Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Those of you who read the Oread Daily on a regular basis (there must be one or two of you, at least) know that I am not an anti-gun person. I think there are good reasons in this day and age for citizens to own guns, even to carry them. I actually believe that if guns are outlawed only the people who really have a legitimate need for them won't have them. Also, there are so many guns out there right now, ain't nobody getting them back...and any government that could or would even try kinda scares me anyway.

And yes, guns kill people, but really without the finger of a killer on the trigger they don't much.

Okay, that takes us to the article below which details a debate in Virginia going on over closing the loophole that allows people to buy guns of all makes and kinds at gun shows from unlicensed dealers with no background check.

Now, I have never been able to figure out why people need assault rifles and the like. You can defend yourself with a lot less then that. And if you are a hunter, which I don't think you should be (although it is your right) you don't need an assault rifle to take down a deer.

I believe that most everyday run of the mill Americans, even though who own guns, have no problem with background checks which might keep weapons out of the hands of people with mental problems or legal backgrounds which mitigate against their ownership (something by the way which I think should be amended. I don't think everyone with any sort of criminal record at any time in their lives should be banned from gun ownership, but some do).

Now the argument against background checks at gun shows is that they might delay the purchase of a gun by a day. A day!!! I mean there aren't many times you need a gun in the next couple of hours. I would in fact be a little concerned about someone who needed a firearm like right now. If you happen to be facing some immediate threat, I'd suggest hiding out, calling the cops, or maybe a friend.

I think most Americans agree with me. There is a reasonable middle ground in the whole gun debate.

I've been criticized by rabid anti-gun control advocates for advocating that. They say everyone has the right under the Constitution to a gun right now and it shouldn't be up to the likes of me to say they don't.

My answer to them is "nuts to you." There are a hell of a lot of things that I don't think the likes of you should advocate that limit my rights in one way or another and that sure as hell don't stop you or your representatives from doing just that. I call upon you to make the argument on why someone can't wait for a background check to get a weapon. Don't give me the slippery slope argument, just answer the question.

One other thing, folks. I've been to gun shows in my life. There aren't just guns for sale. Drop by some of them and check out some of the "political" literature, bumper stickers and the like available next to the guns. One of the reasons why I think you should have a gun is because the people who put out and are pushing that far right wing (and sometimes racist) stuff have them.

The following is from the Danville Register & Bee (Danville, Virginia).

Targeting gun laws

People on both sides of the gun control debate clashed Monday as families and friends of Virginia Tech shooting victims and survivors of the tragedy flooded the Capitol in support of legislation designed to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from buying firearms at gun shows.

Tensions escalated as about 100 supporters of a bill that would close the so-called gun show loophole lay on the Capitol lawn to honor victims of gun violence. About 200 opponents surrounded the group holding signs that read, “Here Lie Disarmed Victims,” both sides jostled for turf and one gun-rights advocate fired questions at a survivor of the April 16 shootings.

“Today, united with the families of our fellow Virginians whose loved ones have been lost forever, we fight back for change!” protest organizer Abigail Spangler told supporters, many wearing ribbons in Tech’s colors of maroon and orange.

At issue was legislation that would require unlicensed sellers at gun shows to run criminal background checks on buyers. Such checks now are required only of federally licensed gun dealers.

Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people at Tech before committing suicide, passed a background check and bought one gun from a store and a second online despite having been deemed mentally defective by a Virginia court. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine has since signed an executive order requiring that anyone ordered by a court to get mental health treatment be added to a state police database of people barred from buying guns.

Colin Goddard, who survived despite being shot four times by Cho, was taken aback when a member of the Firearms Coalition approached him and said students could have stopped the rampage if they had been allowed to carry handguns on campus.

“I would have stopped him,” Jeff Knox, director of operations for the Manassas-based group told Goddard. “Because when I went to school, I carried a gun. It was legal, I did it.”

Goddard responded quickly.

“I feel sorry for you - the fact that you feel you need to protect yourself in every situation,” the Virginia Tech senior said. “You’re afraid of crazy situations happening. I’ve lived through this and I know that I can’t continue in my life afraid of things. Things are gonna happen out of my control.

“There are people within our society who we deem capable and correct, our police forces who are supposed to protect us - and I put my full trust in them.”

Goddard and fellow survivor Lily Habtu, both strong supporters of closing the loophole, watched the lie-in but did not join those on the ground.

“I was one of the people who were lying down when this happened,” Goddard said. “So I’ve done my lying down.”

