Shuck and Jive

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Can We Talk About Gun Control? (Part 2)

Every now and again (usually after a senseless killing with weapons of mass destruction) I bring up the logical idea of banning these weapons. After the Virginia Tech slaying, I wrote Can We Talk About Gun Control? I concluded my post with this:

So what should we do? Load all of our college kids up with guns and hope the good guys get the draw? Maybe. Along with their dorm keys, copies of Nietzsche, credit cards, video games, and beer bongs, we could give all freshmen their very own 9mm Glock. School is hard. Shoot first and often.

Life is crazy. Adding easily accessible deadly weapons is crazier still.
I will continue my unpopular anti-NRA, anti- "gotta have my automatic weapons at any cost", anti-gun nut tirade until these weapons are banned forever.

Jared Loughner killed six and wounded fourteen with a Glock 19 semi-automatic pistol. It was also Cho's "weapon of choice" in the Virginia Tech massacre.

Loughner purchased it legally.

He bought his bullets at Wal-Mart.

Here is a nice old guy showing you how to shoot one.

It is the weapon of choice for military, police, and mass murderers.

We certainly don't want to infringe upon the rights of mass murderers.

I can think of no reason to have a device such as this except to kill a large number of people quickly. That is what it is for. You use it to kill people. Loughner is crazy. Absolutely. He is mentally ill and should be locked up for the rest of his life. But he simply did what the gun was designed to do--kill a lot of people fast.

Loughner has serious mental illness. Since that is the case, what do we call the manufacture of such a device in the first place? The scary crazy part is that we think that it is sane for these things to exist. Roger Lowenstein writes:

The surest way to prevent such acts of terror is to halt the distribution of semi-automatic weapons in the first place. In any sane country, semi-automatic weapons -- those that can be shot rapidly with repeated pulls of the trigger, without stopping to reload each time -- would be banned, period. They should be banned, for good, in the U.S.
I know the response to my rant. People will quote the following aphorisms as if they dripped off the lips of the historical Jesus:
  • Guns don't kill people. People kill people.
  • If you ban guns only the bad people will get them.
  • If you ban guns the bad people will just make bombs.
  • A tragedy like this is not the time to politicize the issue.
  • It is a crazy world and I need to kill the bad guy before he kills me.
What can you say? It is the word of the Lord.


  1. One of the arguments for laxed gun laws is that, if more people carried guns, they could more easily subdue and "bring down" people like Loughner before too much damage was done.

    According to reports, though, not one of the three people responsible for subduing him had a weapon on them or chose to use it, if they did - in a state with some of the most lax conceal/carry laws in the nation.

    What then? Do we make laws requiring people to carry concealed weapons? And how do we deal with the fallout when someone uses a weapon in a situation like this - or more likely a perceived situation like this? It is traumatic for police when they have to shoot a person. How is Madge gonna take it when she just stopped at the Quickie Mart to load up on chips and Fresca? What services will be made available to her to deal with the emotional and legal ramifications?

    And more than one elected official has declared that he will now carry a concealed weapon with him when he makes public appearances. Does he understand the ramifications to his career should he feel compelled to use it?

    Let's have some reasonable gun laws, not the NRA's unbridled phallic funfest, please.

  2. One of my concerns here in PA is that people from FL where there is a universal carry law (you don't need a permit to carry a concealed weapon) can carry concealed weapons here in PA because the state legislature will not pass a law saying that the FL law is not valid in PA.

    Further we have a real problem because the legislature won't deal with straw buyers, that is people that buy a bunch of guns for criminals. A couple of simple laws would take care of the problem:

    1. Pass a law that says you can't buy more than one gun in a month. I'm hard put to see how this would be a hardship for anyone but a criminal.

    2. Pass a law that says if your gun is stolen or missing you have to report it to the police. Then if you buy a gun for a criminal and haven't reported the gun missing and the gun is used in a crime you are in trouble.

    The hunters I know, and we have a lot of them in PA, don't want anyone who had as a semiautomatic anywhere near them. Hunters who use semiautomatic rifles are just plain dangerous. Hunters say if you can't hit the deer with the first shot you deserve to not get the deer.

    I would suggest that the second amendment is not at all about handguns. And the Supreme Court ought to say so. They are too dangerous for most people to even have in their houses. And I am hard put to understand why anyone needs a semiautomatic handgun except in a military situation.

  3. The hunters I know, and we have a lot of them in PA, don't want anyone who had as a semiautomatic anywhere near them. Hunters who use semiautomatic rifles are just plain dangerous. Hunters say if you can't hit the deer with the first shot you deserve to not get the deer.

    No kidding. Well said, both of you!