NEVER BEEN SHOOTING? Would you like to try it?
An offer for Louisville Metro area residents.

If you have never been shooting, are 21 years old or older and not otherwise barred by state or federal law from purchasing or possessing a firearm, I'd like to invite you to the range. I will provide firearms, ammunition, range fees, eye and hearing protection and basic instruction.

(Benefactor Member of the NRA, member of KC3, former NRA firearms instructor, former Ky CCDW instructor)

Email me if you are interested in taking me up on this offer. Five (5) people already have.

February 6, 2008

He's sooooo close!

From the Frederick News Post Online comes this editorial from D.C Rice. Mr. Rice takes common sense approach here that others would do well to emulate.  Though he is still missing the mark on some things, for example, thinking that Nebraska's gun laws are "relatively lax", he's getting close.

Warning Sign

The case against a citizen’s right to own a gun is sometimes accompanied by the suggestion of adding more legislation to the current crop of laws that are already on the books.

Gun rights supporters, however, often respond by mentioning that those with bad intentions won’t be dissuaded no matter how many laws are passed.

A short time ago, Americans once again witnessed a senseless shooting from a troubled individual. This time, the shooter was 19-year-old Robert A. Hawkins and the setting was the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska. Nine people, including Hawkins, fell that day in an attack that police labeled both “premeditated” yet “very random and without provocation.” As I understand it, Hawkins went on his reprehensible rampage just because he felt like it.

Nebraska’s gun laws, by some people’s standards, are relatively lax since the state allows its citizens to carry concealed weapons. Some will undoubtedly point to the leniency of such laws with an “A-ha!” If there were stricter standards, then this and every other shooting that’s ever occurred, would’ve never taken place. Or so the logic must go.

But, I’ve yet to really understand any of the dissenters’ reasoning. More laws won’t automatically force others to behave. Strengthening punishments and leveling them swiftly probably has a chance, but due to the absurdity of those who always prefer to protect a criminal’s rights, not to mention our somewhat slow-moving justice system, swift and harsh punishments will likely never exist.

At any rate, I don’t know if Hawkins obtained his firearm legally or not, and, frankly, I don’t care. Someone that troubled, that suicidal and that unstable was going to find some kind of weapon one way or another, regardless of whatever waiting periods or background checks he would’ve had to go through.

Lost in all the coverage following that tragic day, however, were the rules and regulations that actually were in place that, theoretically, should’ve prevented such a terrible action. An article on shortly after the incident turned their readers’ attentions toward a little detail that wasn’t very prominent throughout the media outlets that chose to cover this story.

The mall was a gun-free zone. Probably not the most earth-shattering tidbit that any news organization could reveal nor is it a status that’s unique to just the Westroads Mall. Yet it’s still a point that’s at least worth bringing into the discussion.

Despite the rule, this tragedy still occurred. It’s my understanding, and I’m sure someone out there will correct me if I’m wrong, that criminals don’t live by the same honor code that the rest of society follows. I’m guessing that’s part of the makeup of a criminal mind.

But, perhaps we should just give Hawkins the benefit of the doubt and assume he missed the gun-free sign. I’m sure had he seen it, he would’ve turned around and went home.

Or, more likely, he was well aware of the laws and rules he was about to break and didn’t care what happened to anybody, as evidenced by the number of rounds he fired and the suicide note he left behind.

Sadly, as was certainly evidenced in this case, like many similar cases before, if someone was heartless enough to use a gun against another human being, it stands to reason that he’s defiant enough to ignore the posted signs or established anti-gun laws.

I don’t necessarily believe owning a gun is somehow morally wrong, though, admittedly, I’m not the biggest gun supporter on the planet.

Personally, I just think a firearm in my hands would be dangerous. I don’t think I have the world’s steadiest hand, and I’ve been known to be a bit clumsy at times. Not the kind of guy anyone would want carrying a gun around out in public.

But many are responsible, law-abiding and, perhaps most importantly, coordinated citizens who should not be punished for the unlawful activity of those who, if more laws are passed, are only going to end up breaking more laws.

If we ever want to begin to solve some of these problems, we need to focus more on correcting the paths of the potentially dangerous and less on limiting the compliant.

1 comment:

Gunscribe said...

Just to note an over cite that most seem to be conveniently forgetting or intentionally ignoring;

The Murdering Bastard that shot up the Van Maur in Omaha acquired his firearm from within the state of Iowa.

In this case it doesn't matter whether Nebraska's Gun Laws are lax or not apparently he was unable to acquire one in the Cornhusker State.