We can always count on James Veverka (on 12/19/2012 in the Laconia Daily Sun, laconiadailysun.com) to respond irrationally (hopefully he doesn’t have a gun), and suppress some, and misstate other, facts.
First. No “rightwinger”, no second amendment supporter believes there should be no controls on access to guns. But, they do believe criminals who use guns should be severely punished. Veverka’s claims to the contrary are lies.
Second. Contrary to depictions on liberal TV shows and movies, no gun owner I have ever met or know of “deifies” his or anyone else’s gun (perhaps just Veverka and his friends do that). NRA members recognize guns for what they are, tools that can be used for good or evil, tools that must be respected and carefully handled.
Third. Veverka repeats the false claim that Reagan and other conservatives forced all the cuts in funding for mental hospitals. This is another lie, conservatives have NEVER had that much power. Democrats controlled the House of Representatives during Reagan’s Presidency. All spending bills must start in the House and none could be passed without Democrat approval.
In addition, most of the advocates of closing the mental hospitals were groups like the ACLU, which claim these hospitals infringed on patient’s rights and which have inspired laws which make it difficult to identify potentially dangerous people and intervene to ensure they are treated. This is what happened in Connecticut this year where the Democrat controlled Connecticut legislature and Democrat Governor refused to pass a bill which could have helped Lanza, and others like him, get treatment.
Fourth. Veverka says, “Remember, felons can’t own guns.” This, of course, is another lie. Felons get, own, and use guns in crimes all the time. It is just illegal for them to own guns. Just like it is illegal to murder people. These laws are not too effective are they?
Fifth. The talk about, “assault weapons or a high capacity magazine” are talking points from gun control advocates who want to fool unknowing people. Gun control advocates imply that the assault weapons ban will keep the automatic weapons we see on TV and in movies out of people’s hands, this is false. Automatic weapons have been very strictly controlled and limited for decades and they have not been used for public mass killings.
The assault weapons ban that was in affect for about 10 years controls scary looking guns but not automatic weapons or guns with any special killing capabilities. The assault weapons ban had essentially no positive effect and there was no negative affect when the ban expired.
Here are some relevant facts about gun control laws. First, they don’t keep criminals from getting guns. Washington, DC and Chicago, for instance, have very strict gun control laws and also high murder rates. More people are shot to death each month in Chicago than were killed in Newtown. Connecticut has the fifth strictest gun control laws in the country.
Second, the US is not the only country with these terrible incidents. Remember the public mass killings in Norway, Finland, Azerbaijan, Germany, Australia, Scotland, etc. All these countries reportedly have very strict nation-wide gun control laws.
Third, why are prosecutions for illegal gun possession down 45% under President Obama? Why did his administration drop consideration of tightening up the criteria and information used in checking whether a person can legally buy a gun? Don’t they really care about stopping gun violence?
Fourth. The nearly exclusive effect of gun bans is to prevent law abiding citizens from being able to defend themselves and others, perhaps even little school children, against criminals or maniacs with guns or other weapons.
Finally, the term “gun-free zone” is a misnomer; for some people it is an enticement, not a preventative. A more accurate term is an “easy victim zone” or “helpless victim zone.” Since 1950, there has only been one instance of public mass killings of more than three people that did not occur in a “gun-free zone. ”
It is only in liberal fantasyland that laws keep guns out of the hands of people who want to kill. Guns in the hands of responsible trained staff might have done what the “gun-free zone” sign didn’t do, lower the death toll in Newtown. And, more importantly, without the enticement of the “gun-free zone”, perhaps the whole horrible incident, and others like it, might have been avoided.