I’m still trying to wrap my head around what happened December 14th. My thoughts are all over the place, chasing my emotions like a cat after a laser.
I stopped watching the coverage early on, preferring to stay on social media sites. That may have been a tactical error. I think it was just as damaging to my emotional state as following the coverage. I’m glad though that we don’t have cable or OTA TV reception here.
I was called a tool yesterday, and told I had blood on my hands, just because I’m a gun owner. Some were calling for the murder of NRA members and leaders. I’m assuming the irony of their comments escaped them. I wonder if their employers monitor their social media usage? I wonder if the police should? It seems to me that calling for murder like that or offering to murder is a sociopathic thing to do, and don’t we agree that sociopaths should be locked up for everyone’s safety?
Even before we knew anything about the guns used in the attack, one person I know posted “NRA supporters, it’s time to speak up about how to keep guns out of the hands of crazy people. Suggestions, please, or the rest of us cannot take you seriously.” Yet when I did post some suggestions and asked some hard questions, I was accused of “trotting out the NRA party line.” If we really want to have reasoned conversations about violence, shouldn’t we be willing to suspend inflammatory comments?
Bryon Quertermous brought up a great point early on.
Before we point fingers about a culture of violence, we need to look at ourselves and how we crave every gory detail from events like this.
— Bryon Quertermous (@bryonq) December 14, 2012
Lenore Skenazy and Ken Tucker both refined it. I read somewhere yesterday that China has instituted limits on coverage of such events (and they’ve had more than their share of school attacks). I’m not suggesting that the US impose China-like controls on the media – that heads down a scary path. But it’d be nice if the MSM showed some more maturity. Is there any good reason to interview an 8-year-old child about something they probably don’t really understand yet? What would happen if a producer said “Go interview that kid,” and the reporter said “No?”
One of the things I started suggesting on Twitter (that likely preceded the blood on my hands comment) was that we take a lesson from Israel and the airlines.
Once we hardened cockpit doors following 9/11, we started allowing certain pilots to join the Federal Flight Deck Officer program. This allowed them to carry firearms with them aboard the aircraft, to give them a last line of defense in the event of a cockpit breach. There were naysayers suggesting that pilots had too much to do and couldn’t handle the stress of carrying a firearm, or that it would be unsafe for them to do so. Yet the program has worked. There haven’t been many major issues that affected public safety, and there haven’t been any cockpit breach attempts.
When I suggested the same thing, I was told it was a horrible idea to arm teachers, that kids would get the guns, and that the better solution was to take guns away from everyone.
I’m not suggesting we arm every teacher. Many probably don’t want to carry a gun, and that’s fine. Some probably shouldn’t carry a gun, but if that’s true, why are we allowing them to teach? That’s a question for another day. But why are so many districts refusing to have this discussion? Yes, it’s scary to contemplate having to consider the idea. But is it any less scary to contemplate burying 20 kids a week before Christmas? We trust the government to protect our kids while they’re in school. So why won’t the government take more steps to protect them?
Some suggest that concealed weapon carriers would only make the situation worse. But in the two most recent examples where CCW carriers were present, they didn’t shoot. The man in Arizona realized that the situation didn’t call for a gun when he arrived. The man in Clackamas had a clear shot at the gunman, but didn’t shoot. Because of innocent people in the background. Both showed very responsible behavior, as have others in the past.
Now to address the extreme suggested often yesterday: a gun ban.
How are you going to do it?
Estimates are that there are 200,000,000 privately-owned guns in the US today. At an average value of $450, that’s $90,000,000,000 – Billion that you’re going to have to come up with to cover taking property from legal owners. None of this “Here’s a gift card for fifty bucks of groceries” crap. Pay the owner fair market value for what you’re taking from him by force.
Now that you’ve taken all the privately-owned guns and practically bankrupted the government in the process, what are you going to do about the government-owned guns? Because they get stolen or lost all the time.
The answer is that unless you can get rid of all the guns in the world instantly, it’s not going to work. There will always be evil people in the world, bent on maiming or killing innocent people. You can’t legislate them away, or hug them away. Sometimes, the only way to deal with them is to kill them. And the cops don’t have a duty to protect you as an individual.
I’ll close with a profound quote I read profound many years ago, from Patrick Bedard. I can’t recall the exact circumstances behind it, but I suspect it was a similar situation.
You may think you can legislate away one guy’s nutty hobby, and another’s peculiar fascination and still have a free country when you want to fall back on it. But you can’t. The glue that holds America together is a shared enthusiasm for freedom. ~ Patrick Bedard
Keep the comments civil. But please do comment.