Laws Won’t Stop School Shootings
By Budd Schroeder
We saw another school shooting last week and it was like all but one of the shootings we hear about. It was done in a gun free zone. Many politicians and people believe that that putting up a sign will make an area safer when in actuality it is a murder magnet. Those who wish to wreak the most havoc without being stopped will naturally look for a place where he is least likely to run up against an armed person. We have never heard of a mass murder occurring in the facility of a gun club.
This will probably start another upsurge from the anti-gun politicians to use the emotional upheaval of a school shooting to call for more gun control. This recent shooting was done by a disturbed student who purchased a shotgun after passing a background check. While he wounded two other students, he turned the gun on himself and was the only fatality during the rampage. The shotgun he used was the type used by many hunters to harvest deer and small game. It didn’t have an extended magazine, barrel shroud or even a bayonet lug. It wasn’t an “assault weapon.”
For years, this columnist has decried the use of emotionalism by politicians and the anti-gun advocates instead of depending on reason, truth and logic to make their case. It is obvious that their demands don’t stand the test of reason, truth and logic. It is like any other case of bigotry. Demonize the object and let the results be similar to the witch hunts and trials in old Salem.
The Constitution, in the Bill of Rights, plainly says that the right of the people to keep and bear shall not be infringed. Like all rights, it implies responsibility and reasonableness. The right does not allow a person to harm or threaten another person. The right does not allow the possession of guns to felons, mentally disturbed or incompetent persons. No reasonable gun owner will dispute that because it is logical. To the honest, law-abiding gun owner a gun is only a tool or a work of art to some.
The only thing that makes a gun a weapon is the person holding it. If a carpenter uses a hammer to build a house, he is using it as a tool. If he smashes someone’s skull with it, it is a weapon. People with bad attitudes or mental problems can harm others with or without a gun, but the media and the anti-gun crowd like to focus on the gun rather than the person. It is easier to make laws regarding the ownership and use of guns and convince the public that this will help to reduce violence.
Using this premise, there are more than 20,000 gun laws in the nation counting federal, state and local laws and ordinances. New York is a leader in restrictive gun laws. Recently, they rammed a law through the legislature literally in the middle of the night in response to the emotionalism of the tragedy in Sandy Hook. Ironically, if Connecticut had those laws of the SAFE act of New York in effect, it would not have made any impact on the tragedy.
The gun the shooter used was purchased legally and the purchaser was murdered by the killer to obtain the weapon. All guns start out being bought legally. If a person wants to get a gun and is turned down by a dealer because he can’t pass the background check, he obtains one illegally.
If bans worked, there would not be an illegal drug problem. Where can a person buy cocaine, heroin, crystal meth legally? The answer is nowhere. However, now, prescription drugs are becoming a big problem because of theft and in some states marijuana is now legal. It will be interesting to see how the marijuana sales will affect the people in those states.
How well did Prohibition end drunkenness? That actually was a constitutional issue and created so many problems with organized crime that the amendment had to be repealed. How many incidents does it take to make lawmakers realize that the big problem is that criminals don’t obey laws. The SAFE law affects only honest gun owners who are not a problem.
Who knows? Perhaps some politician will offer a solution by proposing a law to outlaw mental illness. It would be as effective as the SAFE law because it also would have no effect on violent crime.
The dichotomy is that guns are dangerous in the hands of evil people and those with mental problems. Governor Cuomo has been reducing the budget in the areas that would give help to those who suffer from mental disorders, but is increasing the budget to enforce the SAFE law. Some things in the political arena are a bit difficult to understand. In New York some laws are impossible to understand. This is one of them unless one takes the attitude that if something sounds good and enough voters believe it is workable, that is good enough for the politician to get reelected. And that is reason enough for the professional politician.