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Guns For Every One — Why Now?
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Guns For Every One

Badtux looks at arming students. [This happens to you when you are testing multiple frozen pizzas.]

Here’s the deal, if you aren’t ready to kill someone, having a gun is worthless. Not everyone is afraid of guns, you need to be able to honestly say that you can pull the trigger and take another life, or don’t own a gun. Guns are dangerous by design.

All of these people who claim that if the students or faculty were armed, it would have changed the outcome are delusional. It was one guy and no one tried to hit him with a chair. No one turned a fire hose on him. No one attacked him with any of the many things that will kill a human being that are readily available in a classroom. He was the only one with a killer instinct in the building.

Guns are tools, not mystical, magical devices that imbue those who hold them with knowledge, courage, and power. Cops carry guns 24/7 and are still killed. The same for the military. Having a gun that you can’t or won’t use is stupid and could get you killed…with your own gun. You would be dead and embarrassed.

I don’t know this for a fact, but I suspect that the people who are cheerleading for everyone to have guns wouldn’t be anxious to run towards the sound of gunfire.

Update: This isn’t about courage.  A number of people sacrificed their own lives to protect others.  They weren’t capable of killing, but they certainly had all of the courage there is in the world.


1 The CultureGhost { 04.18.07 at 10:58 pm }

This past Saturday night there was gunfire in my dull middle/working class suburb. Right across the street and up a couple of houses. I was working at the computer in my office.
Two “pops” which were unmistakable…I ran to the window…pulled the shade down…a car came screeching by and there were more pops…I was on the floor so fast…I crawled
out to the living room and extinguished the lights there as the gunfire continued…all told I counted almost 15 shots…

I’m happy to say the police response was overwhelming….not sure if they caught anyone (though they did pull someone over right in front of my house)…I didn’t know the City of Concord possessed so many squad cars…

2 oldwhitelady { 04.18.07 at 11:10 pm }

There seems to be a lot of shooting. Over in a town nearby, a 17yo was shot, while in a car. From what I heard on the radio, there were several older teens possibly involved. The bad thing is, guns are easy to get, no matter who you are, as long as you don’t mind committing crimes to get them. Someone was telling me that one of their neighbors had a breakin and the gun cabinet was all that was broken into.

3 Bryan { 04.18.07 at 11:25 pm }

The is absolutely the best way to react, CG, to stay safe and out of the way. Let the cops do their job, which is a lot easier without civilians around. I wish we had a reasonable police presence in my area, but we can’t afford it yet. People have to hold out for a half hour before any one can get to our area of the county so a lot of people have guns, but they don’t try to act like cops.

That’s how too many of the guns used in crimes are obtained, by home burglaries. That’s why getting along with your neighbors or having a big dog is important.

4 cookiejill { 04.19.07 at 12:29 am }

Say all the students were armed. They all ran into the hallway. Would they know exactly who the “bad guy” was? Should they shoot the one “with the gun?” They all fired at the same time from all different angles, would only the “bad guy” die or get injured.

This is real life and not some “big swinging dick” contest to see who has the bigger ball o’ bravery.

My question is how someone diagnosed as mentally ill, classified as being a danger to both himself and others, could so casually buy those types of guns AND ammo with no background check, no wait period, barely offering any i.d. while when I go into the drug store to buy a couple of things to relieve my post nasal drip I have to provide photo i.d. and give all my information, including birthday, SSN, etc. to be put into a National Medication Database and can’t buy more than 2 items in a 2 month period?

5 John B. { 04.19.07 at 8:06 am }

Cookiejill: what you said. In fact, it’s emerged that for several hours even the police were on a man-hunt for the boyfriend of one of the first victims. It’s not more than a half-step from that to imagine rank amateurs, armed to the teeth, taking out innocents. Others seeing this naturally would use their own weapons to shoot the amateurs. And so it goes, as Vonnegut would say.

The root problem with guns is that they are too easy to use without knowledge or training, too efficient at killing, and just as fatal at a distance. That is a uniquely lethal combination that in any sane society begs to be regulated. That Florida, Virginia, and other (mostly Southern) states don’t says a lot about the state of our sanity that isn’t flattering.

6 andante { 04.19.07 at 8:23 am }

Seconding cookiejill.

The (few) times I’ve heard close-by gunfire around here, my stupid first reaction is to look to see where it’s coming from. Second reaction is to make sure doors are locked and have the telephone in my hand. I probably need to work on reversing that order.

BTW, Bryan – I passed on the hair spray tip to my kid, and she says “Thanks – I will”.

7 terry { 04.19.07 at 10:42 am }

I do not own firearms, but I have friends who do. One of them quite proudly announced that he had just gotten his concealed carry permit in a neighboring state and had scored remarkably well on the marksmanship portion of the application process. I suggested to him that he might not score as well if someone was shooting back at him. He replied that he would nail anyone breaking into his house before the intruder got off a shot. I told him that I hoped he had informed his kids and neighbors of his plan, but that I assumed he would be carrying around the weapon to prevent any deranged gunmen from carrying out a massacre–this was a week before Virginia Tech. He responded that he had no intent of carrying around the firearm even though he now had the permit because it was heavy and was cold in the winter and hot in the summer. I assume he is not alone in this regard and the nuts who suggest that if only students were legally permitted to carry firearms on campus the Virginia Tech tragedy could have been minimized are delusional.

8 ellroon { 04.19.07 at 11:01 am }

Well said, Bryan. You made me laugh with: Having a gun that you can’t or won’t use is stupid and could get you killed…with your own gun. You would be dead and embarrassed.

