Friday, April 20, 2007

On Being Armed

I was listening to the radio today when they announced the funeral of Professor Liviu Librescu (a holocaust survivor) killed at Virgina Tech was taking place in Israel. According to the announcer, the widow of the professor blamed the easy access to guns in Virginia for his death. And yet I cannot find a google anywhere to back that up.

Surprisingly, our congress hasn't jumped on the blame the gun laws bandwagon as much as I expected. There is a bit here and there from various media outlets, but they are treading a slim line overall.

A reading of the second amendment ......

by me, average layman, tells me that we should not ban, restrict, or regulate guns at all. Instead, in my opinion, the second amendment actually uses polite language to direct (as in senior to subordinate) the states to maintain a militia and in so doing to keep its' citizens armed.

Robert Heinlein wrote that "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." I would add that "an armed society ensures a polite government" as well. For those who think GWBush is the second coming of Hitler, arm yourselves. For those who think we are being invaded by criminals intent on doing as they will at your expense, arm yourselves. If your spouse is abusive....

Laws by their nature tend toward biblical directness. They virtually all could be condensed to "Thou shalt not" and then add what is forbidden. Those laws and regulations are useless in my view. The old cliche reads that "When you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns".

There is no advantage to society by banning or criminalizing weapons. The only folks penalized are the law abiding citizens who must submit to fingerprinting, background checks, waiting periods and other official scrutiny in order to remain in compliance to the law. Yet, Billy the Banger can simply pick up an assault rifle or cut down shotgun on the dark side of the street. Who has the advantage now?

I honestly think that if everyone were free to be armed in public that crime would decrease over the long term. But, it won't happen. We are too entrenched in the mentality that regulation and bans are either good or a nessessary evil. Until the citizenry shout "enough", loud enough to drown out the anti-gun advocates nothing will change. We cannot allow the specter of Va Tech or NASA to take away the right to bear arms out of fear.

I also recommend this Commentary by Robert Pratt of Pratt on Texas. Look beyond the labels and concentrate on the facts and the advocation of your right (and obligation) to protect yourself, your family, your friends and neighbors, your property, and if needed..... your way of life.

Professor Liviu Librescu at Virginia Tech died heroically, holding the door closed so students could escape via the window. He likely knew that he would die. That kind of heroism must be honored no less than any exploits by our servicemen and women in the field. Imagine if he or his students had been armed. It's possible that we could applaud his heroism without offering condolences to his widow.

1 comment:

  1. I am in the midst of a big dispute with some, as the result of an e-mail I got saying that if there had just been more school prayer, yada, yada, yada, and I just went off on the person who sent it to me. This was a terrible thing, done by a person in terrible trouble, beyond the reach of any help at that point, or any stopping him short of his own death. He should have been helped as a child, and then maybe.....

    He was brought to a country where there is all kinds of help... However, what I do not believe is that there was some god or another perched on high that looked down and said, ooops, they don't have school prayer at VT so I am gonna git 'em for that. It doesn't work that way.

    On the issue of guns, and people carrying, years ago I took a lot of classes (JC level,) in civil and criminal procedures, and related things. It has been presented that had someone had a gun, or several someones, the loss of life would have been much less. I think that is true. The whole thing would have rested on timing, so that there would have been no question of self defense, reasonable cause to believe etc., and the standard I am using is basing what I remember of the issue about citizen's arrests. A sworn officer of the law has to have "reasonable cause to believe"... whatever it is, in order to arrest. A private citizen had, according to the professor, to basically be damned well be sure of what they saw happen, or what they knew, or they were going to get sued, big time. In other words, a higher standard, somewhat beyond reasonable cause...

    That was what I meant about timing. Once this shooter, now dead, shot first, then someone with a gun would be free to defend. His having either wounded or killed at least one person validates the self defense. I know that sounds really cold, to put it that way, but in a lawsuit prone world we all know. I don't think that guns on the campus would have made any difference to this shooter, but guns on the campus would have stopped things before they got as far as they did!

    Everyone should be able to defend themselves. The only thing I worry about is the kind of idiots that take offense at everything, jes' 'cause, because we are not a people known for our impulse control.

    I have to say, I think Professor Librescu was an incredible amazing person, and I am glad for those that were saved that he both chose to and was allowed to come here, after WWII. What a loss to his students, and to us all, that he was killed.