Day by Day Cartoon by Chris Muir

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Editorial and response

Saw this in the Beloit Daily News this morning:

Today is not a day to discuss gun control.
Six months haven’t passed since the horrific shootings in Aurora, the Sikh temple, the Milwaukee spa, the Oregon Mall or the Connecticut school. Opponents of gun control say we can’t make rational decisions about gun laws in the emotional wake of each national shooting tragedy like Columbine, Virginia Tech or Tucson. So we must not even think about gun control until June 14th, 2013.

Our founding fathers approved the 2nd amendment and believed that Americans should be armed. Thomas Jefferson wrote, ”No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” The weapon of our founding fathers was the musket, difficult to reload, inaccurate and it took a man’s weight in lead musket balls to kill him. Opponents of gun control claim that our founding fathers had the foresight to imagine the killing power of semi automatic weapons.

What can we do today to prevent more shootings from happening so that we can discuss gun control?

Opponents of gun control claim that if the theater-goers in Aurora were armed, the carnage would have been minimal. While it did nothing to stop the Sikh temple and beauty salon shootings, Wisconsin recently allowed concealed carry.

So I present this modest proposal: Require all school children and teachers to be armed. Imagine if the kindergartners in Connecticut had been armed. No insane individual would think of attacking them.

Sure schools might experience a few gun battles in the halls or the occasional playground gunfight but any children who survive armed schools would have an understanding of gun violence and (unlike adults) the good judgement and common sense to enact gun control as soon as they could vote. But today is not a good day to discuss gun control.
John Pickart

My response - we'll see if it gets printed:

Mr. Pickart of Beloit writes that we must arm all teachers and children in our schools to prevent further tragedies like Sandy Hook.

He states that we can't make rational decisions while in the heat of passion. I agree. Reading his letter, I am reminded of how so many liberals are so quick to jump on a tragedy involving guns to try and urge yet more useless "gun control" laws.

He points out that our Founders used muskets. This is true, but they also used rifles - the "assault weapon" of the day - to fight for freedom from oppression. Private parties also mustered their own artillery companies to fight in the Revolution.

He mentions the shooting in Aurora, Colorado as a failure of concealed carry, but fails to mention that the shooter likely chose the theater because of the prominent "NO WEAPONS" signs posted there.

Fire extinguishers do nothing to stop fires unless they are present where the fire is, and if people are trained and willing to use them. Guns are exactly the same thing - safety equipment that is only effective if available for people willing to learn to use them properly.

The fact that 49 states have some sort of concealed carry available, and there have been no incidents of "gun battles in the halls" should put to rest the thought that teachers and school staff, properly trained and willing to take on the responsibility of being armed and prepared will cause mayhem. On the contrary, they might end the attack before the shooter runs out of ammunition - as happened when Nick Meli pulled his concealed gun in the Clackamas Town Center mall in Oregon and stopped the shooter without firing a shot earlier this month.

Hyperbole is fine in satire. School shootings and self-protection are not suitable subjects for satire.

Chuck Kuecker

Note:  Mr. Barth of the BDN responded to my last letter to him - perhaps he will print it in all it's wordy glory...

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