Wednesday, April 18, 2007

When playing by the rules makes no sense

The mass-murder at Virginia Technical University makes explicitly clear something that many of us had known all along: People are at their most vulnerable in those places that pride themselves on disarming residents and visitors. I think it's time that those of us who care about our safety stop being so solicitous of rules that put us at risk.

As I write, I'm in the comfortable position of residing in a state that has a relatively liberal concealed-carry law, and that is very accepting of open carry of firearms. Where I live, it's common to walk into Wal-Mart and see people strolling around with guns strapped to their hips. Nobody bats an eyelash.

But I carry a gun much less frequently here than I did when I lived in New York City where doing so is essentially forbidden.

In New York, I felt a sense of danger that I've never encountered in Arizona. The crime rate was high, I lived in a borderline neighborhood (Avenue B in the East Village -- since gentrified) and I worked the night shift for part of my residency there. I've never believed that the government has the right to disarm me, and I adhere to the pragmatic belief that it's better to be tried by 12 than carried by six. As a result, I almost always had either a pistol or a knife (or both) in my pocket as I traveled the streets of the city.

I actually pulled the pistol once, late at night on Avenue B. Two guys on the otherwise abandoned street made straight for me, cutting across the avenue at an angle. I pulled my gun and backed up. They both raised their hands and laughed. One said, "you got us!" Then they walked off.

Make of it what you will.

All of this time, of course, I acted in complete violation of city and state law. Had I been caught, the authorities would, no doubt, have thrown the book at me--they certainly did to other people in similar circumstances. It was a balance of risks; I felt that carrying a gun was a risk worth taking.

For students at Virginia Tech, carrying a gun is a balance of risks, too. The school has a policy against carrying weapons, despite state law allowing concealed carry for people who submit to the permitting process. the school has a track record of punishing people who violate its rule. So there's a risk inherent in carrying a gun in violation of school policy.

But if somebody had flouted that policy on Monday, a lot more people might have survived the day.

That's because criminals, whether mass murderers like Cho Seung-Hui, or simple street criminals of the sort that confronted me on Avenue B, never even consider abiding by policies against weapons. Such policies disarm only potential victims, not the people who prey on them.

Many people of a libertarian bent will agree with me that government officials--including the administrators of public universities like Virginia Tech--have no legitimate authority to restrict the rights of individuals. Laws against carrying a gun might carry risks for violators, but they are morally null and void.

But what if Virginia Tech was a private school? Many liberty-minded folks tell us that private parties have a right to set the conditions for use of their facilities; you either accept the conditions or go elsewhere.

In an abstract sense, I think that argument is correct. But I think it runs up against concerns about privacy--and triviality--that rightly keep us from applying the same principle to other areas of life.

If you stop by the home of a militant anti-smoker, for instance, you're certainly not going to light up in her living room--that would be rude. But you're unlikely to empty your pockets of smoking materials and lock them in the glove box before crossing the threshold. You respect your host's right to regulate behavior in her home, but you probably don't think that you should bother to extend your consideration as far as what you have lying inert in your pockets.

Likewise, if you visit the offices of a vegetarian organization, you're probably not going to start chewing on a piece of beef jerky in the reception area. But you're unlikely to trouble yourself over your leather belt or the ham sandwich sitting uneaten in your briefcase. You're not shoving these items in your hosts' faces, so even though they may be technical violations of house policies, they're not worth fretting over.

So why the big concern over carrying a gun where they're not welcome?

Guns have been stigmatized of course. But that's a political consideration. Objectively, there's no reason to treat them differently than an errant stogie or a ham sandwich. You shouldn't target shoot with a pistol where it's unwelcome, but I see no reason why you should unholster a weapon where it's officially proscribed any more than you should empty your pockets of other personal items just to satisfy a host's intrusive fetishes.

Besides, unlike a gun, a stogie or a ham sandwich is unlikely to save your life.

In the wake of Virginia Tech, we still have to balance the risks we face when we violate oppressive rules. But we don't owe those rules any special deference.



Blogger Joe Max said...

The basic flaw in your argument is that the potential for disaster to arise inadvertantly from carrying a concealed ham sandwich or a piece of beef jerky doesn't exist.

By carrying a weapon of any kind on you or with you (glove box, breifcase, etc) you risk having it be misused by yourself or others. I am not implying that you are a dimwit with a gun that is going to accidentally shoot me or my friends. I am trying to point out to you that my 7 year old couldn't shoot herself with a slim jim if you misstep that one time.

Responsible gun control is controlling guns. We aren't worried about the millions of gun toting citizens who never effect harm on another person, we are afraid of the few demented people who will go off on a rampage.

Bottom line is that if there were 0 guns, there would be 0 gun related deaths. At least I can run from someone with a knife, or defend myself. Ask yourself if those kids at V-Tech thought they had a chance to stop those 9mm rounds with their heads.

