Guns and Waffles

May 16th, 2009

By Tom Carter

As I made clear in Gun Control and Guns Are Not the Answer, I strongly favor strict federal gun control laws, including prohibition of private possession of handguns.

It would be hard to find a better example of the insanity of having so many guns in the hands of so many people than an incident that occurred in South Carolina recently.

Crystal Samuel and some of her friends went to a Waffle House restaurant in the wee hours of the morning.  She ordered an item from the menu.  In her words, “I thought I was gonna get me an ‘All-Star.’ Grits, sausage, toast, eggs and a waffle.”

The waitress, Yakeisha Ward, didn’t bring Crystal what she wanted.  An argument developed, and Crystal threw a waffle at Yakeisha.  Crystal said, “I did actually throw some food but it didn’t hit her. That’s when she jumped across the counter and we got into it.”

The fight went outside, and Yakeisha ran to her car and got a handgun.  In the melee a shot was fired, and a bullet fragment hit Crystal in the arm.  Yakeisha delivered the last blow when she hit Crystal in the head with her gun.

Apparently the gun was legally purchased, but that doesn’t make any difference.  It should be illegal for a private citizen to possess the gun, with simple possession punishable with prison time.  Actually using a handgun in the commission of a crime, in this case assault, should automatically result in a long prison sentence.

There’s no way to keep people from behaving like idiots; they’re going to go after each other now and then.  Fine.  Let them do it with waffles.  But not handguns.


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32 Responses to “Guns and Waffles”



  1. Brian Bagent |

    You’re going to have to repeal the 2nd amendment, and then write in a prohibition on possession of short guns. It won’t happen, and I hope it doesn’t.

    Disarming law-abiding citizens will not solve these issues. The police cannot protect you, nor or they legally obliged to protect you, in spite of the “protect and serve” dreck that you see on badges, patches, and police cars. The reason is that we cannot impose a moral obligation (to risk their lives for the sake of ours) on a peace officer that we are not willing to bear ourselves. Even worse still is that when the state has an absolute monopoly on the use of force, the people are made to suffer for it.

    If it is a safety issue, then we need to make the speed limit on interstates around 25 or 30 MPH. That would save more lives than banning hand guns ever has or ever could. Intent to do harm is irrelevant. The young mother weeping over her child killed in a car accident is just as inconsolable as the mother who lost her child in a drive-by.

    I am all for holding criminals accountable for their violent, negligent, or reckless conduct. Lock them away for life, or execute them, for using firearms while committing crimes. That would go a great deal further in making the streets safer than banning handguns ever will.

    Violent crime is rampant here because we do little to dissuade those prone to it from doing it. Things have changed a bit since I was a rookie, but 16 years ago, a convicted burglar in Texas could expect to serve 8 or 9 months for a crime whose penalty was 5-99 or life. A convicted robber could expect to serve about 14 or 15 months (also punishable by 5-99 or life). A convicted murder could expect to serve about 7 years (also punishable by 5-99 or life, or death).

    Don’t blame guns. Blame idiot federal judges like Earl Warren and William Wayne Justice.


  2. Harvey |

    Definitely agree with Brian! Making the private possession of handguns illegal would only take guns out of the hands of those who are inclined to use them responsibly; it would also turn all of us who refuse to disarm — refuse to leave ourselves defenseless against criminals — into criminals.


  3. Larry |

    I am also a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and the right it insures. While we will always have some amount of abuse of the right, we should not be lead to give up the right. Loss of human life is and will always be a tragedy, but as was pointed out, death due to gunshot is far down the list of killers in this country.
    Our law makers and sadly many of our citizens are to willing to oppress the Second Amendment instead of addressing the issue of why it’s necessary for the private citizen to have the need to keep or carry a weapon. Our society has made self protection a major concern. Of course I’ve said nothing that’s not been said already. Common sense is always common sense no matter how many times it’s sited.
    I wonder if many people have taken time to research the roots of the Second Amendment. Did you know that it pre-dates our Constitution and Bill of Rights dating back to the Magna Carta? That it was a law in Colonial Society before it was considered a right. Gun ownership was for protection and survival both of which still hold true today.


