February 28, 2017

December 19, 2012

On Newtown and Gun Control: The Difficult Response

From NRO, where there is more:

Arguments over the merits of gun control are made all the more difficult to navigate by the Left’s stubborn denial that we are already having a debate on the issue. Gun control propositions are by no means new, and nor is there a lack of a “national conversation on the subject.” Instead, the national conversation is ongoing, and the Left is losing it badly. Gun control advocates may talk of national soul searching and dialogue, but in truth that already exists; what they mean is that they’d like to win for a change.

The Gopniks of the world don’t tend to win, however, because their arguments are weak and because their thinking is shallow. It is quite literally unfathomable to almost every human being that a man could shoot his mother dead. It is perhaps doubly unfathomable that someone could shoot a group of little children. To have done both on the same day is nothing short of astonishing. Herein lies the essential problem for those who would radically change our constitutional order: Americans know that they could never do such things whether they had no guns or two hundred guns at their disposal. The mind of a man so ill or depraved that he is capable of an atrocity such as we saw at Newtown is not one that can be constrained by law. Nobody refrains from shooting up a school because it is illegal.

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Interesting these terrible incidents happen in “Gun Free Zones”. 

The left reacts by:
1.  Wanting to take guns away from all law abiding citizens - the usual government “one size fits all” simple solution to a complex problem
2.  The solutoin will only make the ordinary citizen more vulnerable to crime and unable to protect themselves and his family.
3.  Much wailing and gnashing of teeth - and using emotionally-charged language and saying nice things like “...the governor of Texas will have the blood on his hands…” for suggesting that school adminstrators and the like start “packing heat”.
4.  Funny though - you can PROVE that crime goes up when guns are tightly controlled for ordinary citizens - and the left just “talks over” anyone who brings this up.

BTW - do you REALLY want to be “that guy” - the one responsible from taking 300,000,000 guys away from a very angry populance?  Not a job I’d want to have…

[1] Posted by B. Hunter on 12-19-2012 at 03:43 PM · [top]

Nobody refrains from shooting up a school because it is illegal.

But somebody might refrain from shooting up a school because they don’t know how or where to buy, borrow, or steal a suitable gun.

[2] Posted by Michael D on 12-19-2012 at 08:02 PM · [top]

Might. That’s a pretty weak argument.

[3] Posted by paradoxymoron on 12-19-2012 at 08:38 PM · [top]

somebody might refrain from conducting a mass shooting where his intended victims could just shoot back.

[4] Posted by elanor on 12-19-2012 at 09:38 PM · [top]

Just one tactical shotgun in the hands of the school principal could have made for a radically different ending of the story.

Same thing at St. Vincent’s hospital in B’ham.  One tactical shotgun.

Advertised “Gun Free” zones at schools, hospitals, and malls are like banks advertising “we are an open-vault” bank.

[5] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 12-20-2012 at 08:58 AM · [top]

Sorry,  one tactical shotgun would not be the answer…too much collateral damage possibility…however, one good 10mm or 45 ball in the hands of a skilled shooter would end the problem with one man-stopping shot.

[6] Posted by Fr. Chip, SF on 12-20-2012 at 09:59 AM · [top]

The shotgun is superb home defense weapon and I would suggest a good choice to assure getting the shooter down [significantly wounded or dead] in a school type situation.  Unless the principal were a highly trained tactical shooter the likelyhood of them actually hitting the target at 7-10 yards is shockingly remote with a pistol round.  A very nervous shooter is going to pull the trigger hard and many/most shots will go wide left and down [right handed shooter].  With the tactical shotgun [short barrel] at 7-10 yards [typical indoor engagement range] you have a point and shoot defensive weapon.  And you do not have to be concerned about what is behind the wall that is behind the bad guy.  Just point and shoot.  At 7-10 yards the majority of pellets will be target focused and the spread could hit someone else but not likely to be fatal.

[7] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 12-20-2012 at 10:37 AM · [top]

I think Capt. Warren speaketh the truth.  grin

[8] Posted by B. Hunter on 12-20-2012 at 12:53 PM · [top]

One point a lot of people miss when they argue about whether a stressed-out armed teacher could hit a wannabe mass shooter:  the teacher doesn’t actually have to hit anything to make the situation VERY different.  He/she only needs to be able to make the shooter look over his shoulder now and then, on the mere chance that someone in the building (beside the shooter) MIGHT have a gun.  Stress-induced degradation of accuracy can go both ways when it’s not a one-way shooting range.