April 19, 2007 7:07 AM  
Anonymous Mxermadman said...

Way to hit the nail right on the head. It's too bad that my liberal friends, even when confronted with crisp logic, just don't seem to get it.

April 19, 2007 7:07 AM  
Anonymous sunni said...

And here I thought “responsible gun control” is knowing and practicing the gun safety rules. Silly me!

Excellent piece, Tooch.

April 19, 2007 8:23 AM  
Blogger J.D. Tuccille said...

Excellent piece, Tooch.

Thanks, Sunni! I just hope we can get the post-shooting debate turned in the right direction.

April 19, 2007 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the SS and brown shirts had been met at every door by a Jew with a gun in their hand, the holocaust would have cost as many Nazi lives as Jewish ones. On the whole, that's better than being being led peacefully to slaughter.

April 19, 2007 9:48 AM  
Anonymous andrew said...

As a Jew, I could not agree more, anonymous.

Those that would give up liberty for security deserve neither (or something close to that). Maybe liberals need to be reminded of this. They certainly, and rightfully so, pulled that out for Bush.

April 19, 2007 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry joe max, that just doesn't make sense. The phrase "If there were 0 guns..." is purely academic and therefore a moot point. If you were to take away every single gun from law abiding citizens, the non-law abiding citizens will still have them. So it won't matter if you can outrun someone with a knife, they will still have the gun.

The statement, "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns," isn't just a catchy phrase, it's the absolute truth.

J.D., Thank you for the post, I couldn't agree more.

April 19, 2007 12:29 PM  
Blogger Oliver Drew said...

Living in Britain, it's not really my place to comment on American state/federal law (I believe gun laws are state controlled in America?).

However, think on guns = no shootings.

While it's not impossible to get hold of a weapon even when banned, it sure as heck reduces the opportunities available to any potentially homicidal people.

I see your (the original writer's) point...but I can't agree with it.

April 19, 2007 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i, too, live in n. az.and have for 50 yrs. i taught my sons(at ages 5 and 8) how to properly handle, care for and shoot firearms. my eldest sons best friend joined us at age 14, those two are in the air force and marines,respectively. both are classified as expert marksmen by our military and not only do not walk in fear, they defend our nation. they, like me, would not have allowed the carnage that occurred in virginia if given a chance to prevent it; too bad the victums were not.
this is the perfect example of why we need less gun control not more.
"guns kill people like spoons made rosie o'donnell fat"rings true.

April 19, 2007 1:50 PM  
Blogger matt said...

"Sorry joe max, that just doesn't make sense. The phrase "If there were 0 guns..." is purely academic and therefore a moot point. If you were to take away every single gun from law abiding citizens, the non-law abiding citizens will still have them."

in the exact same amount? would they have the same exact access to guns? way to pick & choose your descriptives.

"The statement, "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns," isn't just a catchy phrase, it's the absolute truth."

and, as we see in nations with strict gun control laws, so do the police. so that's disingenuous to say as well.

i'm not even for gun control. what i *am* for is valid discussion and not baseless rhetoric. while i agree w/most of what this article is about, comments like these blind the issue.

April 19, 2007 1:56 PM  
Anonymous sunni said...

Mr. Drew, I submit that your no gun equation is rather like trying to make the pregnant girl a virgin again. Nations can round up all the guns they lay their hands on, melt 'em down, and ban more from entering their country. Guess what? It won't make a damned bit of difference! The technology and knowhow exists, and no amount of wishful thinking will change that reality. If anyone reading thinks otherwise, consider the amount of contraband that regularly gets smuggled into prisons (USSA ones, anyway) – and that's one of the tightest security areas around!

To extend the point further, one-time shotguns can be made with paper. What's the federal government going to do, ban the New York Times Sunday edition? Victim disarmament – the real tactic behind the euphemism of "gun control" – is a bad battle that can never be won.

April 19, 2007 2:16 PM  
Blogger J.D. Tuccille said...

Out of curiosity, folks. Who linked to the blog? Inquiring authorial minds want to know.


April 19, 2007 3:12 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

I do rather agree that if all guns were made illegal in the United States it would limit spree killings, such as what happened at virgina tech. However, criminal organizations, (gangs and mafia style) would still use and gain access to guns easily, they're in the habit of importing illegal goods anyway.

In England because rival criminal organizations (if such exist as they do in america) haven't been engaged in turf wars for years with the use of guns. Simply banning them would have no effect on these groups because it is how they fight their wars. As with illegal drugs where there is a market there will be a supply.

Spree killers on the other hand would generally not have access to the same lines of supply as criminal organizations. Therefore they would have a much more difficult time in procurring them.