  4. Anonymous |

    I totally agree with Tom. Way more guns kill innocent children than criminals in homes. Guns do kill, parents are responsible, but if you don’t allow them to have guns, their innocent children don’t have to suffer for their stupidity. No guns, works in England and they have few crimes. But, here we still have the most crimes and killings of anywhere not in a warzone. The rednecks here, and I am one, still have guns in their homes and will not give them up for any law, so it is a mute point anyway. I, however, do not want guns in my home, but my husband overrides this decision. But, we keep them in a secure gunsafe, as all need to but most don’t. Guns do kill, chances are most people shooting others wouldn’t kill them another way. Guns are too easy to accidentally fire and to pick up and shoot in the heat of an argument, most won’t use knives, too messy and too close contact. As long as people are stupid, they don’t need guns, and I don’t see that changing.


  5. Brian Bagent |

    Anonymous, the statistics compiled by the FBI in the Uniform Crime Report indicate that you are in error when you assert that “way more guns kill innocent children than criminals in homes.”

    Dr Gary Kleck, a sociologist at Florida State University, has compiled some interesting statistics. You can read them here, or you can just google him and see what you get.


  6. Brian Bagent |

    There’s one more point I’d like to add. Because some people are “stupid” is not a valid reason to deny unalienable rights to those that are not. To deny a right to the many because of the actions of a few is what is legally known as “pretext.” It is repugnant to the constitutions, and repugnant to the very idea of freedom.


  7. Tom |

    There’s a circular argument going on here, but only the first half of the circle is being used. We have to have guns because the society is so violent, i.e., so many other people have guns. The other half of the argument is that if no one had guns, no one would have to go around packin’ heat in case a firefight breaks out.

    Regardless of the number of people who die from accidental or criminal shootings, the number is way too high. If we rid our society of the scourge of handguns, those deaths will stop. I’m familiar with the mantra that if guns are illegal, only criminals will have guns. That’s nonsense. With a federal law banning handguns that’s strictly enforced and very severe penalties for possession or use of a handgun, it wouldn’t be long before we would be rid of virtually all of them.

    I realize there’s a Second Amendment problem, but I think it can be overcome. A very large number of weapons and ammunition of different kinds are already banned because they’re unusually dangerous–automatic rifles and pistols, “cop killer” or armor piercing ammunition, mortars, howitzers, RPGs, heat-seeking missiles, etc. The list is very long, and no one except the most die-hard NRA types thinks there’s a Second Amendment problem. It seems logical that hanguns, the primary purpose of which is to kill people at close range, can also be banned.

    As a professional soldier with 30 years in the Army, I’ve spent lots of time carrying a sidearm all day every day and sometimes a rifle, all for very serious reasons. I’ve fired every class of weapon from a .38 pistol to a tank main gun, including uncountable numbers of rounds from grenade launchers, miniguns, and aerial rocket launchers. And I’ve seen people die from gunshot wounds, sometimes up close. So, I’m no stranger to weapons of all kinds and the damage they can inflict, whether intentional or accidental. And frankly, the prospect of Henry the Plumber and Chad the Account Executive carrying concealed weapons at the supermarket and their kids’ soccer games scares the hell out of me.


  8. Dan |

    Just last month the ex of a friend of ours was severely injured and nearly killed by some hood, and will remain in physical therapy and off work for a few more weeks yet; the weapon involved that started it all – a ‘mere’ knife.

    Criminals and whackos will find a way to do their damage. Eliminating a citizen’s right to defend themselves does nothing but increase their vulnerability.

    Regards,

    Dan


  9. Harvey |

    Tom,

    Your argument that “. . . if no one had guns, no one would have to go around packin’ heat in case a firefight breaks out.” is a valid point but really impractical.

