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The Ignorance is Sometimes Just Too Astounding

Through the course of any given day I get a lot of editorials coming across my inbox that advocate for gun control. I ignore the vast majority of them, unless I see a new pattern, a new angle, or it’s exceptionally well done. If it’s just your standard tripe, which is most of them, I tend to ignore it. But occasionally, you’ll find an op-ed that is not so standard tripe. This turd glistens and gleans like few others:

Columbine High School in Colorado. Thirty-two killed at Virginia Tech. Last month, it was the shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, where investigators questioned whether a better system for background checks could have averted the killings.

It came up again last week, when four police officers were gunned down at a diner in Washington State.

The Columbine kids broke a number of federal gun laws to get their guns. They used a straw purchaser, who could clear the background check, to buy their guns and transfer to them. That is what is known as a felony. How would making it more illegal help? The killer at Virginia Tech cleared the background check too, but that problem is already been fixed. Hasan was not on the terror watch list, and had no criminal background. How would any changes in the law have prevented that? The killer in Washington State was a convicted felon. It’s already a 10 year felony for him to possess a firearm. How can we make it more illegal?

At the same time, we wonder why anyone needs a handgun, which exists simply to kill people. And, for the most part, handguns are in the possession of people bearing bad thoughts and bad attitudes. Almost three-quarters of gun homicides in our country are committed with handguns.

Wow, you know, all those matches we run at my club with handguns must be a figment of my imagination, then, if they are only “meant to kill.” Also, if killing in all circumstances is wrong, and a stain on society, then why do we allow police to carry handguns? The police aren’t murdering thugs, are they?

One common excuse is regular folks need handguns to protect themselves from the bad guys. Did being armed protect those four police officers in Tacoma?

So by that logic, we should strip firearms from all police officers, right? Since they are completely and obviously useless for self-defense. This one situation obviously proves it!

Governments have tried. The attempts include: restricting firearms purchasing by youths; setting waiting periods for firearm purchases; establishing gun “buy-back” programs; restricting gun shows; issuing stiff sentencing of gun law violators and educating everyone about firearm safety.

None of these efforts has worked.

As tough economic times add to the stresses on everyone, it might be a good time to revisit the handgun issue. There are laws in place — in Michigan and across the country. It is time to make those laws tougher — before someone gets killed in the Quay Street parking lot.

We’ve tried all these things, and none of them have worked, so clearly we just need to redouble our efforts. Some of those things have clearly not worked, but some of them have. We know that cracking down on criminals lowers crime. We know adding police officers to the streets lowers crime. We also know that gun safety education works, since we’ve seen gun accidents decline while the number of guns has gone up.

The op-ed says they want to find a way to preserve the Second Amendment, but seems to be open to the idea of a handgun ban to accomplish that. How does the Times Herald reconcile that? How do they reconcile that with DC v. Heller? You can’t just say “make the law stricter.” How is this going to work? There’s a lot questions the editorial board is clearly not thinking seriously about, at the least, and at worst isn’t thinking about at all.

13 Responses to “The Ignorance is Sometimes Just Too Astounding”

  1. Pete says:

    “And, for the most part, handguns are in the possession of people bearing bad thoughts and bad attitude”

    Well my mother always said I had a bad attitude….I guess the excellent investigative journalists at this newspaper caught onto my nefarious scheme.

  2. Bob S. says:

    Guess math isn’t a strong point of the writer.

    270,000,000 firearms and approximately 500,000 firearm related crimes a year yet “for the most part, handguns are in the possession of people bearing bad thoughts and bad attitude”

    Even if we stipulate that every firearm related crime is done by a different person and a different firearm, I never realized that 0.185% meant “for the most part”. Astounding.

  3. BobG says:

    That editorial is so amazingly uninformed and illogical that it is not even worth a good fisking.

  4. Weer'd Beard says:

    BobS. Your ownership number is likely VERY low. It was 300 Million a few years ago, and people have been buying guns like crazy, so I suspect its a bit more than that right now.