That being said eliminating all guns would mean the effective end of hunting. Which, being fond of animals, I find distressing. If you want a species to do well allow people to hunt it, they will ensure that it has all the land that it needs to prosper. And assuming that we keep shotguns and rifles legal for hunting then people will still be able to gain access to weapons. A semi-auto shotgun, I'm fairly sure, could do quite a bit of damage. They can also be reloaded very quickly if you know what you're doing.

As for accidental deaths, as Joe Max spoke of, simply educating everyone on proper gun use would solve that problem. I was raised in a house were guns were not locked up and ammo was easy to get at. And never once did I nor any of my three brothers use them as toys. We knew what guns were and how dangerous they -could- be. Therefore we treated them with respect.

It is for these reasons that I do not support gun control.

As for me, I found this via StumbleUpon, although I'm about to go link to this on a private forum for myself and my friends.

April 19, 2007 4:50 PM  
Anonymous sunni said...

I linked to you, Tooch, in a comment on a Conspirator's post that was not focused on VT.

April 19, 2007 7:46 PM  
Blogger Maile said...

Great post. Thanks for speaking out on this topic...most people would not have done so.

April 19, 2007 11:53 PM  
Blogger Ian said...

You are exactly the person I was thinking about when I first heard of the Virginia Tech shootings. The "gun enthusiast" who sees as a solution to incidents such as this in allowing the entire population to freely carry concealed weapons; the rights of the individual over the group must prevail in every case, and especially in that of self-defense. Now, I will concede that had one of the victims had a gun, many lives may have been saved.
But what do we sacrifice when every single member of society may or may not be carrying a gun? I'm sorry, "Tooch", but I don't trust your skills with a gun, and I don't trust your judgment. If you were a good friend, I might. Might. But to have you on the subway sitting between me and an unstable, dangerous person when the situation starts getting out of hand only makes it worse in every realistic way.
The perfect situation, that you envision, is that you are in fact Jack Bauer, have perfect aim, can respond well and appropriately to every threat, and expect to be able to deal with any threat from any individual. This will never happen. But more importantly, the most significant problem with you defending yourself with your gun while I'm there is that you are doing just that - defending yourself. In the middle of a situation as desperate and chaotic as a shootout situation, you will undoubtedly be thinking of nothing but your own safety, not to mention the fact that you've (as you attest in your article) never actually fired a gun under such a situation. The only thing telling you that you could is some primitive sense of manliness, quietly reassuring you that yes, if the Al Qaeda All-Stars suddenly burst through your office front door armed to the teeth, you could take them all out in a brilliant flash of tactical gunplay. But you couldn't. And I don't trust you to do pretty much anything with that gun except carry it, unloaded and uncocked. This has nothing to do with your technical shooting skills, of course, I'm sure you've practiced with your guns and can use them on the range quite well. But that is an entirely different ball-game from using them on people, in the real world, in a situation that would require it.
You compare bringing a gun to Wal-Mart to eating meat at the offices of a vegetarian organization - come on. Even I could come up with a better comparison than that; do you really think you can compare the two? You believe guns are a "nuisance" to those who disagree with your ability to freely carry them, like smokers are a "nuisance" to those of us who enjoy fresh air when we're out walking downtown. Nobody has the ability to kill me with a piece of meat, or a cigarette. But they might put a bullet in my head with that gun, despite their own best intentions. That's something none of us can live with, and many of us will die from. The answer to the Virginia Tech problem is the same as it's always been - find these kids before they start killing us, sit them down, and talk to them. You can see it on the news - all the signs were there, just like they always are. Never make the mistake that guns are the solution to a problem like this - once the problem has escalated to that level, it cannot be solved, only ended in tragedy.

April 20, 2007 9:54 AM  
Anonymous sunni said...

Ian wrote, “The perfect situation, that you envision, is that you are in fact Jack Bauer, have perfect aim, can respond well and appropriately to every threat, and expect to be able to deal with any threat from any individual. This will never happen. But more importantly, the most significant problem with you defending yourself with your gun while I'm there is that you are doing just that - defending yourself. In the middle of a situation as desperate and chaotic as a shootout situation, you will undoubtedly be thinking of nothing but your own safety ...”

That reads very much like the stereotypical view hoplophobes have of responsible gun owners. And it is very far from my personal experiences, as well as the reading I've done. No one I've met carries a firearm in hopes of acting out some heroic fantasy; while we can sometimes get very enthusiastic about our guns and gear, I think most of us hope like hell we never have to use it in a life-and-death situation. And, we are very much aware of our limitations, particularly in emergency situations. That's one reason why “mere” range practice can be very helpful; instilling safe habits and good muscle memory is essential to performing well under stress.

