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This page contains a single entry by Westley Annis published on April 21, 2007 2:09 PM.

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Is There Anything We Can Do?

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In just the past week we’ve had the massacre at Virginia Tech, a murder at the Johnson Space Center, and, here in Louisiana, a guy kills his wife, five year old son, and tries to kill his seven and eight year-old daughters. The only two common denominators among these three horrific acts of violence is they were carried out by persons intent on a criminal act and a gun was used to carry-out the violence.

This naturally has a lot of people debating whether or not we need stricter gun-control laws.

Now, do we need more gun control laws? I don’t think so. The laws that are presently on the books were all ignored by these murderers, so adding another law is not going to change the criminal mindset.

Think of the lunatic at Virginia Tech. The school has a policy of no guns anywhere on campus grounds. The State of Virginia has a law against murder. That’s two rules that were broken. Would adding a third or fourth really make a difference?

The simple fact is that only law abiding citizens follow laws to begin with. Once a criminal breaks one law, there is no longer any thought as to whether or not they are breaking any other law.

Look at the number of murders within the New Orleans metro area? Can you honestly believe that those murders are being done through guns that were purchased legally?

If we can rule out adding new gun control laws, is there anything we can do?

Yes.

According to the latest news reports, there was a breakdown in the reporting of the Virginia Tech lunatic’s mental health to law enforcement officials and the Department of Justice’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This breakdown is what gave the lunatic the ability the purchase the guns.

How do you fix this?

Privacy rights have to be ignored. We already had a class of criminal (juvenile sex offenders and prostitution buyers) who have no right to privacy (the sex offenders must actively notify their neighbors that they have been convicted of a sex offense while the john’s usually get to see their local District Attorney post their picture for all to see).

When someone is “adjudicated mental defective or involuntarily committed to a mental institution or incompetent to handle own affairs, including dispositions to criminal charges pertaining to found not guilty by reason of insanity or found incompetent to stand trial,” as the Brady Bill reads, the court system that issues the adjudication as well as the receiving mental institution should both notify the NICS. This would help ensure that the break down in Virginia isn’t repeated.

The second thing is for all states to adopt the policies of New Jersey in regards to background checks, along with day-of calls to the NICS. In this article by Monica Yant Kinney in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Kinney describes the process she went through to get a “Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and handgun purchase permit.” In a process that took seven weeks, both she and her husband, along with some of her neighbors, were interviewed by the local police department.

So it took seven weeks before she could purchase a gun. How many people really need the ability to purchase a gun “right now?”

I think with an annual or bi-annual requirement to go through the intense background check, coupled with the day-of call to the NICS could prevent the breakdowns we saw in Virginia.

The third thing is to get rid of the gun-free zones. It sounds really great on paper, but all it does is present the would be killer with a stable of sheep waiting to be slaughtered. If legally licensed students and teachers had been able to carry a gun, that may, and I repeat, may have given the lunatic second thoughts. It may not have prevented the murder of the two young women in the dorm, but it may have prevented the murders of the other thirty people in the class room.

If nothing else, we do need to move away from our culture of appeasement and being soft-skinned. So many people are aggrieved for the slightest little thing, no one wants to take responsibility for their own actions, and the everyone is lawsuit happy, it is no wonder that we have turned into a nation of pansies.

Unfortunately, I don’t think any of these options would have worked on the New Orleans lunatic. The young mother was trying to let her children experience a normal life, but when there is a crazed lunatic gunning for you, sometimes there is nothing that can be done.

Off the argument, but worthwhile reading.

Randy Cunningham, the author of the weekly email This is True and creator of the True Stella Awards makes some excellent points about how the Virginia Tech incident shows our fear of litigation and how our schools are teaching kids to “lie down and take it.”

Virginia Tech, Columbine and ZT

La. State Representative Richard Gallot, Jr from Ruston, LA has introduced House Bill 461 to make it illegal for anyone to carry fire arms on any school campus without the written permission from the school administration.

I’m guessing that Mr. Gallot does not realize that Virginia Tech had a tougher policy than this. There was no chance to get permission from the school administration to carry a gun. It simply is not an option. However, this policy did not stop the massacre from occurring. How would House Bill 461 possibly enhance safety on Louisiana’s campuses?

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