My heart and prayers go out to all the Sandy Hook victims. No one should have to endure a tragedy of such proportions. Even as a father and grandfather, I am incapable of understanding the grief the parents must be experiencing at this very moment. It is with a truly heavy heart that I write this column. Even so, some things must be noted.
It only took a couple of hours from the moment Americans learned of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre last Friday for the liberal wingnuts , ie editorialists, columnists, broadcasters, politicians to use the occasion to promote one of their most sacred issues, gun control.
Its not like this hasn’t been tried before. Consider the “success” of the Clinton era assault weapons ban. The following is a list of school shootings during that period.
November 15, 1995: Lynnville, Tennessee. A 17-year-old boy shot and killed a student and teacher with a .22 rifle.
February 2, 1996: Moses Lake, Washington. Two students and one teacher killed, one other wounded when 14-year-old Barry Loukaitis opened fire on his algebra class.
February 19, 1997: Bethel, Alaska. Principal and one student killed, two others wounded by Evan Ramsey, 16.
October 1, 1997: Pearl, Mississippi. Two students killed and seven wounded by Luke Woodham, 16. He was also accused of killing his mother. He and his friends supposedly worshiped Satan.
November 27, 1997: West Palm Beach, Florida. Conniston Middle School 14-year-old John Kamel was fatally shot outside school by 14-year-old Tronneal Mangum after an argument over an Adidas watch that Mangum had taken from Kamel.
December 1, 1997: West Paducah, Kentucky. Three students killed, five wounded by Michael Carneal, 14, as they participated in a prayer circle at Heath High School.
December 15, 1997: Stamps, Arkansas. Two students wounded. Colt Todd, 14, was hiding in the woods when he shot the students as they stood in the parking lot.
March 24, 1998: Jonesboro, Arkansas. Four students and one teacher killed, ten others wounded outside as Westside Middle School emptied during a false fire alarm. Mitchell Johnson, 13, and Andrew Golden, 11, fired at their classmates and teachers from the woods.
April 24, 1998: Edinboro, Pennsylvania. One teacher, John Gillette, was killed and two students wounded at a dance at James W. Parker Middle School. Charged with the crimes was Andrew Wurst, 14.
May 21, 1998: Springfield, Oregon. Two students killed, 22 others wounded in the cafeteria at Thurston High School by 15-year-old Kip Kinkel. Kinkel had been arrested and released a day earlier for bringing a gun to school. His parents were later found dead at home, shot to death by their son.
June 15, 1998: Richmond, Virginia. One teacher and one guidance counselor wounded by a 14-year-old boy in the school hallway.
May 19, 1998: Fayetteville, Tennessee. High School Senior Jacob Davis shot and killed eighteen year-old Robert “Nick” Creson in a dispute over a girl.
December 10, 1998: Detroit, Michigan. One professor killed by a graduate student.
April 20, 1999: Columbine, Colorado. 12 students and both shooters along with one teacher killed, 27 others wounded at Columbine High School. Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, had plotted for a year to kill at least 500 and blow up their school. At the end of their hour-long rampage, they turned their guns on themselves.
May 20, 1999: Conyers, Georgia. Six students injured at Heritage High School by Thomas Solomon, 15.
November 19, 1999: Deming, New Mexico. One student killed at Deming Middle School by Victor Cordova Jr., 13.
February 29, 2000: Buell Elementary School, Flint, Michigan. 6-year-old Dedrick Owens shot and killed Kayla Rolland.
May 26, 2000: Lake Worth, Florida Lake Worth Middle School Florida. Teacher Barry Grunow was fatally shot by 13-year-old Nathaniel Brazill, who had returned to school after being sent home for throwing water balloons. Brazill returned to school on his bike with a handgun stolen from his grandfather the week before. Brazill was an honor student and Grunow, reportedly Brazill’s favorite teacher, was a popular teacher.
August 28, 2000: University of Arkansas shooting at Fayetteville, Arkansas. At approximately 12:14 pm, Dr. John R. Locke, 67, Director of the Comparative Literature Program was shot and killed in his office by James E. Kelly, 36, a Comparative Literature PhD candidate who had recently been dismissed from the program for lack of progress towards his degree. Kelly shot Dr. Locke three times before taking his own life in Dr. Locke’s office after it was cordoned off by police.
September 26, 2000. Darrel Johnson, 13, offender in Louisiana school shooting with 1 student fatality.
March 5, 2001. Charles Andrew William, age 15, offender in California school shooting at Santana High School, 15 wounded 2 of which later died.
March 30, 2001. Donald R. Burt Jr., age 18, offender in Indiana school shooting with 1 student fatality.
I have not been able to confirm that all the schools in this list were gun free zones but many were and I believe all the shooters knew if their schools were gun free zones.
The city of Chicago is a prime example of just how drastically gun free zones fail. The city had some of the strictest gun control measures of anywhere in the U.S. As of December 2nd, 2012 there have been 470 murders within city limits. The major media places the number of murders at 485. Clearly another success for the gun grabbing advocates.
With such a stunning record of failure you would think the liberals would reconsider their intractable obsession with an indefensible position. Gun control it seems fails wherever it is practiced. Consider the following.
In the United Kingdom after a school massacre in Dunblane some years ago, the Parliament in a catastrophic knee-jerk reaction banned the private ownership and use of pistols. The result was a fine demonstration of Monckton’s Law of Opposite Consequences. Crimes using handguns increased by 40 percent following the ban.