One of the basic safety rules for handling firearms is to always know your target, and what's beyond it. In other words, if you can't get a clear shot at the bad guy because of an innocent in the way, then you don't take the shot. In the Appalachia law school incident, the two gun-owning students who brought the bad guy down apparently had no difficulty recognizing who was the threat, and who wasn't.

Responsible gun owners aren't awash in testosterone and looking to prove themselves. We understand that we have to provide for our own safety and security, make informed choices as to how to go about that, and most of us develop the habit of thinking through possible scenarios and appropriate responses. And we realize that most of the time, using a firearm is the last resort — but sadly, sometimes it is necessary.

And the even sadder truth, exemplified once again by the VT bloodbath, is that prohibiting responsible individuals from carrying firearms enables an individual on a rampage to do much more harm. If one of his first victims had had a gun, the VT shooter might not have made it out of that room. And I don't even want to think about all the possible emulators out there now, planning their escapades because they've seen that disarmed civilians in public places are plums ripe for the picking. That's the real tragedy.

April 20, 2007 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Virginia Tech is "Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University," not "Virginia Technical University" or "Virginia Tech University."

April 20, 2007 2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask yourself this question...

Would you put a sign in your front yard saying something like:

"There are NO guns in this house!"

I asked an anti-gun nut that question and he said no.

Banning guns is just like putting that sign in your front yard.

The Washington Post just ran a story saying roughly 400,000 people are killed each year in car accidents. Should we ban cars?

No. The idea of banning guns is just a knee-jerk reaction promoted at a time of tradegy.

April 20, 2007 2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everybody needs to go rent the movie "Red Dawn".

I believe that because the American people are armed has prevented an invasion by foreign forces.

Who is going to protect you if a similar scenario rears it's ugly head?

China is a quietly growing threat and Venezuela has been arming up and getting buddy-buddy with all of the truly evil leaders around the world. Especially Communist ones.

It will be people like me that will stand up and fight to protect the United States. The so called "gun nuts" will be able to form a militia to fight anyone that dare rise up against the US.

Arming the people also prevents the government from suppressing it's citizens.

April 20, 2007 2:48 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

I too speak from England, so the understanding of the American obsession with guns is lost on me - however, we have noticed that there has been an increase in gun related deaths in London due to the rise in the immigrant Afro/Carribean bringing over their gun culture. The British response? More armed police. Give it another 10 or 15 years and it will be commonplace to see police and security guards in Britain carrying firearms.

April 20, 2007 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I never understood the British police NOT carrying guns.

If my memory of America history is correct, the right to own a gun, just like the right to free speech, freedom of religion, etc. was put in place because of countries like England.

On July 4, 1776, we claimed our independence from Britain and Democracy was born. Our beloved Constitution was against everything that Britain was for. Early Americans told Britain to "Kiss our bums"!

Arm the people and it makes it hard for the government to persecute it's people.

I just read a 2003 article by the BBC titled "Why Britain needs more guns" it states "According to a recent UN study, England and Wales have the highest crime rate and worst record for "very serious" offences of the 18 industrial countries surveyed."


"It is true that in contrast to Britain's tight gun restrictions, half of American households have firearms, and 33 states now permit law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons.

But despite, or because, of this, violent crime in America has been plummeting for 10 consecutive years, even as British violence has been rising. By 1995 English rates of violent crime were already far higher than America's for every major violent crime except murder and rape."

Britain is being "invaded" by immigrants and so is America. I believe that Europe will rapidly become more Muslim. I believe that France will be the first country to fall. They are well known for their retreating skills. I'm afraid that America may see a similar demise. We are being invaded without a shot being fired.

Fight back against crime. Quit being wimps people! Man-up!!!

America is starting to lose it's "balls". The political party that supports gun control is mainly the Democratic party. Their ideals and beliefs are very similar to Communisim. Big government, more control over the people, etc.

Keep this in mind
If American created, all of Europe would be speaking German right now and this debate would not even be happning. We would all be in prison for speaking out.

America is America because of it's freedoms, including the "Right to bear arms".

Keep that in mind next time you disagree with America's democratic ways. This is the land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE!!!!!

April 20, 2007 5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops, I had a typo.

the paragraph should read...

Keep this in mind
If American was never created, all of Europe would be speaking German right now and this debate would not even be happning. We would all be in prison for speaking out.

April 20, 2007 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anthony B. said...

if no on had guns, who would shoot the crazy people?

April 20, 2007 6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Why is this hard for people to accept? Even the poor ignorant rednecks the anti-gunners like to talk about myself included had to study "American History" in high school.
Robert in rural Louisiana

April 20, 2007 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple of posters have espoused the notion that "no guns = no shootings". The problem is you can’t put the genie back in the bottle. There are guns and there will always be guns. And deranged, would-be killers will always find a way to obtain them. No law in the world will ever change those facts. The most any law can do is disarm honest, law-abiding citizens. And when that happens, the job of those would-be killers gets much, much easier.

