The people who love carrying guns everywhere always talk about “freedom” and “liberty.” If you look at the NRA’s literature or its meetings, the word “freedom” is a constant.
But it’s a very particular form of “freedom”: It’s their freedom to carry guns wherever they want, even it puts a whole lot of other people at risk (thereby, making everyone else less free).
At what point will we as a society recognize that the fundamental freedom to act as we will within the bounds of the law is radically violated by those who insist on carrying weapons with them everywhere they go? If I literally have no idea what minor inconvenience might cause some rage-filled maniac to pull out a gun (that he’s carrying because his “freedom” demands it) and shoot me, in what sense are we free?
Why does some wingnut’s freedom to carry a gun around all day long for no reason trump my freedom to live free from the fear that this wingnut will murder me if I look at him the wrong way at the movies?
If, as a Kentucky state legislator, you “accidentally” discharge your Ruger .380 semiauto handgun in the capitol just before the governor gives a speech there, you can react a few different ways. “Oops, I’m sorry” seems good. “I’m an idiot” is better. Rep. Leslie Combs went with “It happens.”
Combs, a Democrat, was apparently in the process of unloading her pistol in the capitol annex building, in advance of the state of the state address, when “it went off,” as they say. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. But somehow a lot of people who discharge their weapons blame the damned mischievous hunk of metal for going off, all on its own.
Polk County officials say they’ve issued weapons permits to at least three people who can’t legally drive and were unable to read the application forms or had difficulty doing so because of visual impairments.
And sheriffs in three other counties — Jasper, Kossuth and Delaware — say they have granted permits to residents who they believe have severe visual impairments.
Some people think that Iowa’s blind gun owners are a bit over the top, a new and unusual twist in the ongoing debate about gun control. But, really, it’s nothing new.
Go back to Genesis for the first instance of a blind hunter killing a man and then gunsplaining — or, I suppose, bowsplaining — the whole thing to his wives:
Most of the legends about Lamech, the grandson of Cain, center around his killing of his grandfather. He was blind and when he went hunting, he was led by his young son Tubal-Cain, who would tell his father when game came in sight, so that Lamech could shoot at it with his bow and arrow. Once he aimed at some horned creature which Tubal-Cain thought to be a beast. In fact it was Cain, the “sign of Cain” being a horn in the forehead, and he killed him. In despair, Lamech smote his hands together inadvertently killing Tubal-Cain. After this incident his wives, Adah and Zillah, wanted to leave him on the ground that Cain’s descendants were doomed to annihilation. But Lamech argued, “If Cain who committed murder with malice aforethought, was punished only in the seventh generation, then, I who have killed inadvertently may hope that retribution will be postponed for 77 generations” (cf. Gen. 4:23).
It was not clear which of Kant’s ideas may have triggered the violence.
A police spokeswoman in Rostov-on Don, Viktoria Safarova, said two men in their 20s were discussing Kant as they stood in line to buy beer at a small store on Sunday. The discussion deteriorated into a fistfight and one participant pulled out a small nonlethal pistol and fired repeatedly.
It’s probably safe to say they weren’t arguing about anything in Kant’s “Perpetual Peace" essay.
HT: Charlie Heimerdinger.
Oh no, he’s done it again
That’s Cathy Schmelzer, who was 14 year old Cathy Hessler back in 1977 when she was accidentally shot in the right leg by Terry Dunlap during a Halloween hayride.
Dunlap was, back then, a police department auxiliary officer; more recently, you might remember, Dunlap — now a gun safety instructor — accidentally shot a student in his gun safety class.
There are, I suppose, two ways to look at these accidental shootings:
1. It sounds like you don’t have to be all that serious about gun safety in order to teach gun safety;
2. We really ought to be talking about Dunlap’s 35 years of not shooting someone accidentally.
HT: Lindsay Cohn.
I’m going to go ahead and make it official:
There’s no need for anyone to come up with any additional ridiculous theories for why crime occurs because this one — from Janet Morana, head of “Priests for Life” — is, without doubt, the most ridiculous:
“First of all, we have to start with the fact that since 1973…. These kids are survivors. They could have been aborted. And that’s a fact. And people don’t realize. They’re post-Roe v Wade, and therefore there’s a thing called “survivor syndrome.” There’s a psychiatrist up in Canada, Dr. Philip Ney, has studied this for decades and shown the effect. Just the fact that you could have been aborted can affect you as a survivor of Roe v Wade.”
Why did three teenagers murder Australian baseball player Christopher Lane? Because of the Roe v. Wade decision, naturally.
I’m looking at myself a bit differently this morning, because — just like those teenagers — I was not aborted and thus I might be suffering from “survivor syndrone.”
Basically, high profile crimes are really about whatever you want them to be about. For a lot of conservatives, this crime is all black-on-white crime and the racist-against-white-people mainstream media. For a lot of liberals, it’s all about easy access to guns or urban poverty. And, with enough bizarre mental gymnastics, for some people it can even be all about abortion.
So … what’s your pet issue and how does some high profile crime prove your point? If Janet Morana demonstrates anything, it’s that you just have to do a little bit of work to make sure your pet issue isn’t left out of the hysterical national conversation about particular instances of violent crime.
"This morning at Westside Elementary School, a Kindergarten student brought a firearm to school in his backpack. While waiting for the opening bell in the cafeteria, the firearm discharged accidentally inside the child’s backpack. Nobody was injured, and staff immediately took possession of the backpack."
Feel free to insert your own comment on this story since you all already know what my comments would be.
So … it turns out that arming teachers or putting armed guards in our schools isn’t the only way to prevent mass shootings, despite what the NRA would like you to believe.
One alternative to weaponizing our classrooms — since we won’t do anything about the ease with which people can get their hands on guns — is to have someone like this on staff who is prepared to act heroically.
We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.
So … I’ll just go ahead and assume this horrible incident isn’t going to kick off a serious discussion on the ubiquity of guns in this country. In fact, I’m going to assume that very few people will even mention that these bored teens probably wouldn’t have killed anyone if they didn’t have a gun ready to hand.
HT: Matt Langdon.