You know, I shouldn't do this

I’m always told that it’s not nice to pick on people who can’t fight back, and picking nits with an article written by a college in a college newspaper is pretty much the definition of getting into an asskicking contest with a quadriplegic. But it’s a slow morning, Obama’s not currently trying to infringe our rights (yet) and honestly, I can’t form a sentence about his whole “let’s make veterans pay for their own prosthetic” plan without going into spasms of rage and spilling my coffee everywhere.

So I guess that leaves you, Kimberly Tsao, author of “It’s time to take control of handgun laws“.  Now, I’m going to do a couple of things, the first of which is assume that Kimberly is the product of a system of liberal indoctrination, and the second is that I’m also going to assume that she’s not a hopeless case.  Okay, so with those assumptions established, let’s dive in.

We got lucky with Columbine.

That…is not the most auspicious start there.  She continues with an explanation about how we were “lucky” (the poorly made IEDs the killers brought with them failed to go boom), however I would imagine that the parents of  the 12 children murdered in cold blood would disagree with your assessment that we were “lucky”.  That’s just in poor taste.

A 17-year-old [German] boy killed 15 people before taking his own life on March 11.

This happened despite of Germany’s already strict rules on gun ownership. The country insists on permits, licenses and, sometimes, yearlong background checks. German law also requires firearms to be locked up.

So why should we follow suit when no-nonsense gun legislation leads to the same tragic end anyway? Bernd Carstensen, a spokesperson for the Association of German Police Detectives, said Germany may have the laws in place, but they didn’t implement them.

That’s why.

Wait, what? So, we should implement tougher gun control laws because Germany has tougher gun control laws which they failed to properly enforce so our gun laws need to be tougher even though Germany’s tougher gun laws failed to stop the shooting? That’s an excellent example of tautological thinking, but it doesn’t actually prove your point. I’m going to do one more, because it’s the only other actual argument you make in your op-ed piece.

Not all the constitutional amendments should be our rights by default. We can’t be immediately entitled to bear arms. People who want to purchase firearms need to show responsibility first, more so than those who want to speak their mind, because while words have power, guns have the power to kill.

No, see that’s not how the Bill of Rights works. The old saw about how “the pen is mightier than the sword” is actually true, and if I were to follow your logic backwards, I would need to get a permit from the government and demonstrate responsibility before I’d be allowed to blog or write.

Ultimately though, I do agree that guns have the power to kill, or more accurately they enable a person to kill with an ease that wouldn’t have been possible in AD 1600. But yet knowing that, you actually circled the point of the real problem a couple of times, without actually landing on it. The problem has never been the guns, and it will never be the guns. The issue with mass murders and spree killers has always been an issue of the people. We had gun laws in place during Columbine, and those laws (look up straw purchases) were broken by the killers to get some of their guns. We had laws in place to prevent VA Tech, but the system failed to do their due diligence and report Cho’s mental incarceration to the feds.

I will say Kimberly that you didn’t do too poorly – you almost hit the issue once or twice before circling back to dogma and logical fallacies. Just remember that the problem is people, not the tools they use to create their madness.


  1. Did you at least try to leave a comment there? She’s still young and impressionable, you might be able to make a difference if you word it correctly.

    Also, I’d copy the comment here in case of Sudden Reasoned Discourse Syndrome.

  2. You might want to check with Tam, but I believe that guns were around for at least 250 years before 1600AD.

  3. Like Robb, I would like to know if you tried? I saw a couple of “faint” arguments in the 8 responses.

    Your rebutal is great and non threatening. I would change my mind (oh, wait – I already did) if you were to post it, or even emai it to her.

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