    There are millions of guns in this country and many of those are owned by people who will NOT give them up; some of these guns are owned by citizens who want to protect themselves and refuse to surrender their protection and some are owned by those who want to use them to commit crimes. Those people who want to protect themselves will still be able to do that but the others will have many more opportunities to commit their crimes against now defenseless citizens.

    We will never reach a point where no one has guns . . . not unless they are all forcibly confiscated . . . like they were in the Warsaw Ghetto when the Nazis invaded.


  10. Tom |

    A federal ban on handguns, strictly enforced and with severe penalties, would work. It might take a little time, but it would work.

    This has abolutely nothing to do with denying Americans the ability to defend their homes and families. Anyone who knows the slightest bit about firearms knows that a shotgun is a great weapon for home defense; a rifle works well, too. I don’t propose banning either of these categories of weapons. About all average citizens will lose without their handguns is those fun quick-draw practices before the mirror at home and the ability to carry handguns, often concealed, in public.

    This warning that the Nazis confiscated guns is just another version of the old canard about government trying to take our guns because they want to…what? Enslave us? Prevent us from shooting down the black UN helicopters when they swoop across the border from Canada? What? In reality, hordes of wannabe John Waynes with their little handguns would be rolled up with ease by the police and the military, should government ever decide to do that because they want to…what? In fact, the shotguns and rifles I would let you keep would be more useful—you might be able to hold out for minutes instead of seconds.


  11. Brian |

    Tom, there has been a strict ban on Schedule I controlled substances for decades, and is very strictly enforced with massive fines, long prison sentences, and property forfeiture. It doesn’t seem to be working very well.

    Beyond the fact that we are free people and have a natural right to self defense, what makes you think that a ban on handguns is going to work any better than Volstead did on alcohol or the current crop of silly drug laws works to keep heroin and cocaine off the streets?


  12. Tom |

    Brian, I don’t think that prohibition and its unintended consequences and the failed effort to control illegal drugs are indicators that a handgun ban would also fail. The first was wildly unpopular and seen as senseless; the second deals with powerful addictions.

    A quick look at the rest of the world is instructive. Prohibition would fail just as badly in other countries, and drug abuse is generally difficult if not impossible to control everywhere. The traditional attachment we have to guns makes the U.S. somewhat different, but I think we could control handguns here as effectively as is done in other countries.

    To reiterate, I don’t propose to restrict or prohibit the “natural right to self defense.” Shotguns and rifles are very effective for home defense. They’re just harder for kids to have deadly accidents with and for thugs to conceal as they’re on their way to rob the nearest 7-11.


  13. Pdon |

    1) Gun crime is a symptom. Treating it will not resolve the underlying issues that lead to crime (& Violent crime) in general.

    2) Prohibiting citizens from carrying arms does not nessicarily stop the criminal element from doing so – after all, if they are commiting crime anyway, it seems unlikely that they would forgoe such a “usefull” criminal asset, just like a car speeding away from a robbery is not likely to stop at red lights.


  14. Mat |

    This is not something that can be done easy at all. I know it’s sad when you find out that people die, but to ban guns, that will never work. their will never be a time when we don’t feel the need to have guns. To take that right away will hurt more then help. the people who use guns in crimes will not stop. It’s just another law to brake for them. Weed, Coke, Meth ext is illegal and that is still here. alcohol was banned for a long time and that did much more damage then good. You really think people that buy guns would even give them up just because you said so? Why not ban cars, bikes, knifes of all kinds and other things that kill. Banning is not how you fix anything and if you have the balls to go up to the NRA and fight them then you’re a brave man I must say.
    To right out say that guns kill people and people that have guns are bad people is wrong. If we got rid of everything that kills people we would all be dead. If you come here and see the MS-13 all over the place and think they will go away after a gun ban is in place then you’re very wrong sir. I respect that you can have your own view, but I don’t feel you’re going about it the right way since most people that buy guns have no means of killing anybody at all and that the few that do might be crazy or suffer from deep mental issues. A ban of guns might work in Japan or the UK, but that does not mean it will work here. Japan might not have guns, but they have a high teenage suicide rate. guns don’t kill them they do it themselves.


