Monday, May 07, 2007

Guns Kill People. Period?

Guns Kill People. Period. (U.S. News & World Report Article)

This writing is not going to earn me any Christmas card from the zealots at the National Rifle Association or best wishes from the unyielding adherents to the Second Amendment.
Nope. And it shouldn't. Shame on us who are unyielding in our upholding of the Constitution.

Guns kill people. Period.

The tragedy at Virginia Tech should open our minds to a problem our nation refuses to confront. The easy access to guns and lethal weapons is a national disgrace.

It wasn't all that easy for me. Sure, if I want a simple rifle, I only need to wait a few minutes for a background check (I still have to wait for one -- and I'm not even mentally deranged. Well, I'm sure you would think I am -- for my position on this issue alone). But for my pistols, I had to wait 10 working days before I even got permission to buy each one. I wouldn't call that easy access.

And my guns have never killed any people. Nor do I intend for them to unless they are used prevent a similar crime or to protect my property.

In Virginia alone, gun owners are limited to one purchase a month. Some limitation.

Considering the fact that the second amendment says that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and the fact that being limited to purchasing one a month is an infringement, I think it is some limitation.

I can hear the response from the NRA already: People kill people. Yes, but they do it with guns and too frequently with those easily accessible weapons.
What part of shall not be infringed do you not understand? Yes, People kill people. With whatever they have available to them. Before they had guns they did it with knives. Or clubs. Or fire. Or poison.

The condolences from the NRA are of little comfort to the mourners of those slaughtered in Blacksburg.
Considering the fact that nobody in the NRA had anything to do with this nutjob going ape with a couple of pistols on campus, I'd consider the condolences a sincere gesture from an uninvolved third party.

The NRA, to put it bluntly, has too many willing friends in Congress from both political parties. Campaign cash flows to them in hefty amounts. Members of both parties should be ashamed.
It also has a lot of willing friends in the citizenry, which is why it has willing friends in Congress. Most of that campaign cash comes to them from citizens like me, who give it to them. Without coersion. But in your utopian world, power would come from and be vested only in the government, and not the people, apparently.

The Second Amendment, a biblical passage to its followers, may give a right to bear arms. It does not, however, give a license to kill. Try telling it to the NRA.
The NRA thinks the second amendment gives us a license to kill? You mean those laws against homicide only pertain to sharp objects and blunt instruments? The second amendment was a well-thought-out, intensely argued and hashed-out piece of the Constitution (since ratification of the constitution required such a bill of rights by many states as a prerequisite). Would you say the same thing of the first amendment? Which other amendments can we just label "religious passages" so we can strike them down if we don't like them?

I was raised in South Dakota, where hunting pheasants and ducks is a tradition. In those less chaotic days, no one had ever heard of Saturday night specials on the quiet streets of Sioux Falls or in the hunting fields for that matter.
You mean before gun control laws, you couldn't buy an illegal gun anywhere? Or is it that nobody ever killed anybody with a gun that they used for hunting? What's your point?

Hunting is perfectly legal. There are accidents. Ask Vice President Cheney.
Progressive Handbook Rule #12: Never miss a chance to bash the Bush administration. Ever.

But the NRA and its PR machine cry foul at any attempt to restrict access to guns. It is not a sport to hunt wild game with an Uzi or other semiautomatic weapons.

We need to tighten existing laws or limit the frequent purchases like those of the disturbed student at Virginia Tech who had no trouble arming himself to the hilt.

Bait and switch, eh? The Virginia Tech shooter used a couple of pistols. No Uzi was involved. It's also illegal to hunt with an Uzi. If "armed to the hilt" means you have a .22 pistol and a 9mm pistol, our definitions of "the hilt" are grossly divergent.

The second amendment was designed in part to keep people like you from converting this country from a bottom-up form of government back to a top-down form -- the kind the Founding Fathers and countless citizens unburdened themselves from in the revolutionary war -- using those very arms.

A few weeks ago, the House of Representatives shelved a voting rights bill for the District of Columbia. The action came after a Texas Republican offered an amendment to repeal the D.C. ban on guns.
Washington D.C. -- where the crime rate is the highest in the land and where gun laws are most restrictive. Sounds to me like the "Texas Republican" (no doubt used as a double-plus ungood slur here) was trying to rectify the situation.

In time, the rampage at VT will be off the front pages and evening newscasts.
How sad for you, who would like to continue to use it to pull a major foundational piece of our constitution out from under our system of government by the people.

What is it going to take for us to finally wake up?
For you? Probably a nation-wide gun ban and the predictable subsequent sharp rise in crime. Once you've removed the right of the people to protect themselves from criminals (who, I'm sorry to spoil this for you -- but they will have guns regardless of your gun laws just as they murder regardless of laws against homicide) criminals will have a field day, unfettered by the worry that the person on the other side of the door or window, or sitting at the next table in a restaurant, or behind them in the queue in a bank -- might have the means to stop them.

Maybe when you're staring down the barrel of an illegal gun with no means to protect you and your family from it with a legal one (since there won't be such a thing) -- maybe then you'll wake up.

If you're lucky.

- An NRA member who doesn't live in Texas, has all his teeth, has two college degrees and doesn't drive a pickup truck.

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