Tuesday, April 17, 2007
The English View
The sheer scale of the carnage yesterday may after all make the Blacksburg killings truly unique in American history. That will doubtless lead to more self-examination and perhaps calls for new restrictions on firearms. But it won’t change America’s deep-rooted and sometimes lethal commitment to its own freedoms. (Emphasis added).
I know he meant that last bit as a criticism, but I am happy to wear it as a badge of honor.
Here is an earlier point completely missed:
But why, we ask, do Americans continue to tolerate gun laws and a culture that seems to condemn thousands of innocents to death every year, when presumably, tougher restrictions, such as those in force in European countries, could at least reduce the number? Do the laws prohibiting gun ownership reduce the number of innocent deaths?
The truth is, not all Americans do oppose such measures. The US of course, is a vast, federal nation, with different laws and cultures in different states. In Virginia, scene of yesterday’s shootings, they passed a law a few years ago that did indeed restrict gun purchases – to a maximum of one per week. In the neighbouring District of Columbia, on the other hand, the law bans the possession of all guns. And in Virginia, where you can buy and have guns, there is a much lower gun death rate than in DC where up until recently you could not possess a working gun in your home. Does Gerard not know this or is he ignoring it because it doesn't fit his "gun restrictions good" point of view?
DC’s draconian measure highlights one reason tighter gun control is difficult in the US. The federal courts recently ruled that the ban violates Americans’ right to bear arms, as protected by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. America, wrote James Madison, trusts its citizens with firearms. European nations don't. Which citizens have greater freedom?
Don't tread on me. ...cold, dead hands. Lethal commitment to Freedom. All good thoughts.
I am not going to participate in a dialogue regarding gun control about which my feeelings are ambivalent. I maintain my position that one does not need a fully automatic weapon to hunt but as I said, I think such a dialogue at this juncture is a distraction.
The crime @ Va Tech was almost certainly not one of opportunity. I think the prospect of gun control laws preventing it were close to nil.
At the same time, I am very wary of ordinary citizens carrying guns in their daily lives in situations in which their jobs would not reasonably require carrying a firearm.
I do not wish to hear an advocate of the right to bear firearms intone somehing to the effect of: "If I were there w/ my Glock, I could have saved the day."
Too late. I already made that exact point. If you guys can check it out and get back to me, I'd be much obliged.
How do we tell the good citizens from the bad until they start shooting?
The fully auto hunting weapon was an attempt @ humor in an Uncle Duke kind of way.