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Campaign to end gun violence, part II

So as it turns out, 32 VA Tech students would be alive today if it hadn't been for a loophole in Virginia state law (among other things). Today the governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine issued an order to close that loophole (hindsight is always 20-20, isn't it?). The word "involuntary" is at the heart of the debate, as it pertains to being committed to a mental health facility and your ability to buy guns afterwards. Cho had been directed by a "special justice's order" to "seek outpatient treatment" back in 2005. The judge declared him to be "mentally ill" and an "imminent danger" to himself and others, this after 2 female students complained about him. Federal law prohibits the sale of a gun to anyone who has been "adjudicated as a mental defective". Incidentally, this includes "involuntary" commitment to a mental health facility. The question is, does an outpatient facility, such as what Cho was referred to, qualify as "involuntary"?

Well Gov. Kaine settled that today.

Because people who are involuntarily committed get added to a database, and because Cho Seung-Hui, thanks to the loophole, did NOT get added to that database, the gun shop basically had no way of knowing he was a threat, to himself or anyone else.

Although frankly, that's no excuse to me at all. Why do people own guns? Let's ask ourselves this. People do not generally buy guns because it keeps their produce fresh, makes the flowers in their garden grow bigger and brighter, nor does it remove stubborn stains from delicate laundry! (Ok, it can remove stubborn stains, but would you really want to wear that sweater afterwards? C'mon.) Display purposes, maybe. But I would only accept that argument in a house that never has children in it. And then I'd still be skeptical.

People buy guns because they intend to harm people. If you bought a gun, you intend to harm someone. Period. What's the debate? I don't get it.

You ask the families of those victims if they think we need a gun ban.

Ask the families of the victims at Columbine and VA Tech if we need a gun ban.

Then, after you get those answers, do a little research on how many senseless mass shootings such as the aforementioned happen over in the U.K. and Australia where they have gun bans...


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 2nd, 2007 08:02 am (UTC)
Preface: I don't own a gun. I have never fired a gun. I do not intend at this moment to purchase a gun.

However. I totally support the right and ability of people to purchase guns, and should I decide to exercise that right, it will not be because I intend to 'hurt people'. It will be because I feel unsafe in my person or property (ie, i live in a shitty neighborhood where someone may kick down my door and try and kill me and steal my stuff to purchase crack with) and have every intent of, with threat or if necessary violence, defending my person and property. If that means I shoot Mr. Crackhead-door-kicker, then so be it. If it means his homocidal drug-crazed home invasion ends in his death or maiming, so be it.

It's a stereotype that guns don't kill people, people do. It's almost become meaningless due to repetition and parody. But the point also remains, as has been repeatedly pointed out that if one of the VT students that was shot had a gun, things might've ended differently and with fewer innocent lives lost.

May. 2nd, 2007 06:12 pm (UTC)
You know I started to respond to your comment, and it turned into another journal entry, lol. I appreciate your point of view and the fact that you took the time to share it with me. In my campaign to promote peace, it seems I unwittingly segregate the people who are essentially on my side, insofar as it would seem you are pro-peace, if not anti-gun.

That being said, I still disagree with you. My newest entry is very long and rambling, and if you care to read it, that's gravy. If not I totally understand, time is money after all and not everybody has time to read long rambling journal entries.

I will say this though: I don't think it would have made a difference if one of the VT students that was shot had had a gun. There are plenty of reports from many different experts who said the skill with which Cho wielded the particular kind of guns he used was unlike anything they'd ever, ever seen before, not even from trained professionals. The guns he used were not even built to do the kind of shooting that he accomplished. He was just that well-trained with those guns. Besides, having a gun, and firing it are two different things. It sounded to me like the kind of people he went after might not have had the heart and/or stomach to shoot him, and if they would have hesitated for one second they still would have died because of his skill.

Furthermore, I wouldn't want to go to school each day prepared for battle!! What a horrible distraction.

Isn't that kind of like giving in to the terrorists?
May. 3rd, 2007 02:44 am (UTC)
Fine by me, I enjoy a good rousing debate! =)

A lot of that goes on, dividing us up into sides and segments, which slice of the pie chart we're standing on. In the end, part of what's great about this country is that we can disagree on a ton of things, but still go on with our lives, have dinner with our families, raise our kids, and not go nuts killing each other over it.

It might've made a difference, it might not. There's no way to say. But you know what? All it would have taken was one of them. We had some acts of heroism shown in this incident (the holocaust survivor professor holding the door while his students escaped was particularly moving) but who can say what *might* have been. I can't. What I can say is that you can't have less than zero guns. And more than zero guns could not have made things in any way I can percieve any worse than they were.

As to going to school prepared for battle, that's a whole different kettle of fish. Gun laws aside, schools should never be somewhere you need a gun. But we live in a post-Columbine age where things like this happen. What was once inconcieveable, has happened. And it will happen again.

And the terrorists have nothing to do with it =P
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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