I'm not going to mention names, because I think lauding a killer by plastering his face all over every inch of every web site and talking about him only encourages other seekers of fame to try the same stunt. But we all know who I'm talking about. The latest disturbed young man who took lives.
Joe Wurzelbacher (AKA Joe the Plumber) wrote, in an open letter to the parents of the victims of the this disaster “As harsh as this sounds — your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.”
What a jerk! This is the kind of stupid comment that hardens gun grabbers and makes law abiding gun owners look like freaks. Of course our founding documents declare we have a right to life (and liberty and the pursuit of happiness). And of course the right to life is the most fundamental right – and yes, it does trump your right to bear arms, Joe, because if you're dead you don't get to bear arms.
But the worst part of Joe's letter is it plays into the hands of the gun grabbers, by saying that Joe's right to bear arms necessitates the deaths of innocents. Why? Joe isn't going to kill innocent people with his gun (at least I hope not). So why link these two unrelated events? The gun grabbers want to say “see – letting law abiding citizens own guns leads to children murdered in the streets.” Joe says “yes it does, suck it up.”
Instead of proactively whining that people have to accept their child's murder for you to have your guns, why not take a moment and be human. These people have lost their children. That's the worst fear a parent can face. As a parent and a human being, I am sorry for their loss. I wish there were a way to prevent it from happening.
So, how can we prevent things like this from happening? Does taking away someone else's right to bear arms guarantee these children's right to life?
Surely not with the gun control laws in place. If anything, this incident is the poster child for why gun control doesn't work. As was noted in Cold Dead Hands:
These killings occurred, 1. After a background check, 2. In a state with a 10 round magazine limit, 3. In a state with an Assault Weapons Ban, 4. In a state, and especially a community, which essentially does not issue CCW licenses, and 5. In a place where it was illegal to carry a gun in any fashion. It met every one of Obama's current talking points for solutions to gun control. So in this situation it had every sort of restrictive law in place that we've been told by gun control advocates are "common sense" solutions that even gun owners support! Of course, they didn't work.
What's the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing and expecting different results. So, I think this incident is a good argument as to why enacting more laws like these is not a good way to prevent this sort of thing, and rather than common sense, is insanity.
What might have happened differently? Well, the therapists and/or police might have declared him unfit to have access to guns. Would that have stopped the killing? Probably not, as I believe he would just have stabbed more victims instead of changing from a knife to a gun.
Honestly I can think of only two things that might have changed the outcome. First, if his therapists had committed him to an institution. Secondly, if he encountered an individual who could stop him. An armed citizen.
If we're going to talk about gun rights, let's talk about how guns are used to save lives, not complain that deaths are “acceptable.” Because no death is acceptable, and yet they happen, unless someone can stop the killer.