4.17.2007

God, Guns and Guts

Another American tragedy yesterday at Virginia Tech. And yet there is still more control over who can drive a car than there is over who can own a gun. A car is identified and traced through the VIN number.

And what is with the crazy pro-gun lobby? They issued a press release right after the shooting blaming a lack of guns for the incident. The idea being that if some students in the classroom had guns, and people in general knew that, then no one would enter a classroom with mass murder on their minds.

Or if they did, they would use a hand grenade. Or they would shoot someone upon entry to the classroom and duck out the door waiting for someone to chase them with their gun. Or they would pull the fire alarm and shoot people from a hidden vantage point. Or they would throw tear gas into a classroom and kill people in the confusion. That in turn would cause some gun-wielding students to shoot back.

Do you think a person who plans a cowardly attack like the one at Virginia Tech is going to be dissuaded from doing so because he will be killed? Obviously not, since suicide seems to have been part of the plan from the beginning. Instead, a gun battle will ensue, with just as many people being killed.

People who wield guns need to be referred as cowards. The media language needs to change and so does our culture.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

People died yesterday and you're using that to further your own political agenda. Fuck you

A Unique Alias said...

Hm. I think that she isn't "furthering her political agenda." Stating her opinion (with which I strongly disagree)? Yes. But let's not get histrionic. This blog post is not going to change any laws. For that, I am thankful.

However, it is not selflish to reflect upon 30+ innocent lives that were taken and say "God, I wish that didn't happen, and here's how I wish it were avoided." It isn't furthering an agenda to react to these shootings with a strong aversion to guns.

Still, I guess I can't fault "anonymous" for being upset. The "crazy" pro-gun lobby works to secure the rights which you may not want but I sure do. Pretty stupid of you to call people who weild guns "cowards", Econo-Girl. People who hold that dubious distinction include police officers, military troops, and agents of protection throughout this country.

It is not at all cowardly for someone like myself, for instance, to wish for at least the same means to defend myself which so many others in this city have to attack me.

concerned said...

With that same argument aua, then you say that the student who went on a rampage, who went or always was crazy had the right to possess a gun as well. Crazy people shouldn't have unfettered access to guns. Period. If guns were not so easy to come by, maybe you wouldn't feel the need to own one to protect yourself. If guns were banned, gunmakers would stop making them if there were no commerical market for them. And while black market guns would still continue to be sold for much HIGHER prices, it certainly wouldn't be as easy to get your hands on them. Guns serve one purpose only - to kill.

And let's avoid the dicussion altogether regarding the fact that you and the "pro gun" lobby completely misinterpret the 2nd amendment and claim to have a "right" that was never intended by that amendment.

A Unique Alias said...

Concerned, I appreciate the dialogue.

"With that same argument aua, then you say that the student who went on a rampage, who went or always was crazy had the right to possess a gun as well."

No, I don't say that at all. I didn't imply it, and it is odd that you would read that into my words.

I advocate high threshholds for gun ownership. It is an awesome responsibility. Comprehensive classroom instruction, mandatory wait-periods on the order of weeks and not days, and thorough background checks should be prerequisites to weapon ownership. I advocate harsh punishments for gun abuse, in the same way I advocate harsh punishments for drunk driving. The solution isn't to ban vehicles, but implement a program to control them.

'Crazy' people, like convicted felons, shouldn't be allowed to procure firearms. Don't get caught in the logic-trap of thinking that there isn't a way to effectively administer our second amendment rights just because you'd rather live in a world without those rights.

Moving on. While I agree that "if" guns were impossible to obtain I wouldn't need to protect myself from gun violence, your "ifs" aren't feasible.

"If" guns were illegalized throughout the country, let us assume that the police would come to registered gun owners' homes and take their rifles. This would do nothing about the existing guns that are used in crimes but are not registered. This would only embolden the portion of the population who already has illicit firearms.

Finally, it goes without saying that you and I disagree on the correct interpretation of the second amendment. "We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

Econo-Girl said...

In my suggestion that people who wield guns being referred to as cowards, I did not include law enforcement or the military.

It's just that too many films and advertising images equate waiving a gun around with being tough. Really tough people don't need guns.

I owned a gun myself as a girl in Pennsylvania. I went hunting with my Dad. I do not advocate eliminating all gun ownership. But the minute anyone starts talking about reasonable safety measures, the radical gun lobby starts screaming.

Why do we need automatic weapons for leisure purposes? Shotguns and rifles are just fine. And why do we need so many bullets in a magazine? I don't understand that.

Michael said...

Part of the problem with background checks, safety classes, gun tracking etc, (while they are all good ideas) is that the shooter at VT would have passed them all.

He had no record; he was not trying to buy "assault weapons;" there was no reason not to sell him a gun. To all appearances, he was a law-abiding citizen who wanted two perfectly legal handguns.

He just happened to be a psycho, too.

I don't know how to avoid that. Responsible gun ownership? Background checks, safety classes, microchipped guns, bans on fully automatic weapons? All good ideas; but not one panacea among them...

Fuzz said...

People bent on mass murder will find a way, witness 9/11.
Is there really a link between what a psycho does, and our individual right to the means to defend ourselves ?

Econo-Girl said...

Fuzz,

How do people feel about Iran getting nuclear weapons? We cannot control what psychos do, but we can limit the weapons they use.

Automatic weapons should be severely limited. That's it. The ability of this wacko to kill as many people as he did was a direct result of having an automatic weapon with so many bullets in it.

Fuzz said...

Interesting to bring in Iran. On one hand I supose Iran does have as much "right" to nukes as anyone else. But can the US, or Isreal, afford to take the risk ? Certainly we would not disarm ourselves in response. Likewise, why sould I be expected to disarm myself and be at the mercy of criminals or crazies ?
I don't think we will ever eliminate the threat of violence against ourselves, so the best we can do is be prepared to defend ourselves as best we can.

The Lazy Iguana said...

The problem is with the guns. Where do crazy people and criminals get guns from? Well in the V. Tech case they legally buy them, in States where the laws are very lax.

In other cases they buy them off the street. And where do these street guns come from?

They are stolen. Either from a gun store or from a locked car or during a home invasion.

In either case, there is a common root. Legal private guns. If there were no gun sales, there would be no gun stores - and therefore no gun stores to rob. If nobody had guns, then there would not be any in cars or homes.

Black market guns would become scarce and expensive. The common criminal would not be able to get one for $50 or $100.

Do people have the right to self defense? I think so. I think that the right to defend oneself is a basic human right - no matter if that defense is on the street or in a court room.

But the fact of the matter is that guns are a big problem. Having one makes it very easy to pull off a crime, or a mass murder. I can run from a nut with a knife, however a nut that is a good shot can cap my ass at 50 yards - well out of the range of a knife.

I also think it is unfair to compare legal gun owners who are NOT insane to those who are insane, or who have criminal intent.

My blog has two days of posts about my thoughts on the Second Amendment. Econo Girl, if you have not read it yet go check them out.

Wednesday and Thursday are the days to look for.