  5. Dogboy49 says:

    Your ‘gleaming turd’ statement cracked me up.

  6. starviego says:

    ”The Columbine kids broke a number of federal gun laws to get their guns. They used a straw purchaser, who could clear the background check, to buy their guns and transfer to them.”

    This was true for only one of their weapons–a double barrel shotgun. The police claimed they also purchased a hi-point 9mm rifle and a pump action shotgun at the same gun show, but never identified who sold them these two guns, or how the transaction was completed.

  7. Matthew Carberry says:

    One of the Columbine young men (neither were kids or children) turned 18 several months prior to the crime. He could have legally purchased any number of long guns in plenty of time.

    Just like the millions of 18 year olds who could and do buy long guns legally and never commit crimes with them.

  8. Weer'd Beard says:

    Matthew, I believe both columbine punks had prior convictions, so no they couldn’t.

  9. JKB says:

    Well, wearing body armor didn’t protect the officers in Washington either. We must concede that if you are sitting in a coffee shop, doing paperwork or studying, chatting with friends and coworkers, and someone comes up out of the blue and shoots you in the head, well, your firearm is not going to protect you. Turns out the officers were not as vigilant as the could have been, because, you know, they weren’t in Israel or Iraq. Guess what, every officer in the country has stepped up their off duty/patrol scanning of their environment.

  10. I am still floored that four officers could be taken down by one opponent as (apparently) easy as that.

    I have known only two LEOs in my lifetime, and while I could see one of them being that un-aware of his environment, the other (my Uncle Joe) I couldn’t see EVER being suprised in that manner. He was the first person to ever talk to me about situational awareness.

    I know that LEOs don’t tend to be “gun people” as much as one would think, but amongst my “gun people” friends there would never be four of us in one place without having at least one paranoid in the group. And no, I don’t mean paranoid like paranoid delusional, I mean paranoid like being extra watchful, never sitting with back to the door, and either prefering corners where all enterances can be watched or always sitting near an avenue of exit. (please note that I am often the token paranoid).

    I always thought that LEOs would have a like number of paranoids. Guess I was wrong or this was an odd case. Maybe paranoids don’t mix with non-paranoids in Law Enforcement as easily as they do in gun culture.

    s

  11. Matthew Carberry says:

    Weer’d,

    Thanks, I seem to recall having read on a gun blog they would have been lawful purchasers prior to the crime so the “closing the gun show loophole would have stopped it” argument was more nonsensical than usual.

    Stuart,

    I can’t fault the cops one iota. I don’t know how even paranoid gun guy “extra vigilence” would necessarily make a difference. If you are sitting in a diner booth chatting or doing paperwork, you know, behaving like a normal human being versus somehow already (or always) being in red, and a calm man walking by, betraying no violence cues, suddenly draws on you and starts making head shots. No one is that fast on the draw in reaction and certainly not from a Level 3 holster sitting down with no warning.

    Face it, for all our talk of awareness, sometimes the other guy isn’t going to give you any clues, he’ll be on top of you and you’ll be behind the ball from “go”.

    What’s amazing isn’t that they were taken by surprise, no one is that good, but rather that the one officer managed to react, probably already wounded to the head, AFTER the shooting started.

  12. Patrick says:

    “At the same time, we wonder why anyone needs a handgun, which exists simply to kill people.”

    “One common excuse is regular folks need handguns to protect themselves from the bad guys. Did being armed protect those four police officers in Tacoma?”

    So the anti’s want to play that game? Fine:

    Anyone remember the North Hollywood shoot-out? Two thugs armed with full-auto rifles got into a shoot-out with police. The only fatalities ended up being the two thugs. Based on this one instance, obviously full-auto rifles are useless in the hands of criminals and thus I should be allowed to buy them like I would any other rifle. :D

  13. Harrson says:

    I like that one, Patrick – I’ll have to remember it.

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