The horrific tragedy in Aurora, CO has brought out all of the usual suspects amongst the ban the guns folks. There is Bloomberg in New York City and his pals at the New York Times. One of my past students, knowing I am a gun guy, even wrote me a long, complex piece trying to equate my 45 to a nuclear bomb.
He was using the logic of an old joke, attributed to many different folks including Winston Churchill.
Woman: “Well, you’re not that bad looking and a million dollars is a lot of money, I guess I would.”
Man: “Well, I don’t have a million dollars. Would you sleep with me for $100?”
Woman: “What kind of girl do you think I am?”
Man: “We’ve already established that. We’re just haggling over the price.”
If I can’t have a nuclear bomb, proving some kind of limit has been established, what else should I not be able to have? Following the Colorado tragedy, I suspect the list would include: 100 round magazines, body armor, Internet ammunition buying, AR-15‘s, pistols, shotguns, etc.
To many, I suspect defending easy access to these things makes me kinda strange. Now, I have no use for 100 round magazines (imagine how heavy they are) but some of my friends use them in competition. I have no use for body armor but I suspect it might be convenient for some police units to buy theirs in the more competitive market of the Internet. Ammunition? I buy this on the Internet all of the time because I can get the best prices and it’s very convenient.
Would I be bothered if I had to indicate to the Internet seller that I am appropriately licensed? No. That seems reasonable.
The problem is the old camel’s nose under the tent thing. Soon that old camel will wiggle her way into the tent and that easy requirement for ID will turn into the hoops and roadblocks of the gun laws in NYC or Washington, DC.
Considering how camel like the anti-gun folks are, we gunnies are forced to take what seem to be unreasonable positions. Then out comes the, I’m the enlightened thinker and you’re just a small town, red-necked, bible thumping, gun clinger, to paraphrase our President.
Recently, a fourteen year old Bronx youth shot a man in the borough of Queens, twice. Then, as he stood over his, still alive, victim about to deliver the coup de grace, something spooked him and he ran, inadvertently sparing his victim.
Is there a back story? Of course.
Three months prior he was questioned by an NYPD officer who watched him hiding a black object by his side which he put in his pocket, when he noticed the officer.
The officer acted on reasonable suspicion with the intent of preventing a crime and performed the stop and frisk maneuver that is now being aggressively attacked by the above mentioned enlightened thinkers.
He had a gun.
He was put in jail.
Under Fourth Amendment case law, constitutional search and seizure may only be done on the basis of Probable Cause. In a 1968 case the Supreme Court ruled that the Forth Amendment’s reasonableness requirement is flexible enough to support actions similar to those the officer took in this situation.
Why was he free to almost kill the person in Queens?
Turns out some of the enlightened on the state Appellate Division Court found a way to release the young man because they felt the stop and frisk was based on no valid grounds. Justices Peter Tom, Karla Moskowitz and Nelson Roman were the brilliant jurists in this case. If the Queens man had been killed, would they have had any liability? Don’t be silly.
Even when there are rules (against illegal guns in NYC) and procedures (stop and frisk) the enlightened screw it up. But, when something awful happens, it’s me, my fellow gun owners, and the NRA who are at fault.
It sounds kind of awful but to a law abiding gun owner, these are killing zones. The perpetrator knows there will be no armed folks in the zone and they are about to do something so grotesque that breaking the no guns rule is not really something that is going to stop them.
One of the worst of these tragedies occurred in Texas many years ago. The Luby’s massacre happened in 1991 when a deranged man drove his pickup truck through the window of Luby’s Diner and proceeded to kill twenty-three people including both parents of Suzanna Hupp. At the time in Texas, restaurants were gun free zones.
Suzanna had a concealed carry permit but had left her gun in the car to comply with the “no guns in restaurants” law. When the gunman started shooting, she instinctively went for her purse where the gun should have been. She then watched her parents be killed while fortunately escaping herself. One of the reasons she was able to escape was that her Dad charged the shooter and was killed while doing so.
After the recent Colorado tragedy, I read some comment about how horrible it would have been had guns been allowed in the theater. Bullets would have been flying everywhere and even more folks would have been killed, the writer surmised. Interestingly, he did not even mention that the shooter was covered from head to toe in body armor even including pieces that police often don’t wear because they encumber movement.
Still, if the shooter was being hit by numerous shots, he might have been disrupted enough to have been jumped by some courageous folks. The folks on flight 93 on September 11th come to mind.
Dependent or Not
The Colorado tragedy has brought out many calls for the government to regulate guns, in spite of the ineffectiveness of existing and sunset (the federal assault weapons ban) gun regulations and of the behaviors of judges like those mentioned above.
Katrina hits to great devastation. Responses vary, but many call for the government to fix things and blame all that went wrong on the government.
Drug trafficking seems to be supporting the rapid rise of gangs and gang violence in our inner cities. Responses vary, but many call for the government to halt the flow of drugs in spite of their years of failure to do just that.
Two thirds of the adults in the United States are overweight or obese. Many say it’s the fault of the food companies and in numerous locations, notably, New York City, the government is banning stuff.
I could go on but it’s annoying.
Why are we so willing to hand our fates over to the government? In one of his most chilling columns in a while, Chris Hedges discussed folks he called “Careerists”. Read it only if you have a good, positive vibe going. You will need it to keep his great prose from wiping you out.
We have all had our experiences with the government careerists, among them the DMV clerk, the IRS folks, traffic court, and on and on. These are the folks you want to put your trust in?
Getting legislation right is almost impossible. All conditions can not possibly be considered. Lawyers are trained to obfuscate. Lawyers become politicians and legislators. It seems insane to me to depend so heavily on them to get things right.
Their job has become to stay in power vs. helping the folks they were elected to help. They help the constituencies who help get them elected. This is inherently corrupt and depending on it to solve all of our problems is just foolhardy.
When I carry a gun which is pretty much all of the time, except, of course, when visiting in New York, I am intensely aware of my surroundings. I behave very differently than when I don’t have a gun.
I am completely aware of the responsibility that comes with this condition. I understand the laws relating to the use of lethal force, I have gone through many training sessions on how to respond to various bad situations. I know I am not a substitute for the police.
From a skills perspective, I have extensive training. I am certified to teach seven shooting disciplines, hold carry permits in five states yielding, through reciprocity, carry capability in 44 states, I shoot regularly to maintain competence and I shoot in competition. I have been finger printed so often, I can’t imagine that there is any law enforcement database that I am not in.
I take responsibility for my armed condition. I take responsibility for myself and my loved ones. I hope against hope that I never have to use my gun.
Seems reasonable to me.