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Read these classic
rebuttals to "Gun Control"
Now let's look at another argument -- that citizens will shoot "wildly" and hit innocent people. The facts say differently -- citizens in fact shoot the wrong person only 1/5th as often as police officers!
This really isn't surprising, when you think about it, and it also isn't an indictment of the police. A police officer almost never is at the scene of a crime when it begins; he is called or otherwise discovers the crime in process. As he was not the original intended victim it's not surprising that he's sometimes not real sure who the bad guy is.
A woman being raped, on the other hand, is quite sure who the rapist is at the moment he attempts his crime, since his body is attached to the instrument with which he intends to commit the assault. Her odds of engaging the wrong person by accident are vanishingly small.
And this leads to the next problem -- the cops are never there. They can't be. When seconds count the police will be along in 5 minutes. Within those 5 minutes a homicidal maniac can murder dozens of people. The police will then "catch" (or kill) him, but you will still be dead.
It therefore is utterly ridiculous for you to rely on the police and insane for any government official to suggest (or worse, insist) that you do so; their purpose is to show up with a broom and clean up the mess, documenting it all for prosecutors, juries and judges -- if the assailant is still alive.
I've already made the case conclusively that our government at both State and Federal levels are full of hypocrites who insist that you cede to them your right to life, while they assiduously protect themselves at your expense, being unwilling to live with the restrictions they would impose on you.
But in truth it gets worse than that.
You see, our government has been running guns. Illegally running guns. Jaime Avila, in just one of many examples, purchased two rifles that were found at the scene of a federal agent shot near the Arizona-Mexico border. Our government knew Mr. Avila was illegally trafficking weapons to the Sinaloa drug cartel. Nonetheless, when his purchases were called into the BATFE for clearance the government intentionally approved the transactions despite knowing they were illegal.
Two of those hundreds of weapons came back over the border and were used to murder Brian Terry. Hundreds of Mexican citizens have been murdered with these guns in total -- guns that our government illegally, intentionally and maliciously allowed to be delivered to this murderous cartel.
Mr. Avila's sentence? 57 months in prison, or just under 6 years.
Two days before the Newtown Connecticut shootings.
Media outrage? Zero.
Your outrage? Did you even know about the sentence?
Guess who didn't tell you and run that story every 5 minutes on national TV -- the same media that is trying to ban your firearms!
An adjunct to the oft-heard argument that we shouldn't allow guns in places like schools, churches and similar is that civilians can't be trusted to only shoot when they should, and not when it's unclear if they could injure or kill an innocent person.
But the record says otherwise, and not only in the incident that occurred just days before Newtown at the Oregon mall. Witness this incident from March of this year, one of over a million a year, when a deranged man claiming he wanted to see his children (who do not attend there) showed up at a church and kicked in the door while wielding a shotgun.
He didn't expect to find a parishoner with a pistol pointed at him, who then held the would-be shooter until the police arrived. As in 98% of these cases the armed citizen in this event did not need to shoot -- by the mere presence of his firearm he likely prevented the nut with the shotgun from causing mayhem in the church.
Arguments over magazine size or type of weapon are distractions. A man intent on murder who doesn't have a 30 round magazine will stuff three 10 rounders in his pocket instead. You can change magazines in less than a second with a bit of practice; such a restriction burdens no criminal. Not only did the alleged assailant in Newtown have a rifle with him that some people would like to ban he also stole two pistols, either of which alone was more than sufficient to commit the mass-murder that occurred. In the instant case banning "assault weapons" would have changed exactly nothing, never mind that Connecticut already has an assault weapons ban and it did not prevent the crime!
What's worse is that banning weapons based on how they look (which is what so-called "assault weapons" bans do) has nothing to do with the ability of a firearm to inflict injury. Semi-automatic firearms, which is what all of these are, were invented in the 1800s. They were sold through the mail with no background check or anything else until 1968. Many of the most popular firearms, including shotguns such as the Remington 1100, .22LR rifles such as the Ruger 10-22 and many hunting rifles are semi-automatic.
Indeed, the common AR-15 variants are most-often used for varmints, target practice and competition. None of these weapons are "machine guns" or weapons of war, the sale and possession of machine guns (any weapon which can fire more than one round for each pull of the trigger) have been heavily regulated (but legal) since the National Firearms Act of 1934.
AR-15 variants are the most-popular sporting weapon sold in the United States; surveys show more than 3 million Americans own one. They're popular because they're reasonably-priced, reasonably-accurate out of the box, have a light recoil and thus can be used by women and others of smaller stature without having your shoulder pounded to a bloody pulp and the ammunition is reasonably-priced since the cartridge is relatively small (in fact the bullet is about the same size and mass as a 22LR!)
