Thursday, May 3, 2007

This person may very well be delusional. Since the International Herald-Tribune has no comment section or other forms of public discussion which in which the opinions of their writers can be lauded or ridiculed as appropriate, I will do so here.

I do this not just for me, but for the benefit of the author of this article so that he/she might learn the error of his/her ways and repent. But mostly for me.

Let us fisk:

By now, the logic is almost automatic. A shooter takes innocent lives, and someone says that if the victims had been armed, this wouldn't have happened. The only solution to a gun in the wrong hands, it seems, is a gun in the hands of everyone.

That's the state of the debate over gun control in the United States today. The National Rifle Association and the gun lobby have silenced every legislature in this country.
With the exception of the numerous cities, counties and states that have enacted their own gun control laws. Like California, New York, and Chicago.

Instead of stricter laws, tighter controls and better background checks, the gun lobby proposes more guns. And what the gun lobby proposes, lawmakers deliver.

Like the National Firearms Act or the Assault Weapons Ban. The gun lobby wanted them, and the lawmakers... oh wait.

Seung-Hui Cho bought his guns illegally, though with the appearance of legality. He slipped through a loophole, through a disconnect between the way Virginia defines a disqualifying mental incapacity and the way the federal government does. After the fact, the loophole is self-evident, and it's tempting to believe that now political leaders will work harder to keep people who are dangers to themselves from becoming dangers to others by buying guns. But the laws are as fragile and imperfect as they are because that is how the gun lobby wants them - and it is paying good money to keep them that way.

Darn straight they are. When you're fighting a PR war with the Brady Campaign, the Violence Prevention Center, the Million Mom March, the Joyce Campaign and hundreds of other well-funded anti-gun groups you need to spend good money just to hold your ground.

Those gun advocates who believe that the Second Amendment confers the right to carry a gun in public are quick to point out that they are law-abiding, decent citizens trying to protect themselves and their families in a world gone mad. But, of course, the guns can't tell the difference. Arming more people would be a recipe for disaster.
Like in New Orleans, where citizens defended their families and communities from looters and criminals. Or the countless times every year that homeowners defend themselves from thugs and worse who break into their homes during the night. THOSE are disasters. But only for the bad guys.

True safety lies in the civility of society, in laws that protect all of our rights...
Civilized societies are all well and good, but for one problem. All human societies must, at some level, involve humans. Human beings, with all their strengths and flaws, tolerance and hatred. Can anyone imagine a set of laws or a feasible system of enforcing them that will govern and safeguard everyone? That will unjustly oppress no one?
...and in having law-enforcement officers who are trained in the use of deadly force, then authorized to apply it in rationally defined situations.

The police are not everywhere. They can not protect everyone. They have caught many murderers, but few of them during the crime. Taking a homicidal criminal off the streets is no small matter, but it is of little comfort to the victim or their families.
It is the gun lobby's efforts to weaken the gun laws that makes a tragedy like the one at Virginia Tech possible.
Utterly wrong. It was the one young man's choice to indiscriminately murder and wound his classmates that made the Virginia Tech tragedy possible.

Firearms have taken root in every country on Earth, and guns will continue to play a major role in human history for the foreseeable future. Even if Americans passed laws that made it completely illegal for citizens to own them, if criminals want firearms, they will find ways to get them. They certainly always have.