January 10, 2008

• “Dubiously Misinterpreted & Idolized”

Posted in Darwin Awards, From The Blog-O-Sphere at 4:04 am by Rid

In the following article, Mr. Bishop makes the following claim:

“The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, dubiously misinterpreted and idolized…..”

“Dubiously misinterpreted and idolized?” Yes, we do idolize it just as we do the other Bill of Rights, sir! “Dubiously misinterpreted?” By who, you? What possible credentials do you possess that qualifies you to make such an asinine claim?

You finish up your liturgy, by decrying people that stand by the Bill of Rights as “wrongheaded extremist.” How perfectly fitting. You think we are the simpletons when you are the one that actually believes societies woes will be magically fixed if we just eliminate those evil guns. Maybe you should move to Washington, D.C., Australia or the U.K. Yes, gun prohibition has been a smashing success in those places, just smashing.

Had Jamie carried a weapon, or anyone else “in the gun free zone,” Jamie, and several others, may still be alive. It is far too convenient and easy to blame an inanimate object for these senseless murders. I suggest you take a look at who is committing these crimes, sir. It is not law-abiding citizens that have concealed carry permits. Concealed
Sensible gun laws needed

Published on: 01/10/08

At 9:40 a.m. on Monday, April 16, 2007, my wife’s cousin, Lee Ellis, telephoned. Check the news, he advised. Something was happening at Virginia Tech, where our adult son, Jamie, taught. There were two dormitory murders and bloodshed in an engineering building.

“Jamie has his own house,” I said. “He teaches German, not engineering.” I could not imagine that at an institution as big as Virginia Tech, our son could fall victim to such peril. I dismissed Lee’s warning as alarmist.
Michael Bishop is a writer living in Pine Mountain.

Later, though, I knelt in our kitchen to pray. Later, I called my wife, Jeri, at work to say that things looked bad. She drove home screaming. Together, we failed to reach our daughter-in-law, a tenure-track German teacher, by telephone.

Near 6 p.m., cruising up I-85, we learned that, in the gunman’s assault, Jamie had died. His wife, kept in the dark all day, spoke by phone, crying, “I’m so sorry you’ve lost your son.” My breath left me, and I let Jeri drive to our daughter’s home in Bogart.

We three got to Blacksburg, Va., at 2:30 a.m. Our nightmare intensified.

To make sure that no victim was misidentified, the police would not release a body until it had a totally positive ID. Still, they allowed none of us to identify Jamie because of the backup at the morgue.

Twice, they sent agents to the house for items from which to take DNA samples. And the media hounded us with visits and phone calls.

Not until Friday morning did we see Jamie again, atop a funeral-home gurney, swabbed clean and clad in casual Jamie-style clothes.

Ten days later, back in Pine Mountain, I stopped behind a pickup bearing the sticker “Gun Control: Simple Solutions for Simple Minds.”

I served in the military, and my father hunted. I do not wish to confiscate any decent citizen’s gun. But soon Georgia lawmakers will debate two bills that, if passed, would steeply undermine public safety.

House Bill 89 would let workers tote guns to corporate parking lots in their vehicles. HB 915, the “Second Amendment Protection Act,” would authorize guns at volatile venues like ballgames, political rallies, bars, and postsecondary schools. (I would not teach at such a school.)

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, dubiously misinterpreted and idolized, does not prohibit states from restricting firearms subject to criminal misuse or from denying guns to persons unfit to possess them.

In 2002, the Bush administration itself announced this discovery to the Supreme Court.

Georgia takes no real action to protect us and places us at risk for events as calamitous as Seung-Hui Cho’s Virginia Tech rampage. Like Virginia, Georgia has no statute for background checks at gun shows, no assault-weapon limitations, no waiting period, no requirement for child safety locks, no call for a license/permit to buy guns, and seemingly little patience for any rule that would truly enforce accountability.

However, the late-December passage of both houses of the U.S. Congress, by unanimous consent, of the NICS Improvement Act (which the NRA limply endorsed) points to a counter-tide. This act requires states to send to the national database for instant background checks the names of all convicted felons, spousal abusers and the violently mentally ill.

President Bush signed it on Jan. 8. Had it been law in early 2007 (a possibility but for the obstructionism of Republican Sen. Tom Coburn from Oklahoma) all 33 of those slain in Blacksburg might still live.

But in Georgia, gun-lobby groups back the Second Amendment Protection Act that denies the latent murderousness of any firearm by implying that everyone should carry, even workers and students. (A pro-gun student group proposed wearing holsters to class to signal their desire to carry on campus.)

Such thinking presages an obligation, not just a right, to bear arms.

Yes, Virginia Tech involves other issues: mental illness, privacy, campus security. But it centers around lax gun laws. As Lu Ann McNabb, friend of slain student Reema Samaha, said last week in Virginia, “Without a Glock, a Walther, and high-capacity magazines,” Cho could never have done such damage.

Some say, “More guns make us safer. An armed society is a polite society.” Yeah, right. Think Deadwood. Think Iraq. Ask why no one believes nuclear proliferation makes us safer.

Georgia needs no “Second Amendment Protection Act.” Georgia needs laws that sensibly protect us. So does every state in this nation.

In the mortuary, I kissed our son’s forehead. Even through his clothes, I felt his strange iciness. “His hands are so cold,” I said.

“Yes,” his widow said. “But if you rub them, they warm up.”

I’ve warmed up. Have the people of Georgia? It’s past time to voice our disgust with wrongheaded extremists.

1 Comment »

  1. Cho was determined enough to break the laws condemning murder… imagining that he was concerned about a ‘gun free zone’ is ludicrous. A man determined to commit atrocity without regard to the consequences will not be stopped by words on a sheet of paper, no matter if those words are printed in a law book, a 4473 form, or a sign on the door.

    When a person starts shooting, the only reasonable response is to shoot back. Any law that makes it illegal or impractical to be prepared for this eventuality is in direct violation of the 2nd amendment. Some day soon, I hope to see a clear ruling from the SCOTUS demonstrating this principal.

    Trying to preventing people who are likely to commit such an act from obtaining a firearm is an admirable goal, but misguided. The question to ask is why, if you know a person is likely to commit such an act, is that person out walking around! The fact is, we didn’t know. Cho had never been convicted of a violent crime. How do you prevent someone who has never committed a crime from committing one, while maintaining a free society? You can’t. It’s impossible. Since the crime can’t have been prevented, the only reasonable response is to be prepared.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: