MORE GUNS

MORE GUNS

Bill Maher tonight rightly observed that had last nights Illinois gunman been a Moslem (after killing five, himself and wounding 17 more) our response to this traumatic event would’ve been vastly different. Can you imagine? Think on it.

Few can experientially relate to a present concern; the return of our soldiers from their deployment, some dealing with PTSD. Not having walked in their boots makes PTSD a mystery to civilians. But I think many who watched interviews of students, the survivors of yesterday’s horror were offered a window into the mental disruption of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.. Each student witnessed a moment that called their very existence into question. Those kids will struggle in the coming days – with images, feelings of fear and panic and helplessness, sadness for the unlucky victims and wonder at their own survival. Each student was forced to confront just how random and capricious life and death is. That,you should manage to grasp.

I think I got clear about something tonight. “However much I differ with the Right on so many issues, I still have far more in common with any supporting gun ownership than those wanting to limit our access to certain weapons.” The Illinois Campus Police arrived within seconds after receiving 911 calls… yet affected the outcome not at all. Without a student legally permitted to carry a firearm and seated in that classroom it could have ended in no other way.

Such recent events suggest only two outcomes:
1. The gunman takes his own life…
2. The gunman is neutralized by an armed presence on the scene.

There simply isn’t time. Anyone intending to kill (randomly or specifically) and then take his own life is pretty much impossible to stop. And his motive is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter whether it’s about politics or psychosis or martyrdom. There simply isn’t enough reaction time to matter. Help is not on the way.

Unless there is someone within that room. Someone capable, someone willing to confront such an adversary…and someone armed. Most ‘suiciders’ will think twice, knowing they’ll face victims that might be both armed and unwilling to be victimized.

Many will choose not to bear arms…or even own them. That is their right. Those of us who want a say in our own well-being deserve an equal hearing. We all have the fundamental right to self-defense. ARE WE NOT MEN?

Acts with firearms that were criminal yesterday will still be criminal tomorrow. I suspect some types of crime will become less frequent. But be clear that there will be more deaths from firearms in the future. There are deaths daily in America from firearms. There will always be deaths in America from firearms. Firearms are deadly.
But they’re not nearly as dangerous as our present system (which generally restricts the right of upstanding citizens to bear arms) because our system is unable to prevent those with bad intentions from acquiring their own weapons and ammunition.

There will always be firearms in this country, readily available and for sale to those “in the market”, whatever their intentions. To argue this point is rather pointless – you get it or you don’t. Either the state assumes responsibility for each citizen’s well-being or the individual citizen assumes that task.

We can ask much of our state but we must also each be willing to share the load, when and wherever we can. It seems reasonable and responsible to encourage legislation that will allow US citizens, male and female, of military age (whether deployed in Baghdad or attending classes at their local college) to be licensed, trained and issued a concealed carry permit…if they request it and they fulfill specific and existing gun possession requirements.

This isn’t just about colleges. These events happen in malls, hotels, sporting events – anywhere crowds congregate. Police can’t be everywhere, unless police are EVERYWHERE. They call that a ‘police state’…and I don’t think many of you will like IT.

So bite the bullet, you gun-haters and advocate for the Pyrrhic choice: LET THE PEOPLE BEAR ARMS. The next time (and you know there will be a next time…) that some off-med misanthrope starts shooting – who is then taken down by an armed victim – a voice inside most of us will cheer, “Yeah! Right on! Way to go! Thanks!”

I’ll bet you.

2/15/08