Monday, December 17, 2012
Gun Free Zones
The echoes from the gunshots had barely died out before the hysterical bleatings from the gun-haters for ever-tougher gun control laws reached a crescendo. Lamentable, but predictable. It happens every time somebody goes off the deep end and commits mass murder using a gun. But while they're banging the "take the guns" drum, let's take a look at the real problem, and one proposed solution.
The Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut was a "gun free zone." The Cinemark movie theater in Aurora, Colorado was a "gun free zone." The Virginia Technical Institute was a "gun free zone." And surprisingly, Fort Hood, Texas was a "gun free zone." In fact, every single mass killing over the past decade where 3 or more people died occurred in a "gun free zone."
Doesn't it seem that mass murderers tend to select "gun free zones" when they're in the mood to kill a bunch of people? Had there been an armed citizen, trained in the use of his or her weapon, at that school, or in that theater, or at that college, or even in the largest military installation in the United States (thanks to Billy Jeff Clinton, all military installations are now gun free zones!), doesn't it seem likely, as statistics indicate, that the number of people killed would have been severely minimized? And, had that been a possibility, doesn't it seem likely that the killer might have thought twice before selecting those targets of opportunity? Or any such targets before deciding to kill fellow citizens and then himself?
Nobody knows what possessed the 20 year old in CT to go on a rampage and start killing little children. Or to first take his mother's guns and shoot her in the face. He couldn't pass a background check earlier in the week (that gun control law worked), so stealing his mother's guns was his only option (a felony). Wouldn't it have been nice if she'd secured those guns under lock and key (her not doing so was a felony)? He couldn't get into the school that day. It was on lockdown, just like so many other schools are these days. So he used Mom's .40 caliber Glock pistol to shoot his way in (a felony). Should we encase every school in bullet-proof glass? And then he loaded his weapons (a felony) and gunned down 20 kids and 6 teachers and administrators (26 felonies, plus sentencing enhancements, like that would have mattered). Should we, like the NRA's CEO suggests, position an armed guard in every school in America (no, I say)? Or do we being to repurpose our society away from trying desperately to pry guns out of the hands of lawful Americans who use them for self-defense, hunting and target shooting, and instead try to identify those mentally unbalanced citizens who are likely to become mass murderers before they can act?
By the way, England's Parliament is now debating whether to ban ki8tchen knives...thought you'd like to know how far liberal lunacy can go if left unchecked.
One hundred million Americans who own 270,000,000 guns didn't shoot anybody yesterday. But have one insane kid shot a bunch of little children and the gun-hating loons are in a frenzy to once again try to deny citizens their Constitutional rights.
According to a study performed by Florida State University, 2,500,000 times a year citizens using lawfully-owned weapons prevent a crime, or at least minimize the negative impact of crimes in progress. Why isn't that reported in the alphabet media (that was a rhetorical question)?
Points to ponder: There are no "assault weapons." There are only weapons which may be used in assaults, including your grandfather's shotgun. The term "assault weapons" was coined by Sen Dianne Feinstein and fellow gun-hating liberals in the early '90s in an effort to color the publics' opinion against those scary-looking, "black" rifles that America loves and liberal politicians hate. The AR-style rifle possibly used in the Connecticut shooting is the most popular hunting weapon in use in America today. It is being used to hunt everything from squirrels to Kodiak Brown Bears.
Second, there are no automatic weapons in use in America today; they have been outlawed since the 1930's. There are semi-automatic weapons, which require the trigger to be pulled once for every shot fired. There are dozens and dozens of semi-automatic hunting rifles and shotguns and pistols for sale in America today, and have been for more than 100 years, and none are "assault weapons."
Third, has anyone looked at the extremely violent, desensitizing video games for sale today? Maybe shooting up cops and soldiers on the TV with a joy stick has had a tendency to make such mass murders more likely. And there's new evidence to indicate that the CT shooter was addicted to one such video game. And who's looking to identify mentally unstable citizens? It seems when you turn 18 you drop off the grid. Getting a kid in this category institutionalized is nearly impossible. That' got to change.
Fourth, deaths from illegal guns has gone down every single year for the past twenty years, most likely due to the increasing number of legally-owned weapons in the hands of law-abiding citizens. As an example, concealed-carry gun permits just surpassed one million in Florida, and Florida gun crime is way, way down. As they say, an armed society is a polite society.
Chicago has had an outright ban on guns for more than 40 years. Yet, Chicago is the murder capitol of America, with gun deaths totalling 535 for 2012, and 19,000 since 1990. Perhaps that famous sometime-Chicago resident, B. Hussein Obama, would care to explain to us why outright gun bans do nothing to ban guns.
Perhaps instead of "gun free zones," we should have "guns welcome here" zones. Then, prospective mass murderes would have to factor in the very real probability of being dropped like a bad habit by a good guy with a gun before getting off the first shot.
So what's my plan, you ask? Simple. Offer teachers and administrators free gun safety and proper handling courses for those who wish to participate, on a purely voluntary - and confidential - basis. Then provide appropriate weapons for each, and all licensing, permits and certification necessary for legal concealed carry, on their persons only (no guns in desk drawers or in bookcases or in their cars). We should offer monetary stipends to each participant as Adjunct Safety Officers as an inducement to participate. Then, somewhere between none and maybe as many as a couple of dozen trained, armed volunteers, plus the occasional cop, would be active in each of our schools, at a negligible overall one-time cost, perhaps not more than $1,000 per participant, and the bad guys wouldn't know who or how many or where.
If we can trust them to teach our kids, can't we trust teachers to also protect our kids, especially volunteers with proper training?
The result? A less attractive target of opportunity. Bad guys will pick "soft targets" if they can, like shopping malls and bowling alleys and grocery stores. But like they're now doing in TX and OK and CO and NV and UT and WY (Ohio gun ranges just trained their four thousandth teacher, for free), and many others, let's make our schools "hard targets" as soon as possible and put an end to school shootings, once and for all.
Also ask yourself this: if only 5% of the ducks were armed, do you think anybody would go duck hunting?
And, once again with apologies, for those who think that guns kill people, I guess they also believe that pencils cause misspelled words.
Too extreme, you say? Don't think it would work? President Obama sends his kids to Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., along with many of the more-equal-than-you, Inside-the-Beltway "swells." Sidwell Friends School employs 11 full-time armed guards and is currently planning to add a 12th. It it's okay for him and his kids, why not you and yours?