Monday, January 10, 2011

In Reply: "The next AZ or VA Tech shooter shouldn't be using firearms he purchased legally..."

In reply to the following comment at the post After Shooting, Dems Will Introduce Gun And Speech Control Bills | Right Wing News:
"I could go right now to the bad side of town and and buy an illegal gun with little problem. (well, perhaps not me specificly...I look too much like a cop, or so I've been told, to be trusted by the street thug class. But you get my meaning.)
The existing laws are more than enough.

Also, you do realise that the two biggest mass murders and terrorist incidents in US history (the OKC bombing and 9/11) were carried out without any involvment with firearms, be they legal or illegal? So access to firearms is not the's criminals and terrorists.

Finally, 'reasonable'? What do you define as 'reasonable'? I'm all for bans on the ownership of guns by felons, the mentally ill, and those under 18. But beyond that I consider most anti-gun laws to be unreasonable. Self defence is a human right after all, and anything that harms that right is simply wrong."
I would like to see some of the rapid fire weaponry more restricted, but for the most part, I was talking about current law. Both this guy and the VA Tech shooter bought their guns legally. Both had incidents in their pasts that should've prevented them from doing so. Whether that was a failure of law or of enforcement, it needs to change, so that the next VA Tech/AZ shooter isn't using a gun they purchased legally. Even though we can't stop all of 'em, it doesn't follow that we therefore shouldn't try to stop any of 'em.

As I said, the fact that some terrorists/crazies can and will go buy illegal firearms is no reason not to prevent them from buying legal firearms. People without licenses also drive, but that's not a reason to stop the work of one's local department of motor vehicles. If forcing crazies/felons/terrorists to find an illegal dealer only prevents a quarter of the murder and mayhem those folks commit, that's still one quarter better than now.

The fact that the two biggest mass murders were accomplished without guns is kinda beside the point. The number of folks murdered by criminals/crazies/terrorists using guns is pretty high up there, as well. Whether or not we should limit access to planes, explosives, box cutters, etc. are separate questions to answer, and our choosing to limit access to one tool used by terrorists/crazies/criminals has little bearing on whether or not we also limit access to another. As far as I'm concerned anyway, access to the tools criminals/crazies/terrorists use to commit their acts, and specifically, doing what we can to prevent them from having such access, is definitely an issue worth discussing.

What you or I personally define as reasonable isn't really the issue, is it? What we as Americans, by virtue of the folks we elect, define as reasonable is the real question. Some of us will think we need to be more restrictive than you (or even I) do. Some will think I (and maybe even you, as well) am/(are) being too restrictive. But together, I'm sure we can some to some consensus, and if necessary, create new law. At the very least, we can demand better enforcement of current law, and oversight to see that it happens.

Posted 01/10/2011 04:03 PM

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