Archive for the ‘2nd Amendment’ category

Mass Shootings, Any Lessons?

December 4, 2015

The San Bernardino, California tragedy provides another lesson in a text book which our Country seems set on not learning. People kill but people with guns kill more. Where has common sense gone?

Yesterday Congress took great pride in using its precious time passing legislation it knew would be vetoed. The waste of time bill once again repealed Obamacare and to the cheers of many Republicans also defunded Planned Parenthood. At the same time, Congress brushed aside a proposal to increase the nature of gun purchase background checks. Where are our priorities?

The San Bernardino chapter is one in a fast growing encyclopedia. The encyclopedia titled, “Summary of Mass Killings” is growing at a rate of one per week. Each occasion provides hours of prime television time and a wonderful stage for politicians to pontificate.

In response to the California incident, each of the GOP candidates invoked their prayers while each of the Democrats called for stricter measures to acquire guns. The New York Daily News summed it up well when they front page headlined “God Isn’t Fixing This” calling out these politicians.

Each of theses mass killings features something different. Mental illness, racism, and religious radicalism have made the best headlines but behind each event was the statement, “the weapons were purchased legally”.

The headline grabbing shootings tend also to mask the everyday shooting variety where suicide and gangs and common thugs use guns to enforce drug trade and petty crime. The toll from guns is off the charts.

NPR summed the mass shooting phenomena recently providing data which pro-gun advocates would prefer not to read. I wonder whether this is why in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s has recommended defunding NPR too.

Hmmm.

Roanoke Tragedy – No Kidding

August 28, 2015

The two television employees who were killed while recording a live interview for a morning show once again shed an uncomfortable light upon guns. Armed with two recently purchased hand guns, a former station employee shot the TV anchor person and her cameraman. To add insult to injury, the killer then posted his own video on social media. A few hours later, the killer took his own life as police neared his capture. What a tragedy.

News reports have not shown any connection between these specific victims and the killer. The killer had been fired from the local Roanoke television station but the two victims were not involved (according to reports). In addition to the two victims, there was also an interviewee who was shot but is predicted to survive. Is this a tragedy about being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

News reports indicate the killer felt himself the victim of racism as well as sexual discrimination. He attributed his firings at the Roanoke station as well as an earlier one at a Florida station to discrimination because he was black and a gay man. Was this a tragedy because the killer was mistaken in these beliefs or was he correct in his beliefs and just cracked under pressure?

News reports claimed that the killer had only recently purchased two handguns. In a perfectly legal Virginia transaction, the killer obtained the means to become a black, gay, killer. Could this tragedy have been prevented if the laws prohibited the sale of guns to blacks, or gays, or just black gays?

This event’s tragedy reflects the heavy cost of having let the gun genie out of the bottle. When one reads the 2nd Amendment and reads the words “well regulated militia”, the Constitutional purpose of gun ownership is clear.   The right of States to control or regulate other uses should also be clear.

The tragedy of this Roanoke shooting stems from the Supreme Courts recent decision affirming the right of all Americans to possess fire arms any time, any place, and severely limits the reasons a State can limit gun ownership or possession.

Commonsense would lead a thoughtful person to minimize the provocative nature of “open carry” or the general public danger of “concealed carry”. Target shooting, hunting, and home defense, on the other hand, when combined with appropriate levels of training and gun safety education, could be allowed for all willing Americans.

The Roanoke tragedy is just another example of deaths that didn’t need to happen. Clearly hand guns didn’t make the killer kill. Hand guns simply enabled the killer to kill. As the NRA says, guns don’t kill, people kill.

Columbine, Newtown, and Virginia Tech gun tragedies, for example, were all front page news. Senseless deaths only possible due to easy gun availability.  Nothing has changed. That’s the real tragedy.