January 2013 - Pg 20-Editorial
Want to try to stop Timothy McVeigh, anyone? While an armed school guard or a teacher with a handgun could have stopped the mentally ill 20 year old in the CT school, a terrorist bomber is a problem of a different magnitude.
Society demands simple solutions and new laws that make everyone “feel” safe. A pox on “feelings” over substantive results! In pursuing the easy solution of gun control, our lawmakers will bring about the death and suffering of many more Americans. On December 15, 2012 the loss of American’s right to armed self defense became far more likely. Why? Because a family failed to securely lock up firearms so their mentally troubled brother and son could not access them. It is that simple; it is that horrible. God help them, they became the object lesson from which we must learn.
Four days before the CT murders, a 22-year old man murdered two people and seriously wounded a 15-year old girl before killing himself (after an armed citizen aimed a pistol at him) in a suburban shopping mall outside of Portland, OR. The shooter had broken off ties with friends and family in the preceding months. Then, after telling his friends that he was leaving for Hawaii but missed his flight while drunk, Roberts stole a semi-automatic rifle from an acquaintance and went to the mall. Did the semi-automatic rifle make him commit murder? Of course not. Without it, he might have simply sped his Volkswagen Jetta into a crowd of pedestrians outside the mall or committed some other unspeakably destructive murderous act.
Half of our irreparably divided nation will blame the firearms for these mass murders. It will be easier for the simple minded to say that the guns caused the murders, because obeying the Biblical admonition to “be my brother’s keeper” is a lot harder than pointing an accusatory finger at gun owners.
But gun owners will not and cannot get off Scot free from these horrific murders. And perhaps we should not.
Why did either murderer have access to firearms at all? Why were those rifles and handguns NOT securely locked behind the 12 gauge steel walls and doors of a locked gun safe to which they did not have the combination? Why was the Oregon shooter able to steal a rifle? Why were the CT murderer's mother's firearms accessible to a son so mentally ill that she intended to commit him to a treatment facility? Unless we uncover evidence that the murderers forced the gun owners to hand over the firearms, it is a reasonable conclusion that those guns were stored irresponsibly. They were not secured in locked gun safes.
Do you own several firearms? Do you have a gun safe? If you do not, sell one of your guns and use the money to buy a safe.
Do you have a gun safe but sometimes it is just a little too much effort to put your guns away in it, so when you leave the house, you leave the pistol you stuck between the couch cushions unsecured or the rifle hidden under the hem of the bedspread stays there? Please stop doing that. I beg of you, please put your firearms in the gunsafe and leave them there until you take them to the range or put them in your holster to carry for your own protection. As a gun owner, this is your responsibility. If you cannot responsibly lock up your guns, sell them. You are a risk to all of us.
The energy that mass murders give to gun confiscation advocates can only be thwarted by every gun owner making demonstrable steps to prevent unauthorized access to their guns. Get a gunsafe and use it.
[End of January 2013 eJournal.
Please return next month for our February edition.]