Monday, April 20, 2009

Arm Every American With An Assault Rifle. . .

. . .Then Ban All The Bullets!

On the 10th Anniversary of the shootings at Columbine High School, and with the massacre at Virginia Tech and the horrific shootings in Binghamton, New York still too close in the rear view mirror, it seems Americans are no closer to coming to their senses with respect to gun control than we were a decade ago.

Indeed, in apparent bows to the savagery promoted by the likes of the NRA, we've abandoned efforts to close loopholes that allow almost anyone -- from the mentally ill to prison parolees -- to purchase hand guns and semiautomatic weapons, have senselessly allowed the assault weapon ban to lapse, and still cling to the wild west notion that Columbine and Virginia Tech scenarios could be prevented, or the carnage lessened, were we to arm every man, woman and child with a gun.

Indeed, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus is advocating the right to carry concealed weapons -- as a matter of self-defense -- on college campuses, the notion presumably holding sway that, like Wyatt Earp, if we all carried guns, either no one would use them, or, if someone burnished that Glock, we'd have the opportunity to shoot first and ask questions later.

Somehow, the thought of college students -- or even their professors -- walking around campus with concealed weapons doesn't do very much to put this blogger's mind at ease about the safety of his college-aged children -- or any other law-abidding citizen, for that matter.

We suppose an old-fashioned shoot out in the Student Union at High Noon would resolve all disputes; that a disgruntled Freshman, who thought he deserved an A rather than a C on that mid-term, wouldn't take it out on his prof or fellow classmates with an AK-47; and that there will be a collective lock-up of all guns before the weekly bar crawl.

Conjure up your own scenarios, if you dare.

Fortunately, more reasoned minds prevail on most college campuses, as espoused through organizations such as Students for Gun Free Schools.

Among the arguments made by Students for Gun Free Schools against concealed weapons on campus are:
(1) Concealed handguns would detract from a healthy learning environment.
(2) More guns on campus would create additional risk for students.
(3) Shooters will not be deterred by concealed carry permit holders.
(4) Concealed carry permit holders are not always “law-abiding” citizens.
(5) Concealed carry permit holders are not required to have any law enforcement training.

We agree on all counts.

In fact, other than law enforcement, concealed weapons should not be permitted to be carried anywhere in public, on or off campus.

Frankly, we wouldn't feel any safer at Roosevelt Field, Stop & Shop, or Target if we knew that the guy next to us might be carrying a concealed weapon. To the contrary, we'd be frightened out of our wits.

We don't rid our schools of drugs by permitting every student to take a toke in the cafeteria or sanctioning a crack club at recess. And we surely won't put an end to gun violence -- let alone reduce its devastating toll -- by allowing everyone to carry a gun.

Do you know what they would call a "Have Gun, Will Travel" America, where everyone carries a concealed weapon, ready to take aim at the next suspected aggressor (or simply someone who looked at the gun-toter askew)? IRAQ!

College campuses are safer without concealed weapons. The same goes for our communities at large.

Okay, we hear you Second Amendment buffs grumbling (as if any of you have ever read the Constitution). That old right to bear arms shtick. Fine. But the Constitution doesn't say what type of arms Americans shall have that right to bear.

Might we suggest arming every American with a peashooter -- a straw and a lifetime supply of spitballs. Then everyone, from college campuses to Main Street, could take his or her best shot.

Nope, I'll never give up my peashooter. Not until you pry it from my cold, dead hands!


  1. I want to focus on this one bit. . .

    "Frankly, we wouldn't feel any safer at Roosevelt Field, Stop & Shop, or Target if we knew that the guy next to us might be carrying a concealed weapon. To the contrary, we'd be frightened out of our wits."Frightened out of your wits? Seriously? Can you explain that? It sounds completely irrational to me. It sounds like a phobia.

    First up, common sense indicates that anybody around you could indeed be carrying a concealed weapon -- legally or otherwise. No law is going to physically restrain somebody who is determined to hide a weapon on his person. I leave you to imagine which sorts of people are more likely to obey such laws, and which sorts are likely to ignore them.

    Secondly, I can't imagine why you think having a weapon would cause otherwise friendly people to mutate into angry killers. Do you worry about people around you suddenly going nuts and beating on you with their fists? Do you worry about people around you suddenly trying to run you over in the parking lot, just because they're behind the wheel of a vehicle? There's no logic.

    In states where concealed handgun licenses have been made available there has been no outbreak of otherwise decent folk suddenly flipping out and shooting passerby. It just doesn't happen. In fact, the statistics I've seen suggest that license holders are a remarkably law-abiding group.

  2. As we recall, both the Virginia Tech and Binghamton gunmen were licensed. We all know the end result.

    Licensing gun owners, like licensing drivers, still leaves society with way too many dangerous drivers, and way too many dangerous gun owners -- people who should never be permitted behind the wheel or behind the trigger of a gun.

    Perhaps we sould eliminate cars, as well. Might not be a bad idea, for many reasons.

    Still, more guns are used as intentional weapons than are cars, so we'll save the rant on the abolition of the automobile for another time.

    Folks, we all know that guns don't kill people. Its people with guns who kill people. So the choice here is clear. Rid ourselves of guns, and our obsession to have, hold, and use them, or rid the earth of people.

    While we may well be on our way toward accomplishing the latter, taking meaningful steps toward the former would certainly provide the healthier, safer outcome.

  3. Your article is like most other anti-gun articles. It is full of incorrect information, awful analogies, and an unrealistic fantasy that banning the ownership of guns will cure gun violence in today's modern world.

    Quote from your article:

    (4) Concealed carry permit holders are not always “law-abiding” citizens.
    (5) Concealed carry permit holders are not required to have any law enforcement training

    Both items are untrue in most states. Background checks are a requirement to obtain a CCW permit. These background checks get information regarding a person's entire criminal background. If there are no offenses they get cleared. By definition that makes them "law abiding citizens." It is not your right or the government's to determine for them if they will then break laws in the future or not.

    With regards to law enforcement training. Also untrue, every state that I know of requires firearms safety courses in order to obtain a CCW permit. They receive educations about laws related to the use of deadly force in self defense, transportation, safe handling, storage, and many other things that you obviously are not aware of.

    You compare gun violence and guns with the use of illegal drugs in schools? They are two completely different issues.

    The first commenter is correct. To my knowledge there have been no major incidents with CCW permit holders committing violent crimes with firearms. You are incorrect regarding the Binghampton and Virginia Tech incidents. They were NOT CCW Permit holders. They were not legally carrying around weapons.

    More incorrect information in your article: Parolees and mentally ill people are ALREADY prohibited to own firearms.

    I am sick of reading articles with extreme point of views regarding firearms from both sides of the spectrum. No not EVERYONE should have guns, and NO you can't restrict/ban guns from people who are able to obtain them. It is people with extreme points of views that cause problems in our world with their illogical, uneducated, and outspoken opinions.

    I grew up as a naive "liberal democrat," and shared some of your ignorant views to everything that seemed "dangerous." As an adult I educated myself on the subject and have received training from some of the greatest facilities in the world. I am now a more knowledgable person on the subject and feel that firearms is a neccessary right for all Americans. The right to defend yourself and your loved ones should never be restricted, regulated, or taken away.

    I suspect that most "anti-gun" people have never fired a gun, gone to a training institution, nor ever purchased a gun. Their opinions are formed from a hysterical media who's goal is to entertain/scare us with their "drama" instead of inform us of the facts.