The headline in the NY Times read “Shooting Rekindles Issues of Gun Rights and Restrictions.” You know the old NRA line, defending the right of everyone to carry and use guns or all sorts, including assault rifles: “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” Yeah, and mostly in this country, it’s people with guns who kill people.
One of those people was Cho Seung-Hui, who purchased his guns legally in Virginia, including a Glock — one of those guns favored by the Russian mafia. He passed a “computerized background check,” despite the fact that he had been identified at least four times as a seriously disturbed person, had been forced to attend counseling sessions and had been interviewed by the police about his behavior. Virginia’s gun laws are among the most lax in the United States, with police being required to give almost anyone who applies a permit to carry a concealed weapon. When Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High in 1998, they left behind a trail of web postings and writings. This being the “You Tube” age, Cho Seung-Hui left behind a collection of digital photographs, video and audio recordings and a rambling incoherent document (mailed to NBC News in the time between the first two killing and the mass rampage 2 hours later).
The argument by the gun nuts (sorry, there’s no other way to accurately describe them) is that if all the students and faculty on the Virginia Tech campus had had guns, they would have been able to defend themselves. Bullshit. Shortly before the shootings at Virginia Tech, Barry Lee Bush, an FBI agent was shot during a stakeout at a bank. He was not shot by the bank robbers, however, but rather a victim of “friendly fire” from his fellow officers. Now, if this can happen when the guns are in the hands of highly-trained law enforcement officers, can you imagine what would have happened if all those students on the Virginia Tech campus had guns? No doubt even more students and teachers would have been caught in the cross-fire of their own weapons. This has been proven over and over and over again for so long, it’s ridiculous to even debate the point.
The Second Amendment to the Constitutions says (in total): “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” There’s nothing in there about individual citizens running around, using their Uzis to blow small “varmits” to smithereens (not to mention doing the same to their fellow citizens). Of course, given the “well-regulated militias” operating in Iraq and Lebanon at the moment, I’m not so sure that even that is a good idea.
So now we’ll have more of the usual debate. No one’s opions will be changed. Perhaps with Congress in the control of the Democrats, some reasonable gun control will be instituted, so we can prevent seriously disturbed people from acting out their delusions with bullets.
It’s long past time to say: too many guns. Debate over.