And please, enough with the argument that strict gun control laws will at least make it harder for the deranged and criminals to obtain guns. Hard or easy, they will still get them, and when your standing there looking down the barrel of a gun, it's of little consequence that the guy that's about to shoot you had a hard time getting that gun. Do you think if we had made it more difficult for the Va Tech shooter to obtain his gun that he would have just stayed at home and left everybody alone? Let me help you, the answer is NO. In fact, if we had made it hard enough, who knows, he may have resorted to bombing. And if you think that’s not likely, do a Google search for Bath School, Bath Michigan, 1927. 45 killed in an elementary school. And no guns were used.

And then another poster responded to “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have them“ with this gem: “and, as we see in nations with strict gun control laws, so do the police.” That’s great, but unless one of those policeman is going to accompany me everywhere I go, I believe a handgun will be far more effective at protecting me from a would-be killer. Cops use guns to protect themselves, not you and me.

April 20, 2007 9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution

Sigmund Freud: "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." ("General Introduction to Psychoanalysis," S. Freud)

The Dalai Lama: "If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun." (May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times)

Israeli Police Inspector General Shlomo Aharonisky: “There's no question that weapons in the hands of the public have prevented acts of terror or stopped them.”

Ted Nugent: "To my mind it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death. How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic."

"To disarm the people [is] the best and most effectual way to enslave them …" George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380 (June 14, 1788).

"The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us." Patrick Henry, "Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death" speech delivered on March 23, 1775.

April 21, 2007 4:04 AM  
Blogger sean said...

"If American was never created, all of Europe would be speaking German right now and this debate would not even be happning. We would all be in prison for speaking out."

LOL..... you crazy americans! You can play this game as far back as our knowledge of history goes. Ill just ask this one question to maybe stimulate your minds..... who settled in america? ok, better answer that just incase its lost on you.... in general a vast number of them could be identified as europeans.

Congratulations as the last poster seems to have a talent for taking historic quotes out of their historical context as if they could be seen to apply in the present day when their authors could not have envisaged our present world. They r persuasive not determative so maybe comment on them at least!

"On July 4, 1776, we claimed our independence from Britain and Democracy was born"
Didnt britain have a parliament at that stage? and elections..... wasnt it a constitutional monarchy? Although not a modern liberal democracy wouldnt roman and greek democracy count, and precedes american independence by a substantial amount of time! lol....

"A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."
Finally the 2nd amendment has surely also been taken out of its historical context. Dont put too much weight in the courts views of its legal significance as they are known to take their own judgements out of their historical context.... its how things are done by a judge.... but not a historian. At the time of the amendment america didnt have a large standing army. Today america has one of the largest standing armys in the world along with a large naval & airforce. Wheres the need for a militia to protect security? Unless its a vigilante militia or a revolutionary one i guess. But surely neither of these would be welcomed.

April 21, 2007 6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The trouble with you Americans is neither guns nor gun control. It is attitude. I live in Crete, Greece and believe me the amount of firearms here is tremendous... (it is rumored that some people even have World War 2 TANKS hidden not just guns). Yet we have never witnessed phenomenae like VT. What you americans lack is common sense and restraints.
But what do u expect when your goverment (no comment on that) messes up the entire middle east under the pretext of democracy? The average moron with a gun sees this attitude and gets a bad example. Then one day he feels angry and starts to think it is a goood idea to go and shoot people. Just like your goverment thinks it is a good idea to start a war when they disagree with something (or of course when there is good money to be made....) VT is your own doing, something that you created and cant blame on anyone else...
It is high time you started wondering what is it that makes you (in your own opinion of course) so high and mighty? What is it that gives you the right of meddling in other peoples lives and countries? How dare you twist sacred concepts (like freedom and democracy) to best suit your own needs? It is this attitude that has made you hated across the world, the same attitude that backfired in VT and Columbine.
2 more things: 1). I mean no disrespect to the victims of VT and their families. Indeed I am very sorry this ever happened. 2). I am not a crazy anti-american guy. I smoke Lucky Strike, wear Levis, have coffe at Starbucks and love coca cola and intend to continue doing so. What I am is an indignant THINKING person who is fed up with your overall lack of concern for others. All I am saying is that with events such as these you are just harvesting your own seeds of destruction. STOP then asking why as it is very simple. STOP having stupid arguments like gun control cause they are irrelevant. STOP having a great idea of yourselves as it is most certainly wrong and will lead to more of this. START mending your attitude and sooner than you know it America will be the nation that you all dream about.

April 21, 2007 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean who are you to say that I'm taking those quotes and our Constitution out of context?

I'm assuming you are from across the pond. How can a non-American even have the nerve to interpret what our founding fathers were saying.