These rifles are considered severely-underpowered for many hunting applications and in fact it is illegal to hunt deer with one in many states as they are not lethal enough to have a reasonable certainty of humanely taking the animal in question. Common hunting rifles are far more deadly than an AR-15.
There is in fact nothing particularly special about the AR-15, or for that matter any other gun.
Now, onto legal constraints as they exist today, and the fallacy that they could have prevented what occurred last week.
Background checks are already necessary to buy guns but again do nothing to deter a determined criminal. In the case of Newtown the system worked; the shooter attempted to buy his weapon at a store and was turned down.
He then turned to murder -- of his mother -- to acquire the weapons he used.
There is no background check system that would have prevented this tragedy. The guns didn't come from a licensed dealer, there was no circumvention of the system via the so-called "gun show loophole" (or any other sort of loophole); the alleged perpetrator in fact murdered the lawful owner of the weapons in order to acquire them.
Further, mass-shooting events are almost-never random. Columbine and the Aurora theater shooting both are known to have been extensively planned. In the case of Newtown it is reported that the shooter destroyed his computer, including the hard disk, before beginning his assault, in addition to attempting to buy a gun in a store. This evidences material amounts of planning and premeditation, which means he didn't randomly decide to shoot up a school, he planned to do so and selected that as the location most-likely to bring him "success" as he defined it in whatever twisted worldview he held. Had he not been able to find someone with guns he could steal through committing murder (and consider that a cop could have been his intended target in that regard since they all have guns!) he could have used any one of a number of other easily-acquired means of committing murder and mayhem. This shooter was clearly nuts, but insane does not mean unable to plan -- that he very clearly was able to do, and did.
There are, however, three things we could have done, and any of them might have stopped the tragedy from occurring, or at least limited or prevented the loss of life.
The first is to get rid of the so-called "gun free zones"; they are nothing more than a public advertisement that the persons within them are unarmed and thus targets for anyone who wants to commit murder.
There is already a strong vetting process for school personnel. We check them for criminal records for entirely valid reasons -- nobody wants a pedophile working for the school in contact with their kids! There is no reason not to allow school districts, if they so choose, to allow those members of their staff and faculty who desire to acquire the training to carry concealed to do so while on school property. In short removing the target of opportunity sign from the front door might have deterred this shooter. If it didn't the principal and teachers who elected to be trained would have had a fighting chance. And that's all we can ask for, really, when all the other defenses we try to put up in front of such an assault fail.
Second, if you're going to actually "up-armor" the schools, then do it and mean it. Classroom doors must be able to be locked from the inside and require a key to open from the outside. Sidelights and glass in the doors must be of shatter-proof material (e.g. wired glass or polycarbonate) so as to prevent someone from breaking a window and either walking in or reaching through or unlocking the door. Doors must be able to withstand a reasonable degree of assault, meaning they should be steel-framed and steel-cored, bolted to the building. The point is to deter assault, not make it impossible. At the same time there needs to be a means for two-way communication to and from the office along with some sort of duress alarm so in the event of a serious problem the teachers can all be informed to lock the doors. Many people want "single-point" entry with a passthrough from a front office or similar -- this is a nice idea for new schools, but is entirely unreasonable for existing construction. In addition we need to be sensitive to the fact that you still have to deal with exposures during before and after-school periods (e.g. when buses are loading and unloading); there's only so much you can reasonably do without turning schools into prisons. Our children are not prisoners of the State and we must not allow them to be treated as if they are.
Third, we must improve psychiatric surveillance and impose liability on those professionals who have a duty to report and fail to do so. The shooter at the Colorado movie theater could have been interdicted on this basis but wasn't. We don't yet know if that is the case in this incident, but the public deserves to know. There is a serious civil liberty concern here that has to be balanced against public safety, and for this reason the exact criteria and how we perform that balance must take place through public debate. There's nothing wrong with being crazy; we all have the right to be nuts so long as we're not a risk to anyone else. But when someone expresses a credible desire to commit mass-murder that sort of shield must evaporate.
In short the answer is not found in gun bans -- no matter what sort of excuse is offered. In the instant case there is no gun ban that would have changed the outcome.
But beyond the proved inability to be effective gun bans are nothing more than an outrageous demand by our political leadership that we submit not only ourselves but our children to slaughter by criminals, promoted by politicians dancing in dead childrens' blood and upon their still-warm corpses, while they hide behind their armed guards, bullet-proof windows and armored vehicles.
No citizen should stand for this crap -- not on an ethical basis, not on a moral basis, and not on a Constitutional basis.