  15. dave |

    Even Hitler could not keep guns out of private hands (yes he tried early on), England can’t do it now if you like more relevant examples. The problem with all far wing philosophy is the idea is that anything can be absolute when, in fact, nothing can. This is ignored by the anti- gun folks because they TEND to ignore or deny that the criminals in our society don’t acquire their guns legally in the first place. Many of these illegal guns actually come form China and other countries we have no authority to control. We do not make AK-47’s- the Chinese and Russian’s do; at one time these guns were illegal and yet they were still very prevalent in gang violence. The idea that the government can become both all powerful and omniscient with enough money and heavy enough penalties is miss-assumption to many ideas held by both sides you could name.

    I would like to add that violent people are simply violent- before guns there was sharp metal, before that there were large rocks. And as a group we have conceived radioactive explosives and chemical weapons so terrible I would prefer the guns.


  16. Jonathan |

    WOw, you think what you wrote are reasonable reasons why gun control is good? you think that people shouldn’t privately own guns? you think its reasonable based on one stupid person why guns are bad? that is such bad logic, there are 1000’s of people who die because of vehicles but they are essential, guns ARE the same, no question about it unless your IQ is terribly low, defending yourself, your country and for food!

    One reason Japan decades ago didn’t invade America was because there citizens were armed, fact of history!

    Guns are absolutely essential also to defend yourself from a corrupt government, if i have to explain this further then im sorry you failed the “at least average intelligences” for someone to be making a choice in whether or not gun control is good or bad, period…. ok I’ll give a few of the reasons anyway, If your government turns on you and YES it can happen, (the forefathers talked about protecting yourself in this manner)you can defend yourself, and protection from criminals, in fact if terrorist do attack, i would rather be around a crowed of properly armed and trained citizens then sheepish people who believe guns are bad who are armed only with ignorance of that joke.

    Oh and by the way, if you think your guns taken all away is a good thing, check out what happen in Germany in the same situation and state that American is in now when they gave away there guns for the purpose of having there government take care of them, yup, it was NAZI time!

    learn from history, get more guns.


  17. buddy guy |

    Federal Hand Gun Ban…..Never Happen,
    People make bad choices every second of every day (look at car crash fatalities).Speaking of which, more people die on the road in one year than all crimes commited with guns combined in history. Speaking about domestic crimes not Stallin death purges. It pains me to hear of a legal citizen using a legal right in a bad way making an illegal action. Let’s face it some people shouldn’t be responsible for childeren but we still don’t take that choice away from them and we still have to watch those kids suffer (till the state steps in and take the kids). As long as there are human beings people will do stupid, rash, illconcieved things. We can’t put everyone into a paded room just because of a few nuts. Just have to cringe and deal with the one percent deadly people that shouldn’t have a pet let alone a gun do dumb things and praise the millions that do own guns that do the right thing. People forget one key factor, responsibility, it is every gun owners responsibility to not allow any harmfull thing happen with the gun that they are responsible. AKA letting your kids get into the gun case or sock drawer and play with a loaded gun.


  18. frosty |

    Well at least in Texas using a firearm does increase the sentence from assault to aggravated assault a second degree felony 2-20 years in prison


  19. Tom Carter |

    You’re right, and it goes even further. The definition in Texas law includes this statement: “…uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.” The criminal doesn’t have to use the weapon, just “exhibit” it. That’s appropriate.


  20. Holly |

    There should be no gun control, there should be a tighter control on the idiots who operate guns the wrong way.


  21. Tom Carter |

    Holly, that’s pretty much the standard argument that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. That isn’t valid, but if it were, we could let people walk around with virtually any weapon they wanted — fully automatic firearms, mines, grenades, etc. After all, it isn’t the weapons that are dangerous, just the idiots carrying them.

