Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Gun Control As Religion

I am just astounded: There actually are any number of supposedly serious people now arguing that the massive tragedy at Virginia Tech underscores the need for more gun control laws. How many existing laws did the killer violate? I'd guess, offhand, a dozen or more. But, sayeth the sophisticates, another law would have prevented this bloodbath. By the way, not only do the various laws fail to keep, say, cocaine out of the hands of those who want it, we seem not to be able to keep drugs out of prisons, the most controlled environments we have. We do seem to be able to keep guns away from prisoners, but do we want---or could we even manage to create even if we wanted to do so---the entire nation to be, as it were, a prison so as to keep guns away from citizens? I rather doubt it.

It truly is amazing. Are the Dems actually going to be sufficiently stupid to make gun control an issue in '08? Gun control arguably cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000; what else explains his failure to carry Tennessee, Arkansas, and West Virginia? Well, OK: Hobnobbing with the Hollywood Beautiful People probably did not help him. But it seems that the Dems are striving mightily to wrest from the clutches of the Republicans the coveted title "The Stupid Party."

5 comments:

Kathy Hutchins said...

I don't know what the effect of the Virginia Tech massacre will be on the gun control debate nationwide, but I think that in Virginia it will be the exact opposite of what the Brady bunch would like. In most of Virginia, citizens are already granted wide latitude to carry concealed. One exception is state college campuses. In Richmond there was a bill last session to override that, which died in committee. I predict it will be revived. The sentiment here seems similar to the Texan response to the Luby's killings. Not in blue NoVa, of course, but this didn't happen in Jim Moran's district and I think downstate sensibilities will prevail.

James F. Elliott said...

I am at a loss to see how more or less gun control could have changed this tragedy one iota. I'm rather further at a loss to explain how Dr. Zycher expands long-time gun control activates to "The Dems" as a whole while maintaining a tenuous grip on reality.

But then, some things are beyond comprehension, like slaughter and libertarians.

James F. Elliott said...

"Activates" should be "activists." The "enter" key is faster than the brain, it appears.

Kathy Hutchins said...

I am at a loss to see how more or less gun control could have changed this tragedy one iota.

Here is some testimony from a Virginia Tech student on the potential usefulness of less gun control. (The student is describing a situation that occurred last fall, when a jail inmate escaped from a hospital by killing a guard, later shot a sheriff's deputy, and was at large on or near the VT campus for many hours.)

Virginia Tech has many older students, including many ex-military and military reservists. There are also many students there who grew up in rural Virginia and are well-acquainted with firearms and hunting. If even one of these students, who are recognized by the state of Virginia as responsible and trustworthy enough to carry concealed in almost every other location in Virginia, were allowed to carry their weapons on campus, and had been in Norris Hall Monday morning, the outcome might have been very different.

I'm rather further at a loss to explain how Dr. Zycher expands long-time gun control activates to "The Dems" as a whole while maintaining a tenuous grip on reality.

I think it was quite clear from the context ("an issue in '08"...."cost Al Gore the presidency") that he was speaking of the Democrats currently considered the front runners for the party's presidential nomination, that is, Clinton, Obama, and Edwards, all of whom jumped in front of cameras while you could still smell gunpowder in Blacksburg to condemn America's gun culture and call for more restrictions. Of course there are gun control advocates among the Republicans, like Guiliani, but it is recognized that his position is a liability to the nomination. Likewise there are certainly pro-2nd Amendment Democrats, notably in the local region Virginia's own junior senator James Webb, but none of them are running for president.

tbmbuzz said...

I wonder if liberal gun control advocates on this blog and elsewhere can explain the fact that mass shootings only occur in places where guns are not allowed. I am at a loss to see how 32 people would have been killed if even just ONE student or teacher in the classrooms affected had been armed.

The reaction and political demagoguery is already beginning to unfold. Even John Howard, Australian Prime Minister, has felt it necessary to argue that tough anti-gun measures passed in 1996 prevented the “U.S. gun culture” from becoming “a negative in [his] country”.

Howard conveniently failed to mention the sharp rise in violent crime rates (unlike here) and burglaries burglaries that occurred in the wake of that legislation and continues today. He may repeat the claim that the murder rate fell 11.5% in the year following the gun ban. The statement is true, but says more about the success rate of would-be murderers than any increase in safety. Actual attempts (including those that were successful) jumped 4.2% as cases of attempted murder climbed 20.1%. He seems to have forgotten the Sydney and Ashfield gang rapes in 2000-2002 in which as many as 24 unarmed girls and women were victimized.

He also seems to have forgotten about several other incidents that have occurred over the years. Was it the U.S. gun culture behind the Woo Bum-Kon massacre in 1982 (58 deaths) in South Korea, where gun laws are very strict and the killer was a drunken police officer? How about in the case of the Hungerford massacre in 1987 (17 deaths) in England? Or the Dunblane massacre in 1996 (18 deaths) in Scotland? What about the École Polytechnique massacre in 1989 (15 deaths) in Quebec? Or the Erfurt massacre in 2002 (23 deaths) in Germany? For that matter, Howard seems to have forgotten the incidents that prompted such draconian action in the first place: the Milperra massacre in Sydney (1984: 7 deaths), the Hoddle Street massacre (1987: 7 deaths), the Strathfield massacre (1991: 8 deaths), the Central Coast massacre (1992: 7 deaths) and the Port Arthur massacre (1996: 35 deaths).

Perhaps Dr. Zycher overreached in expanding gun control advocates to the Dems as a whole, but on the other hand it is intuitively obvious to those who are intellectually honest that gun control advocates associate themselves with the political party most friendly to their worldview.

Slaughter, unlike delusional liberals, is not beyond comprehension to any scholar of history and humanity.