Monday, February 05, 2007

Campus RKBA Roundup #6

As I posted earlier, Jeremy of The Mad Hatter is taking a bit of a blogger sabbatical and agreed that I could continue the Campus RKBA Roundup in his absence. First, let me say that this is more work than I thought, and I learned more about college life than I wanted (the lead story in one campus paper concerned "taste testing flavored condoms and other sexual aids"). My hat is off to Jeremy for getting this thing off the ground.

So here we go, without further adieu, I bring you...

JR's Version of The Campus RKBA Roundup #6
(The Southeast Edition)

Mississippi has a two entries into this edition of the roundup.

From The University of Mississippi's Daily Mississippian comes this short, well stated commentary titled "Stop unruly regulations".

David Thigpen writes:

In the United States, there have been several laws passed that make no sense when you consider the arguments in favor of the law. Examples of this are all of the laws passed to regulate the alcohol and firearms industry.
Mr. Thigpen goes on to back up that statement concerning gun and some alcohol control laws. It is nice to see a bit of common sense slipped into the pages of the college news.

Next up is an opinion piece in Mississippi State Universities paper, The Reflector. Written by Nathan Alday, the article "Teachers need guns" makes a very strong argument for allowing teachers, administrators and other school officials opportunity to carry a firearm at work. Mr. Alday's commentary begins with:

In response to the recent school shootings, Frank Lasee, a Wisconsin state assemblyman, has suggested arming teachers and other school employees. According to Lasee, quoted in USA Today, "To make our schools safe for our students to learn, all options should be on the table. Israel and Thailand have well-trained teachers carrying weapons and keeping their children safe from harm. It can work in Wisconsin."

Lasee's idea is fundamentally sound. The ban on carrying weapons on school grounds is a "victimless crime" law that makes the ridiculous assumption that a murderer has respect for the law. Such laws only make violent crime easier, as they guarantee that law abiding citizens-in this case, school faculty-will be unable to protect themselves from criminal violence. The law should be replaced by one that allows certified faculty and other trusted adults the ability to carry firearms on school grounds.

Armed faculty, though violating the law, have already stopped at least one school shooting spree. In 1997, assistant principal Joel Myrick used his pistol to stop Luke Woodham after Woodham shot nine of his classmates at Pearl High School, killing two.

We must be willing to trust teachers with our children's well-being. Not only do teachers provide the education each person needs to thrive in our society, they inevitably play a role in their student's moral and social upbringing. Teachers, through both lessons and example, influence students' views on morality, self-respect and life in general. In allowing teachers to spend hours a day with students, we put complete trust in the teachers over the students' lives. Allowing them to carry firearms in school requires no extra trust, allows them to defend the students' lives directly and provides a deterrent to would-be attackers.
Mr. Alday continues on to address most of the issues that folks who are against allowing our teachers to protect themselves and their students use as objections. I may not agree with all of his solutions, but applaud his effort. He is on the right track.

Georgia has two entries, one that made me smile, and one that... well... had quite the opposite effect.

First the smile:

From the Piedmont College Navigator we find this pro-education commentary titled "Now what do you think about that?" by Justin Poole. Mr. Poole points out that if you want folks to know safe firearm handling, then you need to educate them. He concludes his commentary with:

...Education is the key. A nationwide move to start a program in schools to teach gun safety would help young people understand how guns can be a benefit but also a danger. In Georgia, a driver education course is offered, so why not a firearms education course? A firearms course could teach gun safety and proper etiquette of firearms handling.

Gun laws in the United States are inefficient at best. The nation needs to turn away from trying to solve the problem after the fact; rather use education before there is a problem.
This next commentary from The University of Georgia's paper "The Red and Black" really got my goat. Shane Vaiskauskas wrote an op/ed on the shooting of 88 year old Kathryn Johnston by undercover Atlanta police officers during a no knock raid on her home. If you have not been following this story, you can get caught up here and here. The title of this statist, anti individualism piece is "Woman died from misuse of a firearm". The title alone should give you pause. Who misused the firearm? The police who shot her, or the victim herself?

