Yesterdays awful tragedy at Virginia Tech set off a barrage of questions about gun control in our house.  Why?  Why should people be allowed to buy guns?  Can’t guns just be issued to people in law enforcement?  How can someone get a gun so easily?  Why is that part of our constitution, the right to bear arms?  What is the point?  Haven’t they done studies that show that people who are getting killed by random gun shootings are people who shouldn’t be carrying guns in the first place?  Why do people feel they have to own a gun?  Don’t people feel safe?  Are there checks done before owning a gun?  How come our Government didn’t make major changes after Columbine?  Who the hell is the NRA anyway?

As we have found out this morning that the shooter was a student, other questions will come up.  How come nobody saw it coming?  I am not sure that is the question or if there is an answer.

I want to know why after tragic shootings occur daily, why are private citizens allow to carry guns at all?  If nobody owned guns,  there would be no reason to own one in order to protect yourself because there would be nobody to protect yourself against.

I would hope that Congress would do something radical after this tragedy, like amend the Constitution but my guess is, as usual, our Senators and Congressman will keep the NRA happy instead of being bold and making change for what the majority of the country more than likely supports or for that matter, should support.

Comments (Archived):

  1. James Forbes

    the right to bear arms is in the Constitution in support of the several state’s needs to field militias. It is an individual right and it’s a check on government.
    There is a lot of truth in the old saw that if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. a subordinate problem with a gun ban is will the government pay fair market value for private property it confiscates?
    The NRA is an outgrtowth of redcoat Democratic shooting clubs in the post Civil War South. I specifically dislike it’s Exec. VP, Wayne LaPierre and believe he feeds on some very real societal fears about personal safety.

    There is an odd statstic associated with the VietNam war that supports gun ownership/familiarirty. a large group of draftees called “McNamar’as 100,000” were drafted from inner city youth. They went through the bassic trtaining pipeline, deployed to VN and sufferedtremendous mortality rates. The reason for this, military sociologists postulated, is that they lacked basic weapons familiarity– something ruralAmerican boys don’t suffer from.
    I live in rural San Diego County at the edge of a national forest I plink gophers and voles that destroy my commercial crops and I took out a coyote last spring that was trying to kill and eat my dog. the vet bill to have my dog repaired was about $4,000 and covered three hours of surgery. If you’ve been raised in an inner city, you might not understand this problem. I was raised in s very rural setting in eastern Los Angeles County and think of guns as a tool for pest control. My best friend owns a vineyard in the California Gold Country. He’s lost a lot of producing charbono vines to wild feral pigs. the only way to control them is to eliminate them. I do that for him in the Spring when I go up to disc his vineyard and mow an upper field.

    I also hunt– mostly game birds such as pheasant and quail. It’s been years since I’ve gone deer or boar hunting, but I use to enjoy that a lot.
    Yes they are checks that are performed before a gun sale is completed, JoAnn, and a fair number of sales are stopped in this fashion.

    Gun ownership is a hot topic that deserves an honest examination. I have mixed feelings about it. My sister who would be 52 this year was murdered in front of my family’s home in Azusa, CA, in 1979, an had the idiot who pulled the trigger (celebrating New year’s eve) been stopped from getting a gun, the world would be up one more RN/NP/midwife.
    If we’re going to eliminate guns the way to do it would be to have the EPA ban bullets and reloading supplies as “hazardous materials.”
    Sorry for the long post. A final thought: what works for a resident of NYC may not be what’s thought to be needed by a resident of Rescue, CA. And, as a former infantry sergeant, I would rathr have a platoon of privates and PFC’s who were familiar with firearms before they enlisted than a platoon of art hidtory or film majors from UCLA or NYU. In the end, that familiarity means, as a small unit commander, I write far fewer letters of condolensce and stuff many fewer kids into body bags, a task I did at one time.
    Again, JoAnn, your blog makes me think. I love reading it.
    Jim Forbes

  2. Jonathan

    I read James Forbes’ post with disbelief. Wild feral pigs sound awful. Does that mean we should arm people in the City to shoot the rats (…or just give ’em to the DOH people inspecting Taco Bell)? Come on — pest control doesn’t justify the NRA’s agenda. He says that “…a fair number of sales are stopped…” through gun checks. Just a “fair number”? The need for States to field militias in the 1770’s is justification to retain the right to bear arms now? Were the North Dakota/South Dakota border wars flaring up again? I am having a hard time seeing these as justifications for not having very strict gun control laws. Why is it that in the UK, where they must have wild feral pigs too, few police carry guns and gun related violence is very rare? The biggest fear of European visitors to the US is gun violence. Why? Because guns and gun violence in Europe is so rare….and gun control is enforced. And the 100,000 VN draftees, presumably from the inner city, who suffered a high mortality rate — maybe if the military gave them better training, it wouldn’t have been an issue. Those statistics can be made to say anything you want to and I am skeptical. Should the gov’t have drafted only country kids who knew guns? Or maybe they should have armed the ghetto kids a couple years beforehand so they were familiar. I just don’t buy it.

  3. W.Anderman

    People kill people. Not guns. Having personally been victim of violent crime and held at gunpoint I still firmly believe in the right to own and bear arms. The disarming of a populace is one of the final steps towards a state of fascism. It leaves weapons in the hands of the corrupt and criminal elements only. Just my opinion and not one worth arguing about. I do however respect your right to argue your point, whether I agree with it or not and would defend to the death your right to express it…of course I would be better off being armed in doing that, which I am not. Thank you for the stage even if for a moment…

  4. anon

    Why don’t you read the Consitution and a history book or two.

    You might learn that Congress cannot amend the constitution.

    You might learn that you are an important part of the government. Why haven’t YOU done something about gun control?

    Not to say gun control is a bad idea, but sheesh.

  5. Tony

    Great blog, great post.
    Stats on gun deaths are eloquent. Compare the US (no gun control) with Canada (gun control):
    USA: 4.08 homicide gun deaths per 100,000 population (1999)
    Canada: 0.54 homicide gun deaths per 100,000
    8 times more gun deaths in the US… Unless the American genes south of the border are much more predispose to violence than the Canadian genes north of the border – which I doubt – this huge statistical gap must have something to do with gun control. If my calculations are correct, it’s about 10,000 lives that are “lost” each year in the US in the name of the freedom to wear guns. That’s a high price to pay, isn’t it? People kill people, but people with guns kill more easily and kill more people. What’s more important: the freedom to wear guns, or 10,000 lives saved? For me, it’s an easy choice.