I hate to think how many people have been killed with their own guns. You have to have training, and as you so rightly said, the desire and ability to kill.

How many of us can go from normal citizen to killer like that in so many seconds?

9 Bryan { 04.19.07 at 11:47 am }

Jill, the mental health problem needs to be worked out. Doctors can’t reveal patient information, so unless someone is legally committed to a mental hospital, there is no record of the problem. Cho was forced into an evaluation, but wasn’t committed so it wasn’t on his police records. He had to provide photo ID, proof of residency, and pass a criminal records check, which he did. If either of the people who complained about his stalking behavior had actually filed charges, he would have been denied in most jurisdictions.

In general women want the problem to stop, and if it’s stopped they don’t want the hassle of going to court. I understand, but it ties the hands of the police. You identify a creep and you want to do something, but without a formal legal complaint, you are limited. When you get a second complaint, you go through the entire procedure again.

I’m not saying the women involved were to blame, they didn’t know, and couldn’t legally be told about other problems. There are even stricter controls about what can be said about students, than the general population, and investigating a student usually involves getting a signed waiver or a court order.

There was no overt act of violence earlier. Without a legal complaint or an act of violence, there is very little the school or police were legally allowed to do. The fact that they referred him for the psych evaluation tells me that someone in the college police wanted him gone and was looking for ways to do it.

10 Bryan { 04.19.07 at 12:06 pm }

Plain-clothes police officers get shot way too often at crime scenes, John. The addition of armed civilians and no identification of targets is a recipe for disaster. Warning shots were made illegal in New York back in the early 1970’s because civilians were getting hit by them. Some idiot with a .44 magnum could kill an innocent victim a football field away from the scene. There is a lot of time spent in the police academy teaching people when not to shoot.

When you have a lot of independent shooters firing away, who gets to call a cease fire?

11 Bryan { 04.19.07 at 12:28 pm }

Andante, the sooner you call, the sooner someone can respond. Those deputies don’t need all of those donuts, the exercise will do them good.

Terry, I can’t tell you how many suit coat linings I had destroyed by the hammer spur on my Colt 2-inch. Carrying a weapon is a PIA. Trying to get comfortable in a car, so the seat belt wasn’t jamming the thing into your side. Switching to a shoulder holster and then trying to get the leather dye out of your shirts in the summer. It’s not much better in uniform with the “Bat Belt,” something was always poking you.

Shotguns are better for home defense. Most people leave when they see one; they are hard to lose; they are difficult for kids use; they have shorter range…lots of advantages for shotguns.

Ellroon, we have a family story about an ancestor in the Tyron County Militia [upstate New York] who was captured by the Tories during the Revolutionary War. He escaped when they set a man to guard him with his own musket. The ancestor took off running, knowing the musket had a bad flint and couldn’t fire. My people have always owned guns, but we have not always been good about taking care of them. No point in sharpening the ax until you need it.

12 jams o donnell { 04.19.07 at 3:20 pm }

I cant add to teh discussion apart from to agree that the idea of armed students would have been the answer is pretty daft.

One side issue – tories in the revolutionary war? Leaving aside the modern use as a name for the Conservatives, I knew it was used in relation to irish “brigands” but who wher the toies in the US? was it used in relation to British loyalists?

13 Bryan { 04.19.07 at 4:02 pm }

Jams, those colonists who remained loyal to the Crown were called Tories by the colonists who wanted independence.

My understanding is that “tory” is derived from a word for Irish brigands, and “whig” from a term for Scottish brigands. Everyone seems to agree that politicians are brigands.

14 cat daddy and dr squeeky { 04.19.07 at 5:44 pm }

Let me remind everybody that guns don’t kill people, people kill people….

If people didn’t have access to guns… it’d be a lot harder for people to kill people…

Has anybody checked the stock value of gun makers? That’s why the 2nd ammendment still protects us from pesky king George… or in case Canada, Cuba, or Mexico decide to take a crack at invading us…

15 Bryan { 04.19.07 at 7:57 pm }

At this point guns may be necessary to protect us from a different “George”. The system didn’t work, and needs to be fixed, with a mental health referral for possible suicidal tendencies, he shouldn’t have gotten through the system.

Based on what we now know about him, I’m afraid if he hadn’t gotten guns, he would have built a bomb. He was an intelligent person with an Internet connection and the instructions are everywhere.

After the sniper attacks in the Washington area a lot of people bought guns, so there are a lot of them setting drawers and stolen in burglaries.

I don’t know the answer, but a place to start is better mental health access.

16 The CultureGhost { 04.19.07 at 10:45 pm }

Today an instructor at my place of employment, a large community college, sent out an e-mail in which he put forth the “suggestion” that the thing might be preventable if a select group of teachers and administrators were armed. In direct violation of our e-mail privacy statement I posted the damn thing on my blog.

Nothing will come of his suggestion, after all I live in Northern California, but it still doesn’t sit well with me.

17 Bryan { 04.19.07 at 11:21 pm }

CG, I opposed arming airline pilots for the same reason I oppose arming civilians in work locations – using a weapon is a serious job, requiring serious training, and serious practice. When they deploy the Guard to Iraq, the first thing that happens is training, because one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer is not enough to maintain the skills required to stay alive in a war zone.

In colonial times the militia was made up of people who generally used the necessary skills on at least a weekly basis. These are people who would be using the same weapons in the militia that they used on their homesteads.

If they need more police protection, pay for more police protection. the object should be fewer guns on school grounds, not more.

You can buy damn good body armor for what that kid paid for that Glock. If they’re worried, there are people selling it all over the country.