So shut up and mind your own business. Quit trying to fix America, we don't need your help! We don't need your suggestions. We don't need an interpreter to read our Constitution!
America is not to blame for the VT tragedy. A gun is not to blame either.

I have 5 guns in my bedroom and none of them have killed or wounded anyone nor have they been used to commit a crime.

So to blame America and/or guns is absurd.

It's the humans stupid!!!!

We recently had an old man (California I think) that slammed his car into a large crowd of people. Was America or the car to blame for that?

I think not.

People get stabbed all the time, but people don't want to ban knives. Most of Europe is just like America, we listen,like sheep, to the sometimes one sided view of things force fed by the media.

Did you know that more people died in car accidents on 9/11 than died in the 9/11 attacks?

Quit being a sheep and become a lion. The media is almost always one sided and it's usually the liberal side. Fox News has exposed that "Hollywood Liberal" bias.

Also, our foreign policy has nothing to do with this gun issue. I didn't agree with the Iraq war to begin with.

President Clinton let multiple attacks happen during his 12 years in power and Bush said enough is enough. We are fighting back, not taking any crap anymore from the "The Religion of Peace".

After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six and injured 1,000; President Clinton promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

After the 1995 bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed five U.S. military personnel; Clinton promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

After the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 and injured 200 U.S. military personnel; Clinton promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

After the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa, which killed 224 and injured 5,000; Clinton promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

After the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 and injured 39 U.S. sailors; Clinton promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

Maybe if Clinton had kept his promise, an estimated 5,000 people in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. who are now dead would be alive today.

Wake up you wimps of the world, the Radical Muslims wants us to convert or die! I am going to do neither!

The can have my gun when they take it from my cold dead hands.

One last thing...

How is it that on one hand a country or people hate America, and then Americans ignore that hate and donate vast sums of money to aide when tragedy strikes that very country. Americans are the most generous in the world, despite being hated. Former Presidents Clinton and Bush Sr. traveled around the country to raise money for the tsunami victims, despite their religious beliefs.

We help and they hate.

April 21, 2007 12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the post above:
Like I said, it is a matter of attitude. And like I said it is the average moron with a gun and not everyone who goes on a rampage. But unfortunatelly one moron is enough to kill 32 people. As for your help to foreign countries without meaning to belittle it I think it has its own agenda. If you just stop and think you will realise that after countless wars for money (or petrol or whatever) the only thing that can help America save face is "humanitarian" help. It 's the wars people hate you about and cause terrorist attacks not the help you give to people, stupid!!!
Now i dont blame Americans for all that is wrong in the world today. I just blame you for your arrogance and electing representatives you did, and merely pointing out the obvious consequenses. Also please accept my congratulations on owning 5 guns and not killing anybody. You are a truly wise man....

April 21, 2007 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny how people push aside history to promote an agenda. Be it guns or war.

Correct me if I'm wrong. Was WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Balkans, Gulf War 1 and Somalia were about oil.

They were about the US HELPING oppressed people. I'd be willing to bet that guns were outlawed in those countries. The people couldn't defend themselves and their own armies weren't strong enough. Just the government and thugs had guns.

FYI - The main reason for Gulf War 1 was to liberate Kuwait and protect Saudi Arabia. People just automatically assume that because of the locale it MUST be about oil.

I believe that the free world is doomed to all of the limp wristed, anti-gun, anti-war, sheep-le (sheep+people=sheep-le).

We are growing more and more pu#sy-fied every day. People are just laying down and giving up and Idiocracy is becoming a reality. -Go rent the movie Idiocracy.-

You anti-war, anti-gun people make me sick. As a people we are becoming more and more like the French - RETREAT!!!!!!!

Help us America, for the love of God help save us! Thanks America, but we still hate you.

The United States has been in existence since 1776, almost 231 years and in the year 2007 the world is just now really complaining and crying like children. "Boo-Hoo, It's not fair".

People, we have never faced a greater threat than the one from Radical Islam. America has to play by the rules but our enemy doesn't. But you don't see American at the US demanding the terrorist play fair, do you.

By the way if you need a prescription for a set of testicles, I heard about a Doctor in Texas that might be able to help. God know some of you need it.

April 21, 2007 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now who is the sheep who takes in all the media has to offer? Of course you wouldnt advertise a war for money or oil. No no no no you need a noble cause for that as we live in the "civilised" age. It has to be dressed up as "liberating". Wake up you fool and see the real world and not the phantasy in which you daydream. It is people like you who let the war mongers do what they will (under the excuse of being lions) but primarily because of their fear, yes fear of diversity. I live much closer, to the radical muslims you mention and have never had to worry about them. Do you know why? Because we have never hurt them thats why. And i must say you sound like a radical yourself.. And for the record i am not anti gun.. I dont care about guns. As for the set of testicles seeing I don't need them (and dont need a gun to prove it) you can have them and put them to whatever use you deem fit. I trust the point is taken

April 21, 2007 3:05 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Sean said, "Today america has one of the largest standing armys in the world along with a large naval & airforce. Wheres the need for a militia to protect security?"

