- Nancy Jane Moore
Michael and Jeri Bishop write:
Take a look at this site, just to read the thumbnails, then go on to the reports themselves, especially if you have a computer that doesn't rely on an old-fashioned modem to call them up.
Yes, the Brady Center supports sensible gun-control legislation, and I suppose that it is *biased* in that direction, but at least its bias is built into its name. The NRA, on the other hand, rarely encounters any gun-control legislation that it cares for, even if that legislation is difficult to refute on grounds of either logic or commonsense.
For two examples, 1) keeping guns out of the hands of mentally impaired veterans (who, after all, know how to use them); and 2) letting the ATF track guns used in crimes back to their point of sale. The NRA vigorously opposes both of these controls, for "reasons" that strike us as benefiting absolutely no one, except (in the second case) gun dealers who knowingly traffic with persons buying firearms for criminal purposes.
Indeed, the NRA thinks that the massacre at Virginia Tech could have been prevented if every student and teacher there had carried a handgun. Perhaps that massacre could have -- who knows? -- but the notion of arming 18-24 year olds, at the very time that "drugs and alcohol use and suicide and mental health issues all peak" is, well, CRACKPOT CRAZY. We might well prevent another Norris Hall (although there are other means), but gun deaths on campuses across the nation would inevitably rise.
After all, as the Brady Center schools report observes, on the whole "college campuses are safer than the communities that surround them, precisely because those institutions have barred or tightly controlled firearms. We need to support those institutions, not strip them of the ability to control firearms on campus. Arming teachers is also a bad idea. Do we really want teachers shooting at students? Even police officers hit their targets less than 20% of the time."
Right now, by the way, the Brady Center could use your support to help fight the strong possibility that activist judges --this is rich -- will strike down Washington, D. C.'s and eventually every major city's most effective gun laws. [Ed. note: The D.C. government is appealing the decision that struck down its gun laws and according to this Washington Post editorial, the Supreme Court is likely to hear it this term.]
Explore the Brady site to see how you can help in this fight . . . unless, of course, you believe the bumper sticker that greeted me on the rear of a hunter's pickup when I returned to Pine Mountain from Blacksburg after the shooting spree at Virginia Tech on April 16 took our son Jamie's life: "Gun Control: Simple Solutions for Simple Minds."
Neither of the two controls mentioned in my third paragraph would have affected the man driving this pickup unless (1) he were a mentally disturbed veteran, or (2) someone who illegally sold guns to criminals. Maybe he qualified on both counts.
Simple, simple us for failing to see why he or anyone else should own a gun if the first condition held, or should have the right to sell firearms if the second held.
P.S. Robert Heinlein once wrote, "An armed society is a polite society." Unfortunately, he never had an opportunity to visit current-day Iraq.