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February 20, 2008

"Lax gun control root of problem" Uh-huh.

In the University of Kentucky student paper, The Kentucky Kernel, opinion columnist Linsen Li gives us "Lesson from campus shootings: Lax gun control root of problem" which I include below, with my comments in red.

The tragic shooting at Northern Illinois University on Thursday that left five dead plus the shooter has instigated a new round in the campus concealed-weapon debate.

Just like after the Virginia Tech shooting last year, proponents of concealed weapons jumped onto the story as if it were a godsend. Donning the I-told-you-so attitude, they claim that had students been allowed to carry concealed weapons on NIU's campus, the tragedy would not have happened. Therefore, they conclude, UK and other universities should allow students and faculty to carry concealed weapons legally on campus.

I told you so attitude? Yes. Pearl, MS., Grundy, VA. and others make an "I told you so attitude" quite appropriate.

First of all, the notion that students should carry concealed weapons in class to stop campus shootings is ludicrous. It is the job of the police to protect us from these killers. And many of us would undoubtedly feel safer if the police, rather than gun-carrying students, were handling such a situation.

And I’m sure that there is a policeman in every classroom and on every campus corner 24/7. What? There isn’t? Then how can they protect you?

The police are not there to protect us and have no legal obligation to do so. At least, that’s what the courts have held every time someone says, “The police should have protected me!”T hey are there to investigate and draw the chalk outlines on the floor. Why carry a gun? Because it’s lighter than a policeman. I’d also like to point out that the recent shooting in Kirkwood, MO included two armed police officers among the victims.

If anything, the NIU shooting only increased my confidence in the police's ability to react to and manage school shootings quickly. According to a Friday article on, the NIU police responded within seconds after the first shots were fired and placed the campus under "lockdown situation" four minutes later.

The police arrive at NIU two minutes after they were called (if that's accurate), and that is a very good response time. I’m sure the students in the lecture hall under fire from the murderer were very conforted that they were only being shot at for five or six minutes before the police arrived outside the building. And you got it right. The police "react", but protection requires proactive presence.

As for the “campus lockdown”, there were students who still didn’t know what was happening over 30 minutes after the events were reported to school administrators. Do a little more research and get your facts down.

Anyone not buried under blind zeal for firearms can recognize from these mass shootings that guns, not firearm restrictions, are the root cause of the tragedies. More specifically, irresponsible federal and state gun-control regulations armed these killers to commit atrocious acts of murder.

Yes, those guns just leaped out of storage into the hands of a perfectly innocent person who was compelled by their presence to commit unspeakable acts. If you believe that, you need to seek help. You may be experiencing a psychotic break yourself. I have owned firearms for over 30 years, and none of them have ever compelled me to shoot an innocent person.

Many proponents of gun rights fail to, or more often refuse to, realize that guns already cause too many deaths in this country, especially among our age group.

See above about “guns already cause” and really, consider some therapy.

Firearms caused 21 percent of deaths among people in the 15 to 24 age group, only second to motor vehicle accidents, according to a 2002 report by National Center for Health Statistics.

No, firearms may have been used in those deaths, but firearms didn’t cause any of them. (You’re really starting to sound a little hysterical about this now) And you should know these statistics also include all the gang-on-gang, criminal-kills-criminal, and even deaths of criminals at the hands of police officers.

Banning private ownership of guns would be too radical to be accepted at any level of the government, and it's not necessary. For many Americans, owning guns for hunting, protection or the joy of collecting is deeply rooted in the culture, and that can be respected. Instead, we should look to tighten gun control to prevent potential criminals from accessing these weapons.

What part of “it’s already illegal for these people to have guns” don’t you understand? And would you care to define “potential” criminal? That would be anyone who hasn’t committed a crime, wouldn’t it? You may want to refresh your understanding of due process as enumerated in the Constitution on this “potential” garbage. As I mentioned in a previous post, that darned Constitution just keeps getting in the way.

Loose regulations on firearms and even looser enforcement made these tragic shootings possible. Both shooters from the NIU and Virginia Tech shootings bought their weapons legally despite having histories of mental illness; not only that, they both purchased gun accessories online.

Now, I’ll cut you some slack on “looser enforcement” as Virginia was not supplying mental health information to NICS, but if you would, please tell me which regulations are “loose”. It is more difficult to legally obtain a firearm in this country than any time in it’s history. Of course, those who ignore the law to begin with have absolutely no difficulty whatsoever illegally obtaining guns from unregulated sources.

When people with alarming backgrounds can purchase murdering weapons legally at the click of a button, no one in this country should feel safe.

There you go again. Weapons don’t murder. People murder. There is not one single pistol, revolver, rifle or shotgun serving time for a murder conviction in any jail in the entire world. And you really show your ignorance with that “at the click of a button” comment. Even if you purchase a firearm from an out of state dealer via the Internet, the firearm must be shipped to a Federal Firearms Licensee in your state who will transfer the firearm to you after you fill out the required Federal (and state and local, if applicable)paperwork and pass the NICS background check.

More importantly, because the weapons available to these criminals include multi-shot shotguns and handguns with high-capacity magazines, these killers were able to murder innocent people on a mass scale.

Shotguns with higher than two-round capacity should be outlawed in all of the United States. Such action may bring some minor hindrance to avid hunters, but it would eliminate a fearsome killing tool for the criminals.

At which point all the responsible, law-abiding citizens who would obey the law will be horribly out-gunned by all the criminals who will, by definition, ignore and disobey the law. And you obviously haven’t heard of a concept we like to call “reloading”. Capacity limits had absolutely no effect during the so-called Assault weapons ban, and would have no effect if enacted again.

Handguns are especially dangerous in the hands of criminals because they are easily concealed and have a high round capacity. Hunting and self-protection (with the exception of concealed-weapon carriers) don't require a handgun, and frankly, I am willing to bet that most of the concealed-weapon carriers wanted the license not for self-protection, but for the self-sensed superiority from carrying a gun. Allowing handguns to flow loosely in the market only increases the dangers in our society. Therefore, regulations on handguns should be particularly strict.

Linsen Li, it isn't the handgun that makes the criminal dangerous. The criminal's intent to impose his desires upon me in violation of my rights makes him dangerous.  One is just as dead if stabbed, bludgeoned, or shot. It is not the tool, it is the intent. Personal firearms are used in excess of 2.5 million times a year for personal protection. Gee, it’s a good thing that when attacked by a criminal, those responsible, law-abiding citizens were carrying those guns because of the sense of superiority it gave them.

Allowing guns on campus is not the answer to campus shootings - tightening gun control is. If the politicians can only look beyond campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association's lobbyists, they'll see that the reckless handling of gun control must be stopped.

Yes, let’s just keep doing more of what has never worked. In spite of the hard evidence that arms in the hands of responsible, law-abiding adults reduces violent crime, let’s move in the other direction and create more sheep for the wolves to slaughter. Park your emotions and do some research before you write your next article, you being a journalist and all.

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