    Problem is, there’s a whole lot of idiots in the country, and many of them love packin’ heat. In addition, there are lots of criminals whose tool of choice is a handgun, plus well-intentioned people who shoot the wrong person and kids who shoot themselves or another kid. The cost of free-and-easy laws on handgun possession is very high, measured in dead and maimed human beings. A civilized society shouldn’t permit it.


  22. kenny hamilton |

    thats so sad that that lady was shot but if guns were outlawed only outlaws would have guns things would be much worse than they are now besides if someone realy wanted to kill some one they could use a bat ,knife,crossbow,hatchet,brick,pipe,icepick,ax,hammer,or even bare hands i think id rather be shot any way.


  23. Casey |

    Getting rid of having guns being able to be LEGALLY owned will do nothing. people will get arrested for stupid crap like buying a gun, then when the time comes somebody needed a pistol in their closet, that “law abiding citizen” is gana end up with him and his family murdered. get the idiots who cant handle a gun, and dont let them breed. eventually, the population will be smart enough to know that you dont aim something at your child that can send a 9mm chunck of metal through someone else’s head.


  24. Todd |

    What happen to that crazy women that pistol whipped the girl?


  25. Nick |

    And while we’re at it, lets build a lot more prisons to hold all the new handgun possessing felons. WRONG! If you’re worried about gun violence like most gun possessing citizens then invest in schools and community programs that teach our youth how to treat and respect each other. Education over Ignorance!


  26. Tom Carter |

    I absolutely agree with the need for education to overcome ignorance. The further we go with that, the easier it is to understand that America is awash in handguns that should be banned or at least severely restricted.


  27. bob |

    read the constitution


  28. josh |

    Why restrict the gun when we could better educate the people. The main reason for accidents are that the people with the guns are so poorly educated on how to use them. I truly think it could help to have gun saftey as part of the schools requiered teachings, now I’m not saying put a gun a 5 year olds hands. I’m just saying they should learn how a gun is opertated safely over time starting as soon as it is possible. The whole thing is a gun is simply a tool that can be used at the owners disposal no matter what the laws are. So why not teach them insted of trying to take something that wont be given up.


  29. Lam |

    Tom you have been dodging peoples statements and let the other people talk them down to somthing you can attempt to “beat”
    Respond to kennys reply he has some good statements and if you want to prove your statement you need to answer there post nomatter how late it is!
    Ps Guns would be illegaly inported like cocain\meth\monster what ever they call it. and the outlaws would kill the people who cant defend them selfs 8 feet away from them. And crossbows wouldnt work because you would have atleast 50lb draw force to get a arrow to hurt them.


  30. Tom Carter |

    Lam, thanks for your comment. I haven’t been dodging people’s statements in comments. Generally, I respond to a comment if I have something to add but not if I’ve already addressed the points made.

    Kenny’s comment, along with the others, has already been addressed here and in other articles, particularly in Gun Control.


  31. ivan |

    if guns are outlawed, no one will have them?!!?!? Tom, you are a moron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! USE THE DEATH SENTENCE!!!!!!!!!! PASS ALL THE LAWS YOU WANT!! CRIMINALS DO NOT CARE ABOUT LAWS!!!!!!!!!!! THAT IS WHY THEY ARE CRIMINALS!!!!!!!!!!! Only the responsible gun owner follows the laws. I grew up with guns in the house all of my life. Could take a pistol to school if I wanted to. But due to the morals and values my parents instilled in me as a child, the thought never occured to me even when I was bullyied in school!!!!! Today, no parents, no morales or values, alot of violence!!! GO FIGURE!!!


  32. Tom Carter |

    Thanks for your comment, ivan. Being called a moron by someone whose clear and rational thinking is so well demonstrated by his writing is a compliment of sorts, I suppose.


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