The answer to that is simple, Sean. The navy and airforce weren't able to protect us at Virginia Tech. Nor would they be able to protect us from our government. The military is to protect the nation. The second amendment is to protect individuals.

The person from Greece (btw I just visited your country, learned some of your language, and can't wait to go back, it is very beautiful) said, "The trouble with you Americans is...."

Already I disagree with you, my friend. The last thing that Americans are is a group. We are all as different as can be, and to say that something is true about all or even most Americans is going to be wrong.

"the amount of firearms here is tremendous.... Yet we have never witnessed phenomenae like VT."

This is a tremendous over-simplification. The city I live in has 5 times the population of crete and has never had an incident like this either. The USA has 30 times as many people as your country does, so there will be more problems like this here. Our cities are much denser. Also, your country is much more homogenous. Everyone comes from the same background and has the same understandings of each other. You have completely different problems than we have here. So please don't tell me about how all of our problems as a people are because of our bad attitudes.

And if you want to call September 11 a disagreement or an opportunity for profit, please try considering the other side of things first. Suppose you have by far the largest military in the world, and the rest of the world continually looks to you for their defense, so that they can take the moral high ground and spend less on their own militaries. Then suppose that someone kills 3,000 of your people in 2 hours with no warning. Finally, suppose that those people come from a terrorist group that has sworn to keep attacking you, that has training camps in Iraq, a country run by a madman who slaughters his own people, who despises you, and who refuses to allow people in to even see if he is still working on nuclear weapons or not.

I'm tired of all the negative spin from people like you who only hear the same viewpoints and who live in a completely different world with different rules and different circumstances. We have defended you many times. Now we are trying only to defend ourselves, and hopefully to save some innocents in the process. I won't say the plan has been well-executed, but I don't believe it was wrong to go in.

The short version: Don't apply the same label to all of us, and at least try to understand the world we are living in, or you look like the one with the bigoted attitude.

April 21, 2007 3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan, you are only too right when you say that the same label shouldn't be used for all Americans. I of course do not believe that all of you are evil and/or stupid. Far from it actually. Also you do have a very good point on the greek society being much more homogenous than your own.
But as i mentioned before only one idiot/deranged/whatever person suffices for a tragedy. And being who he is (idiot/deranged/whatever) he usually doesnt think for himself. What he does is absorb the messages that are most frequent in his environment and act by them. I saw the video manifesto Cho made, and i don't think there was a single original thought. I may be wrong of course...
I also tend to think that the way a society acts filters down to individuals and if some dimwit perceives his country to be "the one" or "kicking ass" or trying to "save the world" he will only try to be like it in his own dimwit way. This can be prevented with good sound education but i cannot comment on that since i havent the vaguest idea of your education system and its results.
As for Iraq let us not forget who it was that put this madman (as you say) into office and gave him weapons of m.d. in the first place...
Without risking oversimplification i think it is safe to assume that all wars are made for profit (exept defending your own soil) and need a legitimate excuse as well as good cause to dim the waters...
Actually when a capitalist society reaches the point where more is being generated than consumed it must spend to survive or face a crak like in 1929. So what better way than a good old fashioned war? You spend millions waging it, and invest more millions on fixing the country you have devastated. Of course one needs a reason (either provoked or manufactured) to wage a war and a good enemy... Years ago it was the communists, now it is the terrorists, and if they purge it will be something else (most probably of a religious kind). How much more of this? Defending a country when it does your bidding and defending its enemy when it doesn't? All along it is all about profit. Surelly you can see that but of course it would hurt to admit it... So be it... I have great difficulty in accepting my own flaws so i will not critisize that.


April 21, 2007 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it me, or does the rest of the world think that Americas walk around with guns shooting people?

I am 37 years old and live in an area of about 200,000 people my whole life. I have NEVER pulled a gun on anyone, NEVER heard (with my ears) a gun being fired in public not have I seen ANYONE shot, much less killed with a gun, knife or any other deady weapon, except an automible.

Sure there are shooting that happen, but the leading cause of death in my area is drug overdose.


