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Subject The best comment I have seen re: guns and the Newtown massacre
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Original Message I plagiarized this from the comments area on ZH. It is the best articulation I have seen as to why, despite the emotional lure, one cannot support gun control after Newtown.

It is one of about 600 comments, so I think it meets the fair use rule for reposting....

The latest mass shooting is a tragedy and my heart goes out to all people involved. Any rational person will agree that if we could somehow pass a law that would stop all gun crime, we should do it. Many people are calling for gun control laws in the wake of this. Let me share with you a story: Wednesday I was in a cancer ward at a hospital talking with a young couple. She was pregnant with her second child and going through chemo (during pregnancy...ugh). Her husband had a limp because he had been shot in the leg the prior month by a meth addict in a home invasion. Since that time she has converted to a gun advocate and he has purchased a shotgun. Gun laws would NOT disarm the law breaking meth addict, but they would disarm the law abiding couple and the meth addict would then be MORE active at home invasions, knowing full well that his law-abiding victims were unarmed. Gun laws would make that poor young couple, and many more like them, helpless victims. Statistics tell us that guns play a role in stopping 2.5 million crimes each year.

If you look at the mass shootings of the past, the ones that come to mind are Aurora, Austin (old bell tower), and Columbine. In each of these cases the shooter was on antidepressants known to cause violent, paranoid, homicidal and suicidal tendencies. This shooter had a “personality disorder” I am waiting to see what meds he was on. SSRI is one type of drug that has a high correlation to mass murder. In the 90’s SSRI was only for adults, now we are giving them to kids who are living in a world saturated with violence (movies, TV, video games). Other countries have restricted such prescriptions (Japan, UK, etc.)

Now many people on Facebook compare countries. If we just had gun laws like Japan we would have no gun violence, just like them. Well Mexico has some of the strongest gun laws in the world, but is also a leader in murder by gun. Switzerland has some of the broadest gun ownership, but they have none of these problems. Culturally, we are somewhat similar to Australia. They banned guns and the violent crimes went up dramatically. It also kicked off a wave of “home invasions” a new thing there, precipitated by unarmed homeowners. [link to www.youtube.com]

I know it sounds trite, but gun laws truly disarm the law-abiding, not the law breakers. I heard a policeman say that he had taken “hundreds of guns off the street from bad guys and in all those years only one was registered.” Prisoners have been polled and 80% of the guns of the prisoners polled were obtained illegally. Gun laws would not change this.

Some are calling for restrictions on the type or number of guns. Even if you eliminate semi-automatic pistols, a revolver with a speedloader is extremely fast to reload, especially when the victims are all unarmed. In terms of the number of guns one should own, guns have all different purposes. You might have one pistol for each adult, in case one travels and takes his gun with him. You might have a short barrel shotgun for home defense, like the couple above. You might have a 22 for competitive target shooting. You might have a long barrel shotgun for skeet or trap. You might have a 30-06 for hunting, etc. Do we really want the government telling us how many of something we can have? How many TVs will they allow me to have in my home?

Sadly, it isn’t about the guns; guns are merely a tool. Sick murderous individuals will find a way. You can find out how to make pipe bombs on the Internet. A gallon of gas can be had for $4 and turned into several Molotov cocktails, a simple car can plow down dozens of people. See Bath School Disaster, Ralston [link to www.foxnews.com] the list goes on. Germany has very strong gun control laws but they too have this scourge [link to youtu.be] The largest death counts from such attacks were accomplished with a fertilizer bomb and box cutters.

Some might argue that the second amendment was intended ONLY for a well-regulated militia. This is clearly a faulty interpretation: [link to youtu.be]

One might argue that laws would STILL reduce access to guns. Yes, they would. But if laws actually prevented behavior, then our drug laws would result in less drugs. They have not. Again the fallacy of the “let’s compare countries” is displayed again. Japan has strict drug laws and very little drug use. This is because the Japanese are culturally very law abiding. Here in the US we see that prohibition resulted in MORE bars in big cities, not fewer. Sadly, gun laws, like in Australia only disarm the law-abiding. There are roughly 270 million guns in the US. What any law will make all of them disappear and prevent further importation? Even if the bad guys kept their guns, and let’s say that was 10%, that is 27 million guns, or almost one for every 10 people. How do we protect the good people against these bad people? Everybody hates seeing mass murders, but what about that couple going through chemo? Should we really disarm them and allow the armed villains to run rampant?

Our society is a cocktail of too much dangerous medication, press glorification (anti-hero) of these shootings, too much violence in media/games, social isolation (Internet, TV, etc.) and guns. But guns are merely one of many tools available to the crazies. I am in favor of confiscating weapons from people using antidepressants. But even in this case the shooter stole the weapons from his mother, whom he also killed.

Gun laws that prohibit guns in certain areas like movie theaters (Aurora), schools (Columbine and this latest one), malls (Oregon) and military bases (Fort Hood) seem only to provide large numbers of unarmed targets for these sick individuals. Such restrictions on larger scale (Washington DC, Australia, etc.) merely provide entire societies of unarmed victims.

This is a very emotional time. People get angry with this sort of logic and tell me I should have to look in the eyes of the mother whose child was killed and tell her that we need legal access to guns to keep law abiding citizens safe. Well how can I look into the eyes of that couple who suffered a home invasion by a meth addict and tell them that they do not have a right to self-defense, that the father cannot protect his wife, child and unborn child against the next attack…which will be all the more frequent now that the bad guys know you are disarmed?
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