Have Guns, Will Travel contd.

Posted: February 1, 2011 in AZ, Criminal in AZ, Delusional in AZ, Gov. Jan Brewer, Gun Control, Lord of the Flies, Sarah Palin

I’ve been hearing about on the local news that state legislators want to relax already useless state gun laws (there are about a dozen different proposed gun laws on the agenda this year) and other states like Florida and Texas are talking about relaxing their existing gun laws.  State Senator Ron Gould has proposed a new law that would allow students to carry weapons on school campuses.  Senate Bill 1201 would require college campuses and other communities to allow people to carry concealed weapons.  Guns could be carried into all government-run buildings, public events, and even on city buses.

When questioned about this incredibly stupid idea, Sen. Gould said this proposal was already devised before the shooting in Tucson and that it was a reaction to previous laws that allow a business or property to post “no guns allowed” signs.  His reasoning was that we need to arm the law-abiding citizens so they can play “OK Corral” style shoot-em up games with criminals and loonies.  He also reasoned that ‘you can’t stop crazy people’.

There’s some holes in his logic (some of which have been pointed out before) but let’s review it again for Sen. Gould and those too slow to get it the first hundred times:

1) If crazy people don’t have guns, what other type of available weapon would allow them to have the same effect as a gun that shoots 30 rounds in less than 10 seconds creating 19 bullet wounds (and killing 6 people)?  The answer is….wait for it…..None.  There is no other weapon that could do this that isn’t already restricted.  I could spend time making fun of what is available and how you couldn’t hurt anyone with it (like Sarah Palin and her recent reference to attacking TV’s with butter knives) but that wouldn’t be helpful.

2) How are crazy people stopped?  By ensuring that they receive proper psychiatric care and medication.  By identifying them early enough to receive treatment before they get to the point of a total psychotic break with reality.  But wait, we have some limited systems for that with Medicaid for the poor, private insurance for the employed, and a new health care law passed in 2010 that will ensure millions not covered by those other two options can receive said services….AND people like Ron Gould, Sarah Palin, Gov. Jan Brewer, and all the other gun nuts in America want to repeal the new law and strip over 5,000 mentally ill Arizonan residents of Medicaid.  Unfortunately because of GOP policies regarding health care and guns we may not actually be able to stop the mentally ill from committing crimes.  I believe this is called shooting yourself in the foot.

3) It has been proven, time and time again, that the average citizen is much more likely to shoot themselves or an innocent bystander than the actual criminal.  In fact, the average gun-toting citizen is also just as likely to have their gun taken away from them and used against them.  This is made worse by the fact that AZ makes no requirement of permitting and training to carry concealed (I covered this exhaustively before on this blog).

4) Letting college students carry weapons on campus is a bad idea for a couple of important reasons.  First, this age group contains the most likely to commit violent acts (with and without a weapon) than any other age group in the U.S. and people in this age group are more likely to be victims of violent crime as a result.  Second, this age group is the most likely to abuse and binge on alcohol and drugs, all of which are inhibition lowering agents contributing to the high violent crime rate among them.  Third and finally, this is the age group that is most likely to be experiencing the first onset of psychotic breaks (schizophrenia mostly presents itself in the teenage and college years).   In fact, the use of alcohol and drugs can trigger psychotic breaks in vulnerable individuals that might not otherwise have experienced them for some time or worsen the break when it does occur.   So our lawmakers are proposing to take the most violent, irresponsible, vulnerable in our population and allow them to carry guns without restrictions, permits or training.

Sen. Gould’s final argument is complete bullshit. He claims that over the last 6 years, as the state has reduced gun ownership restrictions we’ve seen a double-digit decrease in crime.  That’s like saying I noticed that it was cloudy when they failed to deliver the mail on Tuesday, therefore the Postal Service has stopped delivering on cloudy days.   Truth is that crime has been decreasing steadily over the last 20 years, in every state in the country regardless of the bazillion different laws on the books, the bazillion differences in how it is being enforced, and a bazillion other societal factors like unemployment.  There is something large-scale, societal going on that is making the crime rate go down and it isn’t Arizona gun laws.

So Arizona is saying, ‘We love us some guns, so give us more’ in spite of what happened in Tucson.  National GOP politicians are saying that the guns in Arizona are causing problems in our border region and within the country of Mexico, but they still support our 2nd Amendment right to carry a gun NO MATTER WHAT!*

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa reported that an ATF sting uncovered guns bought in AZ were used in a shooting that killed a Federal Border Agent in December 2010.    The ATF essentially allowed assault weapons to be purchased illegally and then be distributed to many individuals and was SUPPOSED to follow the weapons and intercede before crimes were committed with them.  Unfortunately they lost some of the weapons and they ended up in the hands of bandits who crossed paths with a Border Agent, doing his job looking for illegal immigrants in the desert.   It is widely acknowledged that Mexican cartels are buying their guns using straw buyers throughout the State of Arizona.  The ATF’s special agent in charge for Arizona, said five separate cases have been filed as a part of Project Gunrunner that demonstrate the reach of Mexican cartels acquiring guns in Arizona for illegal shipment south.

Gun dealers in the state tend to say one thing and do another.  In the ATF case, they indicate that they always cooperate in Federal sting operations.  However, other recent undercover activities suggest that they could care less about the rule of law and mostly care about the rule of the almighty dollar.  How many investigations have to occur showing dealer blatantly breaking the law before we wake up and stop this insanity in Arizona?

*FWIW:  I believe in the 2nd Amendment right to carry guns but can we stop being idiots in Arizona?  Can we become more informed so we know when our lawmakers are lying to us?  Can we institute reasonable restrictions on gun ownership?  Of course, we can.  There is no right in our country that exists without some restrictions on it.  Why should gun owner ship be any different? Why do we have to double down on the stupid?














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