Friday, January 18, 2013

Pardon Me if I'm Wary of the "Good Guys"

Yesterday's local newspaper posted a front page article about President Obama's efforts to limit gun violence. Wayne LaPierre, Chief Executive and Vice President of the National Rifle Association, was again quoted:  "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

The same issue of the newspaper included the following news items:

  • The "gun-toting partygoer" who shot and killed a nightclub bouncer during a New Years Eve celebration was sentenced.
  • Also sentenced was the New Years Day celebrant who fired several rounds into a vacant lot and wounded a 7-year-old boy in a nearby home.
  • A 7-year-old boy was shot and killed when his father placed what he thought was an empty gun on the dashboard of his vehicle. The father had removed the magazine but did not verify that the chamber was empty. The round left in the chamber fired when the father climbed into the rig as his son was buckling his seatbelt.
People with legally-obtained firearms have:

  • Shot their hunting partners or other hunters;
  • Sent bullets into adjacent apartments or homes while cleaning their weapon;
  • Shot their spouse (and sometimes the spouse's coworkers) in domestic disputes;
  • Shot opponents in drunken arguments;
  • Left those weapons insufficiently secured which allowed children to possess them with sometimes heartbreaking results ; and
  • Shot themselves while handling their weapon.
That's merely a sampling of the firearm-related stories that have appeared in the news in recent years. Which indicate it doesn't take a mentally unstable person with a semi-automatic military-style weapon to kill or maim. The stories just illustrate that stupid, angry, careless, and intoxicated don't mix well with legal firearms. None of the solutions I've heard thus far (from strict regulation to hands off) adequately address the dangerous acts of idiotic "good guys" with guns.

I'm not anti gun. There have always been guns in the house, family and friends have and do hunt, and "hooks & bullets" paid my salary for the greater portion of my working life.

But pardon me if I'm cynical about the NRA claim that more guns in the hands of "good guys" will make me safer. 

I'm not feeling it.

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