Let us see:

In the maelstrom that has surrounded the fatal shooting of 88-year-old Kathryn Johnston by Atlanta Police Department, I can't help but sit back and shake my head.

The APD conducted a legal plain-clothes raid with a judge-issued warrant following an informant who bought drugs at the residence.

Once inside the residence, the victim shot three police officers before being gunned down. Police later found a small amount of marijuana in the victim's home.
Okay, stop right there. Mr. Vaiskauskas, the raid was not legal. The judge-issued warrant was obtained under false pretense, the informant was told to lie by the officers who murdered Mrs. Johnston, and the small amount (less than one gram) of marijuana was most likely planted by the offending officers. Your commentary is dated 12/06/06. Much of the truth about this case had been reported by then, yet still you call this a good raid. Your most egregious offence in writing this article is to quote Col. Jeff Cooper and the four basic rules of firearm handling. You state:

It was neither the war on drugs, nor unjustified or unwarranted police raids that killed Kathryn Johnston.

It was her failure to heed the four most basic rules of shooting.
I believe Col. Cooper would disagree with you here, very vocally and by using much stronger words than I. Col. Cooper would most likely have pointed out that Mrs. Johnston's only failure was that she did not have enough gun.

Mrs. Johnston reacted as most innocent folks would react to a home invasion in the middle of the night. She attempted to protect herself from people that were not in uniform, breaking into her house that is located in a crime ridden neighborhood. She failed, but in her failing, she shined a light upon a practice that is being used all to often for minor offences. Mr. Vaiskauskas's column has yet to receive any commentary. I trust that will be corrected in short order.

Florida had the most second amendment commentary in it's collegiate news papers. I chose the two most recent for this edition of the roundup.

From Winter Park Florida we have The Sandspur, student paper for Rollins College. Brett Heiney offers an op/ed titled "In Defence of Our Right to Have and Bear Arms" Mr. Heiney has done a good job of confusing me with this article, and I think he needs to think through his arguments a bit more as he contradicts himself in this column.

He starts out fairly well:

...Several friends and acquaintances of mine have argued with me that the Second Amendment provides that state militias should be able to keep and bear arms, not individual citizens. They continue by arguing that, since there are no longer any state militias like those of the 18th century, this amendment should be scrapped.

I point out now that the Second Amendment was designed to protect individual citizens from the possibility of militias running amuck. Those who pushed for the passage of the Bill of Rights wanted to safeguard the people from an abusive military. We may no longer have 18th century style militias, but we do have a standing military that includes the national guard. The Second Amendment still has resonance in our country today.

As Americans we have the luxury of living in the freest nation on this planet, and have relatively little to fear from a military takeover. Continuing in this vein of thought, there are many arguments that since we have almost nothing to fear from a military takeover than why have the Second Amendment?...

... am a firm believer that though something may be almost inconceivable it is still possible. I seriously doubt that a military coup d'etats would ever happen in the U.S., but the possibility exists. I do not fear our military and am proud to be protected by such fine people, but no one can guarantee that such a military takeover, though implausible as it may be, is not possible.

Should someone rise to power in the United States who has enough charisma and convinces the military to follow him or her to create an authoritarian regime in this nation, Average Joe will be happy that he was able to buy weapons and ammunition throughout his life that he can use to protect the democratic way of life we all enjoy. How would one protect his or her interests in a military coup if our right to have and bear arms had previously been infringed upon?
So far, so good. Now here is where things get shaky:

Leaving the highly unlikely event of a military takeover aside, I still defend a citizen's right to own and use guns, but I am not necessarily against limiting what weapons an individual may own. President Bush not too long ago did not sign the bill that would have kept the ban on assault rifles.

This move was hailed by gun toting rightwing nutjobs, but was not well received by the left. I am somewhere in the middle. Average Joe Hunter does not need an assault rifle with armor piercing rounds to go goose hunting, but would it be so bad if he owned one yet only used it for target practice at a shooting range?
For starters, President Bush would have signed the reinstatement of the AWB if it made it to his desk, no bill made it that far. Mr, Heiney, do you not remember what you wrote previously? The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting or target shooting.

