*Another* Gun Control Op-ed

I do say, they must grow on trees lately. A Google News search for “gun control” popped up this Op-ed piece by Mike Fox, for the Bristol Herald Courier.

I don’t often do this; but I’m so very tired of people writing these things without doing any research.

I AM not “politicizing” the Tech tragedy by wanting to discuss gun control. Once the facts of the shootings became known, lawmakers across the nation immediately re-evaluated mental health treatment and college safety protocol as well as background check procedures. Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine closed a loophole in background check data-mining regarding mental illness disqualifications, and Congress is currently reviewing a bill that would help all states do the same.

Well, you kind of are politicizing the tragedy, actually. Since you used it as your launch point for this article anyway. However, I agree that Gov. Kaine did the right thing in regards to the VA background check system, and I also feel like states should be required to report involuntary commitments of persons to the NICS.

Besides revamping the background check system, the federal assault weapons ban needs to be reinstated. No hunter could possibly need an Uzi, AK-47 or AR-15, and they’re gratuitous for home protection.

A quick fact check would prove otherwise. Fully automatic Uzi’s, AK-47s, and AR-15s have been illegal to the general populace for quite some time; in fact no machine gun manufactured after 1986 can be sold to a civilian. The only “Uzis” out there for you and I are semi-automatic carbines, generally chambered for 9mm. 9mm is one of the most common cartridges in America used for self defense, to use it in a carbine that functions no differently than a pistol seems pretty reasonable for home defense.

As to the AK47 and the AR15 being used for hunting, the AK47 fires a cartridge which is ballistically quite similar to one of the most venerated deer cartridges in the world, the .30-30. The AR is one of the most popular rifles being used for varmint hunting, as it’s inherent accuracy and adaptability lend itself nicely to a variety of platforms and cartridges.

Also, President Bush should sign into law a bill which would allow the U.S. attorney general to deny a gun purchase to anyone on a terror suspect watch list. Virginia limits purchasers to one gun per month, but a three- to five-day waiting period should also be enacted, as well as finally requiring background checks at gun shows for unlicensed venders.

I think that most people, when they look at that bill would realize that’s it not a good thing. The “terror suspect list” is a list of suspects, which means that they haven’t been arrested, or put on trial. Additionally, the list is secret (for good reason), but that means that anyone could be on it. I can’t support any legislation that could easily deprive a citizen of their rights without due process.

As to waiting periods – that’s always something that gets trotted out, and I can’t really figure out why. A waiting period certainly wouldn’t have stopped the VA Tech shooter. Until someone can present a valid reason why waiting periods would work to prevent crime, I’m not going to buy it.

Gun shows are another issue – there is no gun show loophole. There is no such thing as an “unlicensed dealer”, by their very definition a firearms dealer must have a Federal Firearms License.

Some conservatives mulled that if concealed weapons had been permitted on Tech’s campus, the gunman might’ve been stopped. Yet, that doesn’t mean anyone in Norris Hall would’ve had a concealed weapon or that they would’ve been able to use it to stop the gunman; after all, more than 50 people were killed or wounded in that building.

“B” does not logically follow “A” in this statement. He says that allowing students with concealed weapons permits to carry wouldn’t have necessarily stopped the shooter because 50 people were wounded. That doesn’t even begin to make sense, as I could easily say that “allowing students with permits to carry could have stopped the shooting, even though 50 people were killed or wounded”. There’s no actual logic behind that statement, and it’s frustrating because it’s really just an appeal to emotion instead of reason.

The rest of the article continues in much the same vein, appealing to people’s emotions instead of their reason, and then closes with the 2nd to last sentence being a potshot at the “NRA”.

And of course there’s the influence and power of the gun lobby.

I suppose that an anti-gun editorial wouldn’t be complete without taking cheap shots at the NRA.

If you’d like to email Mike Fox your opinion on the quality and content of his op-ed piece, he can be reached at mfox@bristolnews.com

If you do email, please keep it professional and courteous. People like him already have a negative opinion of most gun owners anyway.