Guns Are Not the Answer

December 4th, 2008

St. Louis alderman Charles Quincy Troupe is encouraging residents to arm themselves.  Troupe said, “The community has to be ready to defend itself, because it’s clear the economy is going to get worse, and criminals are getting more bold.”  As far as relying on the police is concerned, he said a senior police official told him “there was nothing he could do to protect us and the community … that he didn’t have the manpower.”

Great.  That’s all we need–more guns, especially handguns, in the hands of the general public.  That means more children killed by guns because their idiot parents left them available and loaded, more innocent people shot by mistake, more guns in the hands of criminals who’ve stolen them, and growth in the booming business of selling illegal guns.

I support gun control, as I wrote earlier.  In a nutshell, severely restrict handgun possession and improve controls over long guns.  If the criminals have guns, which they do, then take them away.  Impose long prison sentences for possession and use of illegal handguns.  If the police are ineffective, for whatever reason, then make them effective.  Look at how most cities and states spend money, and you can make a very long list of things less important that effective policing.

Our rate of death by handgun is a national disgrace, and we should do something about it.  Controlling guns is the only answer.  Too bad our leaders, in both parties, don’t have the necessary wisdom and political courage.

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12 Responses to “Guns Are Not the Answer”

  1. doris |

    I agree, but you’ll never pry the guns out of those gun people’s cold, dead hands. The N.R.A. is way too powerful for politicians to fight, they have the mone ,and the pockets. A man I know well would not vote for Obama because the republicans, as usual, circulated that old, tired tale of the democrat, no matter which one running, would take his gun. How can we disarm those idiots and also keep the criminals from having guns? I don’t know, but it works in England.

  2. Kevin |

    Well said, Tom. Gun control is one of the areas where you and I have always been of like mind about.

  3. Tom |

    I agree, Doris. I don’t think there’s any way the kind of gun control I would like to see can ever happen because of the politics. But still, at least the effort can be made.

    Kevin, I think DC vs Kellum, which recently upheld the individual right to own a gun, is actually helpful. We got past that big 2nd Amendment argument, and now we can focus on details. Kellum left intact the principle that certain kinds of gun control are constitutional, and we just have to make that work.

  4. Kevin |

    Just read a tragic example of a child who killed himself by losing control of the Uzi he’d been allowed to shoot… full auto.

  5. Tom |

    Thanks, Kevin. Just read it. What a travesty. But it isn’t the first, and it won’t be the last. I think the father should have been charged, too. What was he thinking, taking a small child to such an event? Why should our society permit these kinds of events? Why are private citizens or commercial operations allowed to possess and fire fully automatic weapons? It’s madness.

  6. Realist |

    I think it would be a good idea to remove all of the guns from terrorists first, you know the ones in the inner-cities. You suggest that the crimminals do not have guns yet. I suppose those are the idiots you speak of Doris. Oh wait!, you want to DISARM the idiots who legally own firearms first? (You wrote: “also,keep the criminals from having guns?”) Well then the terrorists might have a field day outside of the hood. Yes, I am referring to them as terrorists. How would you describe your reaction while on a nice warm summer stroll through the inner-city then to be confronted by an illegal gun wielding person without value for your life? T E R R O R ? You don’t have to answer Doris.
    Enjoy your walk in the inner-city if you even attempt.
    You wouldn’t have to be concerned on a walk in a neighborhood with legal firearm owners.
    The United States is not like England because we chose not to be in 1776.

    Turn of the TV, think for yourself.

  7. Tom |

    Realist, you should be more realistic. When was the last time you used your private handgun to save yourself in a shoot-out in the ‘hood? Or anywhere else? The idea is to get rid of illegal handguns, and that should include all of them except for law enforcement officers and a few other professionals who require them.

  8. Seane-Anna |

    I don’t own a gun of any kind and probably never will but unlike you, Tom, I actually believe the Founding Fathers knew what they were doing when they wrote the 2nd Amendment. And I find it amazing that you gun grabbers are completely undeterred by the Supreme Court’s recent decision finally affirming that the 2nd Amendment grants INDIVIDUALS the right to own guns. We, the people, have the right to own guns. Period. And please stop with the gun deaths argument to try and turn a freedom issue into an emotional issue.

    Yes, thousands of Americans die from guns each year. But thousands more die from cars, alcohol, and tobacco, just to name a few. Are you going to launch a campaign to ban those things, too? I didn’t think so. And while we’re dealing with statistics, nearly half of all American gun deaths are suicides. I reveal that because when you gun grabbers talk about gun deaths you purposely imply that they’re all the result of willy-nilly shootings. That’s not true. Half, I’ll say again, are suicides. Now suicides are tragic but they are NOT random shootings. And if you took all the guns away people would still kill themselves. Japan, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world, also has one of the highest suicide rates among industrialized nations. Go figure.

    What really bothers me about you gun grabbers is that you aren’t honest about your motives. You don’t want to ban guns to prevent needless deaths. As stated above, if that were the case you’d be campaigning against all those things that kill more people than guns do. Rather, I believe you want to ban guns because you are statists who see an armed citizenry as a direct challenge to the supremacy of the state. You want the state ALONE to have the right and ability to use deadly force. That’s what’s really going on here. Just admit it.

  9. Kevin |

    Seane-Anna, severely restricting handguns as Tom is advocating does not equal either an attempt or a desire to take “all the guns away” as you’ve erroneously claimed. The irony of which is compounded by your rant about “gun grabbers” not being honest about motives.

  10. Tom |

    Seane-Anna, I made my case in Gun Control, and I won’t repeat it here.

    You wrote that I “want the state ALONE to have the right and ability to use deadly force.” Wrong. Everyone can legally employ deadly force in defense of self and others. I’ve never said that I want to change that. If I had my way, you’d be free to use deadly force in defense of self or others with rifles, shotguns, baseball bats, knives, tire irons, hockey sticks, knitting needles, etc. Just not handguns, automatic assault rifles, machine guns, mortars, howitzers, land mines, tanks, and other exceptionally dangerous weapons.

    You also include me among “statists who see an armed citizenry as a direct challenge to the supremacy of the state.” That’s right-wing militia nonsense. You probably also have nightmares about swarms of black helicopters descending on you from across the Canadian border. Here’s reality: Organize all the militia fruitcakes with their weapons, put them in a compound flying the appropriate redneck flag, and an average National Guard battalion (not to mention the regular Army) will take care of them without breaking a sweat. And by the way, no militia member would prefer a handgun in that fight, which kind of undermines your argument anyway.

    If you don’t like what the government does, then elect a new one. Muttering about “an armed citizenry” just indicates that you need to get back on your meds.

  11. Joseph |

    If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

    I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

  12. Tom Carter |

    Very insightful comment, Joseph. I would add that if cars were outlawed, only criminals would have cars. And if TVs were outlawed, only outlaws would have TVs. And if internet connections were outlawed, only outlaws will have internet connections (which, come to think about it, might be a good thing in your case).

    Try thinking beyond empty slogans, if you can. You might still come out on the same side of the argument, but at least your position would be more rational, presumably.

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