Earlier in the day, families and friends of the Tech shooting victims packed the Senate Courts of Justice Committee’s public hearing on the gun show loophole legislation. Bill supporters outnumbered by about 3-1 opponents sporting buttons reading “Guns Save Lives.”

Sen. Henry Marsh of Richmond, the committee chairman and sponsor of the bill, said the panel would vote on the measure Wednesday. He said he wanted to give the public a couple more days to be heard on the issue. Similar legislation was killed quickly and with little explanation Friday by a House committee with a long history of resisting gun control.

Several law enforcement officers spoke in favor of the bill, but senators seemed most captivated by the testimony of Tech families.

“The heartache for these families will never, ever end,” said Lori Haas, whose daughter Emily survived two bullets fired into her head.

Opponents of the bill noted that Cho did not buy his weapon at a gun show, but supporters said that doesn’t matter. The idea, they said, is to be proactive and reduce the possibility of similar tragedies in the future.

“You can no longer say you have not been forewarned,” said Joseph Samaha of Annandale, whose daughter Reema was among those killed. “By voting ‘no’ you are doomed to relive history.”

Gun-rights advocates said the bill would be burdensome for law-abiding citizens and gun show promoters. Philip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, responding to claims that a criminal background check takes no more than five minutes, said he recently bought from a federally licensed dealer at a gun show and had to wait until the next day to get his gun.

That brought a sarcastic “Awwww” from the audience and a sharp response from Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw, D-Fairfax.

“How onerous do you think this deal has been for that family sitting there,” Saslaw said, referring to one of the Tech families sitting behind Van Cleave.

Among those from law enforcement supporting the bill was Gerald Massengill, the former state police superintendent who headed the panel appointed by Kaine to investigate the shootings. The panel unanimously recommended closing the loophole.

“There’s another Cho out there,” Massengill said. “Where is that Cho ... going to get his weapon? I don’t know. But I know where he can go get it easily, with no questions asked.”

Habtu, 22, who was critically injured by bullets to her head and arm in the Tech shootings, said the issue is not about taking guns away from law-abiding citizens; it is about keeping weapons away from people like Cho.

“I’m still suffering now, and I still have a long way to go. I haven’t even begun my healing process,” she said after the lie-in. “So knowing all this, I do not want another person, another family, to go through this.”


MrB398 said...

Whats to debate. You want a gun, wait a few days. You wan't to go hunting with a new gun, don't try and buy it that day. God. Wating for a background check isn't the end of the world.

Anonymous said...

Agreed -- except that there is a legitimate need for assault weapons. The purpose of the Second Amendment isn't about hunting or personal defense, it's about the ability to overthrow the federal government, on behalf of the state and the people, if it turns to a police state. The rifles patriots had in 1775 were military-grade weapons. I'm not saying I need full-auto m-4 and grenades, I don't. But I do want firepower and accuracy.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a waiting period for blogs - you know, so that the government can check out the credentials of the writer and content for legality and accuracy.

Anonymous said...

Here's a scenario for you. You are on a business trip 150 miles from home. Your life has just been threatened. You are able to get away. The police will NOT act on a threat of violence without substantial evidence such as a witness, video recording et cetera. Being a law abiding citizen living in a no carry state you have left your firearm at home. You find a firearms dealer but because of the X number of days required for a background check you are not able to purchase a gun. You return to your car and there are the punks that threatened you. They HAVE a gun. What now?
I live in a open carry state with an instant check program. On top of that I have a CCW permit so I can walk into any retailer and purchase a gun with only a picture ID and my permit but even so I resent that I must have the government's permission to purchase what is realistically my right to own. The Second Amendment GUARANTEES my right to protect myself from criminals,unlawful police actions, and the government. Oh! By the way. Why does one need a semi or automatic "Assault Rifle?" Because the government has fully automatic weapons, that's why. This is all I have to say other than: If you want your 2nd Amendment right to disappear vote for any of the three major political candidates. Regardless of their party.
-TANSTAAFL (There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch!)in North East Arizona

Anonymous said...

Whoops! In addition to my post above here's something concerning Virginia Tech. Just prior to the shootings the Virginia legislature rejected a bill that would have allowed Staff and students with Concealed Carry permits to have their weapons on campus. Because of that restriction on citizen's rights to protect themselves look at how many people died! The Arizona legislature is currently reviewing a bill by State representative Karen Johnson that will not only allow those with CCW permits to carry on State University campuses but in ALL schools, public buildings et cetera. A Gun Free Zone stops no one but the law abiding citizen. "An armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein
-TANSTAAFL in N.E. Arizona