Thomas Sowell in a recent column “Invincible Ignorance” points out that “In 1954, there were only a dozen armed robberies in London but, by the 1990s– after decades of ever tightening gun ownership restrictions– there were more than a hundred times as many armed robberies.”
In Switzerland, every male citizen of working age must serve one week a year in the national Militia and keep a rifle at home in case anyone is foolish enough to invade. According to liberal logic Switzerland should be awash in the blood of innocents. Yet Switzerland does not have massacres. Interesting.
Many countries with stronger gun control laws than the United States, like Russia, Brazil and Mexico all have higher murder rates than the United States.
Israel, New Zealand, and Finland have high rates of gun ownership and low murder rates.
Lets return to the U.S. for a moment.
Professor Thomas Baker of Virginia Commonwealth University recently completed a study that revealed that since 2006 gun sales in Virginia have climbed 73%, while the number of violent crimes involving guns has declined by more than 27%. Some will call this coincidence. I don’t think so.
For years, the gun grabbers have been telling us that more guns means more crime, more murders etc. These wingnuts will allow no amount of factual evidence to the contrary to be considered.
From the very effective, and thus much hated by liberals, National Rifle Association comes the following.
Studies indicate that firearms are used over 2 million times a year for personal protection, and that the presence of a firearm, without a shot being fired, prevents crime in many instances. Shooting usually can be justified only where crime constitutes an immediate, imminent threat to life, limb, or, in some cases, property.
Here are some current examples from the NRA web site.
Zachary Rogers, 26, was working late one night at the 21st Amendment liquor store. It was just past midnight when an armed man wearing a ski mask entered the store and forced Rogers and another store employee, Alicia Grabarczyk, 25, down a hallway toward an office where the safe was kept. With a concealed handgun in his front pocket, Rogers chose his moment of opportunity carefully. In one quick motion, Rogers pushed Grabarczyk to the floor and fired at the armed robber. He then helped Grabarczyk into the office and out of the line of fire. Although the burglar had been struck, Rogers saw him raise his firearm. Rogers fired three more rounds at the gunman which proved fatal. Neither Rogers nor Grabarczyk were harmed. (Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, IN, 10/11/12)
While at home with his wife and daughter, a homeowner prepared to go outside to investigate a sudden power outage. His wife asked him to carry his firearm with him as a precaution. As he opened the front door to step outside, three men charged him in an attempt to gain entry. The homeowner pushed his wife aside as he fell backward and fired at the intruders. His daughter, a student in her early 20s, hid in another room and called police. One of the three home invaders suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was listed in serious condition. The remaining two suspects managed to escape. The homeowner and his family were not seriously injured. (Sun Sentinel, Miramar, FL, 10/2/12)
Kendra St. Clair, a 12-year-old at home alone one day during her fall break, called her mother at work to say there was a man repeatedly ringing the doorbell and banging on the door. When no one answered the door, she said he disappeared. St. Clair’s mother instructed her daughter to get her .40-cal. Glock pistol and go into a bathroom closet. St. Clair heard him break in through the back door. As the man made his way through her home, 911 dispatchers kept St. Clair on the phone. He was inside the home for approximately six minutes before he made his way to the bathroom where St. Clair was hiding. When she saw the door knob begin to turn, she fired the gun. The 32-year-old intruder was taken into custody after being treated for a gunshot to the chest. (The Oklahoman, Durant, OK, 10/20/12)
George Polanin, 66, went to bed early one evening only to be awakened by noises coming from inside his home. He was upstairs and followed the sound of footsteps to the basement. When he reached the stairs, Polanin said he could see only the intruder’s feet. “ … I got my weapon and basically told him I had a weapon, it was loaded and I will use it,” Polanin said. He then ordered the intruder to come out as he dialed 911. Polanin held the intruder at gunpoint until police arrived. (Kenosha News, Kenosha, WI, 10/17/12)
Cindy Schachter, an employee at Furnari Jewelers, was working when two men entered the store around 4 p.m. Schachter’s boss, Anthony Furnari, was sitting at his desk facing the showroom. Something about the men made Schachter uneasy, so she gave her boss a quiet warning right before they pulled clothing over their faces and jumped over the counter. Furnari quickly pulled his .38-cal. handgun from his desk and fired several rounds at one of the suspects as he came toward him. Furnari was severely beaten as both men tried to gain control of his firearm. When Furnari fought back, the men grabbed a display of gold chains and fled. One suspect was later taken into custody after seeking treatment for several bullet wounds. It was last reported that the second suspect was still at large. Furnari suffered a broken nose, a concussion, multiple stitches to the face and hand, and a fractured rib. Schachter was reportedly unharmed. (The Republican, Chicopee, MA, 10/17/12)
Finally, lets look at Gun Town U.S.A. In March of 1982 the small town of Kennesaw, Illinois, passed an ordinance mandating that the head of every household own and maintain a gun. Liberals went nuts saying Kennesaw would turn into the wild west. Every dispute, they claimed, would end in a gunfight. As far as I have been able to find not a single resident has been involved in a fatal shooting.
Gun control zealots have been on the wrong side of the debate for as long as I can remember. That doesn’t bother them. They are so ideologically invested in their position, or so brainwashed by the media/education establishment, that they have lost the ability to reason. It is perfectly acceptable in their minds to have, if I can borrow a phrase from my military days, target rich environments where no one is likely to be able to defend themselves.
Given their intransigence, these people cannot be reasoned with and must not be listened to. They must be reminded of the rights U.S. constitution gives us and regularly defeated at the ballot box.