Save the Gun Control Propaganda

by Sal on April 18, 2007

in Politics

Before I get on to the topic of this post, let me first give everyone here a few seconds to recover from the shock of seeing a post authored by me. 

 OK, recovered yet?  Yes, it’s been six weeks since my last post, during which time I moved into a new house; needless to say it’s been rather hectic.

 In the wake of the awful tragedy of the Virginia Tech shootout, the predictable propaganda has been started regarding gun control.  Yes, it’s true that Cho Seung-Hui bought his guns legally.  He is one to slip through the cracks.  There is no way of knowing that he would be a killer, and stopping him from purchasing a gun probably would not have prevented this tragedy.  People kill by far more diverse means than guns.  The two biggest terrorist attacks our country ever faced were both done without the use of Guns (9/11 and Oklahoma City).  Truth is, countries that do not outlaw guns have a much lower gun violence rate.  Virginia Tech was labeled a “Gun-free zone”.  Guns were not allowed on the campus.  If they had been, isn’t it possible that another, law-abiding student carrying a gun would have been able to stop Hui?  I’m reminded of a situation in Texas (can’t site it, if anyone remembers, please let me know) where some students stopped another such tragedy by brandishing their own guns. 

So what do we do about gun violence?  It is a serious problem and one that needs to be addressed seriously, even as we uphold the individual’s right to bear arms.  Boston-area radio talk show host Jay Sevrin had it right, I think, when he suggested that anyone who uses a gun in the act of committing a crime — whether fired or not — should automatically get30 years in prison, without the possibility of parole.  Anyone who injures or kills another with a gun should get the death penalty or life without the possibility of parole in solitary confinement.  

When looking at this issue, we need to look more at what really caused this tragedy — a disturbed 23-year old student who had it in his mind to kill.  The gun was the instrument of his evil, not the cause.   

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

madmouser April 18, 2007 at 7:46 am

You are exactly right. He would have killed even if guns were completely banned in this country. He would have bought the guns on the black market or filled his car with fertilizer and parked alongside a building full of students and exploded like the Oklahoma City bombing. More lives would have been lost had that been the case.

We cannot stop evil altogether, but we can try to recognize it before it has had a chance to develop into a hideous tragedy.

When we cannot detect it in time, we can grieve as a nation, and aid and assist any and all in need of consoling and comforting. Then, gently move about the business of the day.


Rightonoz April 18, 2007 at 7:57 pm

Sorry guys, this is the attitude that makes the US such a perceived violent society. Have to say, to the rest of the world you seem stuck in the cowboy mentality. To say he would have killed regardless is a large stretch and at this stage no fact whatsoever to support that.

Ever thought why the US has by far the greatest number of such incidents. It’s simple, the ready availability of firearms.

I know your constitution etc, however that was framed at a time when invasion was a real possibility and an armed militia was essential. Times have changed and the original architects of the constitution did not and could not forsee the changes ahead. So your constitution may need re-writing. It’s not the only ammendment that has been twisted far beyond anything the founders had in mind.

Yes, we had a horrendous massacre down here several years ago, only our second or third in our 200 year history. We’ve never had ready availabilty of firearms and handguns are banned. It resulted in tighter gun control and the majority of society applauds.

The biggest problem with ready gun availbility is that and this is a perfect case. The guy met all the criteria. We as humans are not infallable and do, when stressed beyond our ability to cope snap and act totally out of our normal character. If the gun is readily available, the obvious happens. Now having said that, most of us can recognise when we are stressed towards our limits and try to ease off, take a break, however there are those of us who’s control limits are far shorter and more explosive. Without comprehensive Psyc, that’s next to impossible to predict. As for your example of Texas, ok that one worked, but it could have ended up in a great shootout with even more people killed in the crossfire.

Sorry guys, but the US is on it’s own with the gun mentality (apart from numerous totalitarian and lawless states), just as you are the only civilised country to sanction state murder of it’s own citizens. (4th in executions behind China, Iran, Saudi Arabia – all good company?). Sorry guys. love the US, but in those two areas I do believe you’ve lost the plot. Not intended as a person insult, just plain speeking.


Mike April 18, 2007 at 9:43 pm

Hi Oz:

“Ever thought why the US has by far the greatest number of such incidents.”

Population perhaps? We have 259 million people. Even nations with higher crime rates will have fewer incidents. Your missing a number of other factors. Some nations with gun control have lower crime rates and some are higher. The converse is also true. For example, in the UK, where the gun laws are stricter, there is a lower crime rate. That would appear to support your argument. However, Switzerland has universal gun ownership, yet they have a pretty low crime rate. There are a number of factors. Blaming guns alone really misses the point.

But let’s focus on guns. Study after study (in America, this is an American problem we’re discussing) have shown that violent crime rates plummet in jurisdictions which relax gun restrictions and increases in jurisdictions which increases the level of gun restrictions. In the U.S., gun control does not work. The facts are simply not on your side on this one Oz.


Jewels April 19, 2007 at 8:23 am

I agree with Sal on this one. I don’t think gun control is the answer. I’m not a “cowgirl” happy person, but I do believe that we need to examine the cause of what caused an individual to behave in such an evil, violent way and not worry about the “instrument for the evil.” All the reports thus far point to the fact that this young man was extremely disturbed. He is culpable, and no one else is to blame. However, this incident reaffirms the need for all of us in a world community to strive for early intervention. There were lots of warning signs that this kid was a time-bomb. For example, he took pictures of fellow students in class and wrote extremely disturbing poetry to the point where only seven kids out of seventy showed up for a lecture because they were so afraid of him. He is to blame, but I feel that families and schools need to focus on the social-emotional component and spiritual growth of the individual as much as the academic piece.


Noonan's wife April 19, 2007 at 2:51 pm

I think you have to accept reasonable restrictions on any right. Yes, as promised in the Constitution, people have the right to bear arms, and many people have legitimate reasons for owning and using them. You cannot take away a man’s right to defend himself, his family, or his home.

However, in this case, we are not talking about rifles and handguns. We are talking about an automatic weapon designed to kill as many people as possible in as short a period of time as possible. That is where I question a blanket right to bear arms.

This boy could certainly have found other legal ways to commit his crimes. But, do we have to make it easy for him? Why does someone need a weapon like THAT unless they are on a battlefield?

I am not saying we need a blanket ban on guns, knives, or other items capable of atrocities. But, is it that unfair to have REASONABLE restrictions on the type of weapon you can own?

A government’s main purpose is to keep its citizens safe. You cannot stamp out evil in the world, but you don’t have to make it easy for a 23 year old lunatic to buy an automatic weapon and murder 30 people in less than 5 minutes.


PeterK March 14, 2011 at 11:14 am

I think the issue is not guns but gun control. It is certainly not population, murders/violent crime are measured in incidents per 100,000. There are many countries where guns are very prevalent but murder rates are not as high, I will use Canada as an example as thats where I live. I know many people with guns, I believe we are in the top 15 gun owning nations (Switzerland is # 3 by the way). The big difference is these are primarily hunting rifles, no automatic weapons and no hand guns. If you purchase a gun you don’t pick it up for 48 hours, the gun shop is regulated to do the necasary background checks. This keeps the guns in the hands of the sane/law abiding.


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