The Fallacy of The Pioneer’s Response to the Tucson Shooting

Jim Griffiths, Castro Valley, Calif.

Will Thompson recently addressed the state of firearm ownership in the U.S. in his opinion piece, “Reasonable Gun Control Held Up By Gun Lobby.”

I feel it necessary to address some of the incorrect information that he presented.

“…lax gun laws in Arizona…allowed the Tucson shooter to obtain his instruments of death.”

This is not correct. Jared Loughner was a restricted person prohibited from the ownership of a firearm. He had been denied entry into the United State Army because he failed a drug test. Illegal use of controlled substances invalidates your right to own a firearm. If this information had been shared with the appropriate legal authorities, Mr. Loughner would have been prevented from purchasing the handgun that he used in the atrocity.

This is similar to the psychopath Seung-Hui Cho’s attack on students at Virginia Tech in 2007. If mental health authorities had shared information with legal authorities, Mr. Cho would not have been allowed to purchase the handguns he used.

In both of these cases, this was not a failure of laws, but a failure of policy and procedure.

Yet the anti-gun proponents are clamoring for the creation of new laws? Should we not focus on enforcing existing laws first? Quantity over quality does not solve the problem.

“…lax gun laws in Arizona…have resulted in thousands of legally available firearms—including AK-47s—being transported to Mexico for use by drug cartels.”

Have you seen the numerous pictures of guns seized in drug raids and after shootouts with drug lords? Did you notice the full-auto weapons, often with grenade launchers attached, that are displayed (usually right next to numerous hand grenades)?

When you visit gun shops in Arizona, you do not see belt-fed machine guns and hand grenades in the display cases. You do see these weapons in Mexican Army arsenals, though.

Rather than blaming us for their troubles, should not the Mexican government try to control illegal arms sales from within their own military?

A core of former Mexican Special Forces soldiers formed one of the worst cartels, Los Zetas, with contacts throughout the military.

Additionally, nearly 13 percent of the Mexican Army deserts each year, many of whom take their weapons with them.

Mexico is imploding due to the greed of many of their citizens and the corruption within their own government. Pointing the finger at U.S. gun dealers is nothing but political misdirection designed to make the bad guy appear to be somebody else.

“In the interest of self-defense, a handgun would undoubtedly prove adequate to one’s needs.”

The Second Amendment is not about self-defense against the common criminal.

The Founding Fathers understood that the creation of our nation was the result of a commitment to political freedom as well as an armed population that could act in defense of the new-formed country.

The Second Amendment was written to ensure that the people of this country have the ability to stand up against tyranny.

A popular tenant of modern American liberalism is that we have grown beyond the possibility of tyranny arising inside our government.

But within just the past century, we have seen armed citizens be compelled to stand against a corrupt government during the McMinn County War, as well as the often-violent prevention of African Americans in southern states to exercise their Constitutional right to vote during the Civil Rights era.

It is an enduring fact that whenever government feels that it is not answerable to the people, it will act in its own self interest, and usually at the people’s expense. This has been seen in 1930s Germany. In 1990s Serbia. In Sudan in the 21st Century.

The Second Amendment is the guarantee that this will not occur in the United States.

Violent, gun-related crime is a tragedy. But it is the cost of the freedom and principles deliberately determined by the Founding Fathers.

I understand the call for gun control. But I also understand the intent of the Constitution. The life we enjoy has a price beyond the taxes we pay.

“The Constitution grants Americans the right to bear arms, and we certainly do not oppose or challenge that.”

“Still, we should not abandon the idea of a nation without firearms.”

Mr. Thompson, I understand that this is an opinion piece, but you should still employ journalistic honesty and integrity in your published work.

You admit that you support the elimination of guns in the United States, yet you try to hide behind the standard appeasement of “I don’t oppose the Second Amendment.”

Have the courage to admit that you do not believe in the entire Constitution and would like to pick and choose your favorite parts to follow.

The First Amendment grants you the right to be journalistically dishonest, but I would hope that pursuit of the professional ethic would encourage you to stand up and tell the truth in your future writings.

You are trying to use the Editorials Page as a personal bully pulpit.

That is the role of the Editorial Editor, but most are at least honest about their positions.