Shooter Cho at Virginia Tech chained the school building’s doors shut at the outset of his rampage.  Why?  Probably because he knew that would ensure him a sickeningly long time as the only one with a gun in the building.

Capt. Fr. Warren:  problem with shotguns is that it’d be quite hard for the teachers to control and maybe conceal the gun during the school day—hence my suspicion that those schools which actually do have teachers carrying (I’ve heard, but without confirmation, that this happens in Israel, the Philippines, and Peru) probably gravitate toward pistols.  Again, having it be public knowledge that one or more teachers or staff is carrying, but not public knowledge who, could have a very good deterrent effect.

Though, if concealment weren’t an issue, and concern re shot spread or inherent handgun inaccuracy were, another obvious solution comes to mind.  Longarm for accuracy under stress; light round to minimize overpenetration; small and light so as to work well for non-hulking schoolmarms; enough rounds that the armed teacher doesn’t need to worry about ammo and can focus on stopping the bad guy and avoiding collateral damage.  You could do a lot worse than the gun all the pictures showed all the responding police officers carrying in the aftermath—the one that professional defenders in this country carry when constant carry and concealment aren’t the key deciding factors, and they actually have reason to believe they might have to fire a gun that day.  The Left asks, rhetorically, why anyone would “need” such a gun—though, were they fair, they’d admit that “why would you need ____” is a hard question to answer about most material things that aren’t medically-prescribed.  Why would it be logically desirable to have such a gun when faced with a possible shootout?  Ask the police and soldiers who carry AR-15s.

[9] Posted by Africanised Anglican on 12-21-2012 at 01:16 AM · [top]

I am an NRA member and have a CCW permit for concealed carry. I believe there is a stubbornness on the part of the NRA leadership about limiting magazine capacity in semiautomatic weapons. I own a “California legal” AR 15. The magazine capacity is 10 rounds which is plenty for hunting and target shooting. (I no longer hunt) AND the magazine requires a tool to detach it. It is the same for semiautomatic hand guns and a needed magazine limit for civilians. (Military and law enforcement can have their own standards). If you own a handgun/and or rifle in CA, you must also have it secured in a safe. Again, I have no problem with this requirement. I have grandchildren. It’s time the NRA worked with federal legislators. Their current position of “No” is not advocacy, it is unnecessary rigidity. I have written to them about this.

[10] Posted by Fr. Dale on 12-23-2012 at 10:40 PM · [top]

One way to read the NRA position [a position I support so far] is; seeking solutions to problems, instead enacting feel-good regulations that enable politicians to say “I did something”.

This is different than the typical Washington reaction which is to look at any solution to a problem by first taking away more rights of all Americans.

The vast vast majority of firearms in this country are owned by law abiding citizens who never ever committ a crime with those weapons.  Those citizens are no more dangerous whether the magazines of their semiautomatic weapons carry 5, 10, 20, or 30 rounds. 

And these citizens support current gun laws such as; no felon can own a gun.  A person who has committed domestic abuse cannot obtain a CCW permit or purchase a gun.  A background check shall be performed on a person seeking to purchase a gun.  Use of a gun in the commission of a felony shall carry severe penalties.

In fact, the NRA has been a very strong proponent for having current gun laws on the books enforced even more strongly than they have been.

No one it seems, except the NRA, asks the question about why 18-30 year old boys who have no fathers present, who have exhibited signs of mental instability, who may have obsessions with horribly violent video games, or who have been serial animal killers, or who have been under professional mental health care are not receiving greater attention in the context of these crimes.  We can go back and look at 40-50 years of history of mass murder crimes and see some clear patterns which could lead to initiatives to address the problems.

Or we could ask why the leadership of a city like Chicago that sees the number of shot kids every month as Newton suffered, doesn’t have any solutions for their own problems but have no hesitation to join the gun/magazine ban chorus after Newton [thus taking the attention off their own pathetic leadership].

Or we can set Washington loose to debate for months on whether a 30 round magazine is 3 times, 2 times, or 1.47 times more dangerous than a 10 round magazine. 

And while Washington sets itself in the spot light about the “danger” of guns, we should ask Washington why they have been so blase about the thousands of guns they allowed to walk to Mexico which have been used by real drug criminals to kill hundreds of innocent Mexican citizens and one US Border agent.  Only the NRA has kept the flames fanned on that slowly dying investigation.

But I digress; we must wait while Washington debates that all important magazine question.  About as useful as all the fiscal cliff verbiage…........

[11] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 12-24-2012 at 09:09 AM · [top]

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