Three random mass murders in less than a month. Jiverly Voong kills 13 in Binghamton, NY. Robert Stewart kills 8 at Pinelake Heath and Rehab in Carthage, N.C. Michael McLendon kills 10 in Kinson and Samson, Alabama. The pictures and stories make you sick to your stomach. It prompts a reader to question me about what “I would do” to stop mass murders if I’m against any kind of gun ban, registration, etc.
Well … let’s see if there’s one common denominator in mass killings we can legislate against, such as a particular type of weapon:
Voong did his mass killings with legally registered pistols (like Cho @ Virginia Tech) bought in one of the most anti-gun states we have.
Stewart did his killing with “accepted” hunting type rifles (a shotgun and a “deer gun” — details aren’t revealed) as did Charles Whitman when he killed 14 people from a tower in Austin, TX . (NOTE: Semi-automatic rifles actually ARE used frequently for hunting, but they are not what most people would call a “deer rifle”)
McLendon had semi-automatic rifles (an SKS and an AR-15), but he was not as effective in his rampage as Voong or Cho with pistols or Timothy McVeigh and his fertilizer truck or the 9/11 hijackers and their box cutters.
So who would an AWB have stopped? McLendon would have had to choose different weapons if he didn’t have connections to the black market (and would a man who burned his own mother’s body have been set back by the non-availability of a certain rifle type?), but the others would not have been phased in the least.
A total gun ban? It might have slowed some of these people up, but as we can see from all the non-gun mass murders from around the world, including the worst US School Mass Murder, when a person crosses the line to wanting to kill indiscriminately it’s what’s in their heart that matters, not what is in their hand.
The bottom line is, there is NOT a weapons law or “sensible” gun law that will stop people from being murderers. There were mass murders before gun’s were even invented and they will continue, as they have in other countries with repressive gun control, such as the man in Japan who killed 7 at a school with a knife.
The anti-gun groups, of course, come out with their normal mantra of the laws we need after each incident, but don’t bother to reconcile them with what actually happened or admit their laws wouldn’t have mattered. Although since McLendon used a semi-automatic rifle the Brady Campaign did their normal happy dance with victims held high, saying:
“This man needed the firepower of assault weapons to execute his plan of mass carnage. Alabama, and our nation, must take action to make it harder for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons,” said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign.
There is no mention above as to how, in the world the Brady’s fight for, where law abiding people are disarmed and any guns they are allowed to own are locked tightly away, McLendon would have been less dangerous with a “normal” shotgun or bolt action rifle. Certainly Stewart had no problem killing at will with the non-”assault weapons” he had.
I think we have to look at the issue of violence committed with guns the way we do drunk driving and the tens of thousands who die in car accidents every year; an effort that has actually had results, unlike all the gun bans they anti-gun groups have pushed for that have had no effect, such as the gun bans in Chicago and DC and the 10 year AWB.
Cars are a necessity in the United States, and are a symbol of our national success and freedom loving lifestyle — as are guns. And yet misuse of cars results in tens of thousands of dead every year — as do guns, though about half as many as cars (and that’s if you include suicides).
But we don’t have a “Mothers Against Cars” group, we have a “Mother’s Against Drunk Drivers” group. And they push for safety measure for cars, higher penalties for people who drive drunk, etc. All quite sensible. Because “Mothers Against Cars” wouldn’t make sense; everyone knows that it’s not the cars going out and killing people (duh!).
But when it comes to “gun violence,” all of the mis-named “anti-violence groups” focus not on the people, but on the tool. And they push for the same mantra of laws no matter what happens. Terrorists caught planning a machine gun assault on a NJ army base? Well … machine guns are already outlawed, as are semi-automatic rifles in NJ, so use this averted tragedy to ban .50 caliber rifles — too large and slow firing for the planned assault and never even under consideration, but who cares? Mass Murders with pistols? Fight for “one gun a month” and limits on semi-automatic rifles even though they didn’t stop the killing itself (Cho lived under “one gun a month” in Virginia).
So the Brady campaign fights for gun bans, ignores mass murders that don’t support their agenda, revels in the ones that do, and tries to create for people a world of fear and paranoia where any American who picks up a gun may become a murderer.
But the question was … what would I do?
Well … just like with cars, I’d look at how to punish those who abuse their freedoms and protect those who use them responsibly. In a world where every criminal and killer can find a gun easily (which is the case regardless of gun control laws), concealed carry for responsible citizens just makes sense. It’s an empowerment for citizens and a force multiplier for the police and means that when a mass murderer breaks loose he will NOT find helpless victims everywhere he goes.
But I WOULD NOT fight to take away an important civil liberty from a nation that has held it responsibly for better than 200 years. And I wouldn’t disarm law abiding American citizens, who use firearms for defense of their families tens of thousands of times a year, because I know from the history of this country and others that gun bans have almost no effect on criminals. That would be despicable.
And make a world less safe in the long run, as in when my daughters inherit it.