(1) heart attack (mainly) - 28.5%
(2) cancer - 22.8%
(3) stroke - 6.7%
(4) emphysema, chronic bronchitis - 5.1%
(5) Unintentional injuries/accidents - 4.4%
(6) diabetes - 3.0%
(7) flu & pneumonia - 2.7%
(8) Alzheimer's Disease - 2.4%
(9) kidney disease - 1.7%
(10) systemic infection - 1.4%
(11) suicide - 1.3%
(12) liver disease - 1.1%
(13) high blood pressure - 0.8%
(14) Assault/homicide - 0.7%
(15) All other causes - 17.4%

April 21, 2007 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I have to say is don't judge all of America because 1 nutcase went crazy.

That is like saying all Asians are bad because Cho did something bad. We have a large black community where I live and we cannot judge the all if they do something bad.

One big cause of gun crime is the drug culture and poverty.

Americans will never be disarmed, I know too many people that would hide their guns rather than give them up.

Most Americans own guns 100% legally, they have committed no crime (felons cannot possess guns - yet some do). Legal gun owners have done nothing wrong and yet they are the first ones attacked when someone acts stupid. I ask, why?

Why point the finger at the innocent when the real "bad guys" get away with murder. It goes back to blaming cars for killing people, and spoons for making us fat.

April 21, 2007 4:55 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Hello Pete,

I agree with what you said about Cho not having one original thought. I've heard everything he said many times in the media here.

On the other hand, I've heard many other, better messages in the media here too. Everyone here gives a different message. Part of free speech (which I know the Greeks believe in strongly too) is hearing the good messages as well as the bad. I don't believe that the crazy people absorb the messages that are most frequent in their society. I believe they absorb the messages that most appeal to their crazy natures.

As for Iraq, I'll just add one more thing, since I don't want to sidetrack J.D.'s blog too much. I believe it was about self-defense, not profit. Every country has a certain level of insecurity they're willing to accept before they go and do something about it. I believe that for Americans, that level of tolerance is very low. Americans are very accustomed to feeling very safe and secure, an ocean away from all the wars and poverty, and with a huge military to boot. I've had many friends from Europe tell me how much safer they felt living here, and it was the very reason many of them moved here. I know I said earlier that you can't lump all Americans into the same label, but one thing that we all were after 9/11 was united, and a bit afraid -- something we're not used to here. I think that Iraq was about our security first, and helping the Iraqis second. But I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree. I just wish that Iraq had been handled better from the beginning, and not turned into such a disaster. That's what I am truly sorry for.

Pleasure to meet you, Pete.

April 21, 2007 5:53 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

P.S. J.D., nice post. And I also came to your blog through StumbleUpon.

April 21, 2007 6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I hear in the media is "make it harder to get a gun legally and then the nut cases out there won't be able to do what Cho did." What I have to say to that is "bullshit". I am a 63 year old white male, who lives in a middle class American neighborhood where not much violence or crime happens. I don't use drugs or alcohol. I said that because I challenge anyone to give me $500.00 U.S. and put me in any city in America or anywhere else in the world. Give me 24 hours and I will aquire for you an illegal
gun that you can use to kill someone if you choose to do so. My point is simple, criminals don't pay any attention to "gun laws".
Now I challenge anyone reading this to prove me wrong.

April 21, 2007 11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan, the pleasure is mutual. And I guess you are right say we 'll have to agree to disagree. I am however intrigued by your points of view and would like to continue this discussion more privately as we did sidetrack from the main issue of this blog (sorry about that J.D.). You (or anyone else for that matter) can contact me at I am looking forward to hearing from you.


April 22, 2007 2:12 AM  
Anonymous Matt said...

Excellent post! I completely agree with you, and it sounds exactly like a post of mine I wrote about a few days back. If you have the time, check it out!

April 22, 2007 5:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a simple comparison that seems to have been largely ignored here. In 1997, the British government in practice banned the use of guns for self-defense by (1) making it almost impossible for most people to get a gun permit and (2) mandating the "safe storage" of guns, i.e. mandating the storage of guns in an essentially unusable condition.

Violent crime then began to go *up*, and is now higher per capita than in the USA.

Conversely, around 1991, there began a movement to relax gun laws, and allow concealed carry. Since then, violent crime has gone *down* in the USA.

So, if the availability of guns causes violence, why has the US crime rate been dropping, while that of the gun-free Britain has been rising?

April 22, 2007 9:19 AM  
Blogger Ronald said...

AMEN to this.

April 22, 2007 12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Criminals prefer unarmed victims

April 28, 2007 4:19 PM  
Blogger Stickman said...

Read the history of the Philippines (the hard-to-find "Swish of the Kris" by early 20th century military officer Vic Hurley is a great source). Filipinos gave us the phrase "to run amok", based on deranged individuals killing up to several dozen victims, using only a sword. It is the mindset of the perpetrator that makes him dangerous; tools will always exist, even if guns did not. Furthermore swords are silent and so do not reveal one's location. Imagine how successful a murderer could be in a highrise or dormitory if their killing spree was silent.

May 19, 2007 11:03 AM  

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