Monday, April 23, 2007

"Gun Free Zones" are Logic Free Zones

This is so simple. Look at the man above and ask yourself, is he going to abide by any gun control law? The answer to that question is the core issue regarding the efficacy (or lack thereof) of such laws. If Cho Seung Hui thought nothing of violating Virginia's murder laws dozens of times, and Virginia's attempted murder laws dozens of times, what on God's green earth makes delusional gun control advocates believe that Cho would not violate any of Virginia's gun control laws?

I'm sure you have all heard the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. This definition truly applies to the people out there in the New York Times and the "gun safety" groups like the Brady Campaign and the Violence Policy Center. After every massacre where an evil mass-murdering gunman slays multiple unarmed victims who are cowering in paralyzing fear or are trying in vain to outrun a bullet, these anti-gun organizations predictably call for even more gun control.

One such gun control law that played a major part in last week's murder and mayhem was the one that forbade anyone on a Virginia school campus - students, faculty, or administration - from possessing a firearm. This law designated campuses like Virginia Tech as "Gun Free Zones". That worked out really well, now didn't it?

This law against guns on Virginia campuses was passed in the wake of another campus rampage back in January of 2002. A disgruntled student killed three people and wounded three people at Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia. What is ironic is that the body count could have been much worse were it not for two students who, independent of each other, ran to their cars, retrieved their firearms, and used them to subdue the shooter. This part of the story was either not mentioned by the media, or tepidly mentioned at best. Usually, media articles merely mentioned that the shooter was "subdued" by other students, and never mentioned the defensive use of firearms.

The bottom line is that you are never going to be able to keep guns out of the hands of criminals who are willing to break our laws. Pandora's Box was opened for firearms a long time ago, and you cannot close it. What you can do is not pass laws that give criminals free reign to do as they please in an disarmed society. Contrary to popular belief, the "Wild West" of 19th century lore was actually a very peaceful time and place. Violent crime was restricted to a few locations among a small demographic of young men. Otherwise, wanton murder like we often see today was almost unheard of because criminals knew, for instance, that to simply insult a woman, never mind rape or mug her, would mean probable death at the hands of law abiding citizens. Like the old quote goes, an armed society is a polite society.

I also chuckle at these gun control zealots who wring their hands over the "easy availability" of guns today. Are you kidding me? Do you know how easy it was to legally get your hands on a gun before about 40 years ago? My father once told me a tale from his childhood that shows just how available guns used to be. In the town in which he grew up in Oklahoma in the late 1940s/early 1950s, the local hardware store had a barrel full of surplus .45 pistols from World War II. Buying one of those pistols was as easy as grabbing one out of the barrel and plunking down $10 at the cash register. Once upon a time, guns were much more available, yet gun crimes were just a fraction of what they are now. What changed? Among other cultural factors, gun control became much more stringent starting in the late 1960s. Who loves gun control? Tyrants and criminals. If you outlaw guns, tyrants and criminals are the only people who will still possess them. That is not a society in which I want to live.

Something else is sticking in my craw about all this. In several blogs, articles, and political cartoons, I keep seeing this smarmy sarcastic comment that describes Cho Seung Hui as "exercising his 2nd Amendment rights". Here is an example from a blogger I otherwise respect very much. This is an inaccurate and absurd statement. Far from exercising his rights, Cho was grossly abusing and violating that right. The right to bear arms is necessary to carry out the right to defend yourself from tyranny and crime. Cho was defending no one. The travesty of all this is that Cho's victims were not allowed to exercise their 2nd Amendment right to possess a firearm for the purpose of defending themselves and others. You must also understand that we don't have the "2nd Amendment right" to do anything. We all possessed the right to bear arms long before the 2nd Amendment was written. All that amendment does - just like the other amendments - is affirm to our government that it may not take away or violate the God-given rights which we possess from birth.

One more thing: It is so easy to remember the perpetrator of these vicious mass-murders, but it can be difficult to remember all the victims who were mass-murdered. They are the ones who should be remembered. The victims of the Virginia Tech shooting can be seen and honored here. God Bless them all and their families, and if you could ask these victims, I wonder how many of them would have wanted to be armed when Cho Seung Hui stormed into their classroom?

Good Day to You, Sir