Instead of limiting ownership of such guns we should be stricter about who we let own guns and should develop the technology that would allow only certain people to fire a specific firearm. Though I defend the rights of citizens to own guns, a criminal with a past of violence and especially violence with guns has effectively, in my eyes, willingly given up some rights that he or she would otherwise enjoy.

Greater monitoring of individual guns and the vendors and stores that sell them should be undertaken so that there is a higher level of governmental control over who really buys them, and if they are supposedly restricted from buying guns based on a criminal record.
NCIS checks are already required for all firearm transactions that take place via an ffl dealer. What additional monitoring would you recommend? The .gov which may turn against the populace should be more involved with monitoring firearm transactions?

Mr. Heiney finishes with:

The Second Amendment is such an important right that we, the freest people on Earth, can and should boast about. We may not be in the same situation as those who wrote the Second Amendment, but that addition to the Constitution should never be done away with. Every citizen of this fine nation should feel privileged to have the option to have and bear arms if so inclined. You do not have to like guns, but never try to infringe upon my right to own them.
Do you see how I could become confused by his commentary?

Last but not least is commentary from Daytona Beach Community College. Steve Goa rants about Florida's Castle Doctrine law in the student paper, In Motion. Mr. Goa titled his commentary "Florida's gun laws endanger Residents".

The title, along with the following picture, speak for themselves.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I think I will let Fit's fisk this last one. I'll just mention that a year after the Castle Doctrine Law was passed, the anti's are still prophesizing "blood in the streets".


Fits said...

Incredible. Difficult to believe that people of good will can offer such error-ridden, illogical tidbits. In fact, I'll go so far to say that NO ONE wishing to be fair and impartial *could* react so stupidly to Florida's Stand Your Ground law.

Where to begin...

Since the inception of Florida's concealed carry permit, the number of permit holders who have been convicted of a firearms related felony stands at 5. Over a million and a half issued, and 5 went bad.

Yes, violent crime remains a problem. THAT'S why more people want to defend themselves, and the law abiding citizens that ARE defending themselves are doing so in a law abiding manner.The Stand Your Ground law has not resulted in 1 bad shoot. The crime these idiots speak of, are being committed by, duh, criminals who could never get a legal gun or a CWP permit if their lives depended upon it.

It escapes me as to what point they are trying to make. In minority populations, violent crime remains a problem. Probably always will, at least for the forseeable future.But none of the crimes are being perpetrated by legal gun owners, the ones they are so very fearful will cause blood to run in the streets.

BUT, the dyed in the wool liberal CANNOT place the blame on a criminal, and certainly not a minority criminal, so they focus their worry and scare tactics on the people who don't commit ANY crimes.

Now isn't that special. Instead of petitioning for mandatory and lengthy sentences for criminals that use a gun, they wish to shift the attention to the men and women LEAST likely to be of trouble to anyone.

Fact: One doesn't buy a gun or get a license to carry without being an upstanding citizen.
Fact: Those that pass muster and obtain then carry weapons do not commit crimes.
Fact: Despite the overwhelming preponderance of evidence to the contrary, liberals continue to reference lies and innuendo directed towards ...I'm repeating myself but it bears emphasis...the ones LEAST likely to use a gun.

It remains the same old bait and switch, this time with a racist agenda. Protect the ones most likely to harm another by disarming the ones least likely to break the law. And lets not forget the reason for the institution of Saturday Night Special restrictions. It kept the poor blacks from being able to defend themselves, just like their "masters" wanted it. There is NO anti-gun law that cannot trace its roots back to the desire to disarm blacks and other minority members.The rich and famous can always work their way around a "law", and if no one believes that then why is Diane Feinstein and her family members the only ones to receive CCW permits in her home county? The wealthy can even hire bodyguards. The weak must be KEPT weak and beholding to their NEW massa's.

John R said...

Hey Fits, thanks. I knew you could do a better job than I with that last article.

The Mad Hatter said...

Did a great job on #6, JR. And Fits & I--we think way too much alike. Scary for the rest of the world.

Still taking my break, but it won't be long before I get the writing itch again, I think. I certainly have a lot to talk about already.