim she didn’t stop him.

On media source went so far as to publish that she was fired from the Police ten years ago. Judith Kohler, an Associated Press Writer wrote yesterday, “Minneapolis police Sgt. Jesse Garcia said Assam was fired from the Minneapolis force in 1997 for lying during an internal investigation. Sgt. John Delmonico, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, said police were investigating a complaint that Assam swore at a bus driver while she was handling an incident on a city bus.”

Yes, I find all that irrelevant and disrespectful.

Cheesey, I can’t offer you more cheese to go with your whine, you have enough, even if it is hard.

You can think anything you want, but it obfuscates the facts to portray her as a hired gun when she is just another parishioner who volunteered, along with others, you provide some security at the church.

Cheesey, the only trouble is that you and your lefty cronies are caught time and time again making up facts to suit your purpose. When called on them, you hide away for a few days, like ya’ll do at Victoria’s.

A guy in Illinois said...

Response to : Hard Cheese
You have to have some sense here. I am a 10 year US Army vet, with 7 years as an MP and 3 years regular infantry.

I am NOT ALLOWED to carry a weapon to protect myself or others. Why? Because of gun control laws. This woman just happens to live in Co. and I live in Illinois. I am pretty sure I have fired more rounds than she has. In the eyes of the law in here state she is a citizen. Her police background had no impact on her getting a CCW permit. If I live in colorado I could get one.

So we are not ignoring it. We are trying to point out that not only COPS HAVE OR CAN GET TRAINING>>

And if you would like to equate an armed security gaurd that literlaly takes a 40 hour course on using it and the laws regarding use with a TRAINGED professional you should get a clue, because I would have to pay an armed guard for my church in illinois that doesnt have 1/20th of my training.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
sn1per said...

It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more
than $500 million dollars. The first year results are now in:

List of 7 items:

1. Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent

2. Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent

3. Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!

4. In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns!

5. While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.

6. There has also been a dramatic increase in break- ins and assaults of the ELDERLY.

7. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in successfully ridding Australian society of guns. The Australian experience and the other historical facts above prove it. You won’t see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.
Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens. Take note my fellow Americans, before it’s too late! The next time someone talks in favor of gun control, please remind them of this history lesson.
With guns, we are ‘citizens’.
Without them, we are ’subjects’.
During WWII the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED!
If you value your freedom, Please spread this anti-gun control message to all of your friends.

Unknown said...

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