Army Navy Store on Thayer Street

My father-in-law told me a story about self-defense with a gun.

The family lived far out in the country, and in Alabama in the 1930’s there was no justice for Black people in the courts of law. One day when the adults were away, a gang of racists drove out to the house planning some act of terrorism. The sight of a rifle barrel poking through the window persuaded them to move on. My father-in-law laughed at the fact that the rifle was held by a twelve year old boy.

A rifle in a farmhouse, though it saved a family that day, could not protect the Black community of Selma from many other crimes and violations. It took the intervention of the Federal Government to bring equal protection under law to those citizens.

For some people a gun is a means of self-defense. But where is the self-defense in an assault weapon? How many rounds of ammunition does it take to stop a housebreaker?

Why are our politicians so afraid of an extreme fringe that confuses self-defense with the ‘right’ to build a private arsenal and buy weapons of mass destruction? Who does it serve when one gun is not enough, when accountability is seen as an intrusion on individual rights. When each senseless, horrific murder of innocent people is a murder of our right to peaceably assemble– without high security, without fearing our neighbors.

Words Fail.

Before we get bombarded with news stories about the shooter, feeding into the myth that will inspire the next criminal to grab a gun and the headlines– here’s from Associated Press…

Twelve people who died in the Colorado movie shooting have been identified by the Arapahoe County coroner.

—Jessica Ghawi, 24, of Denver; aspiring sports journalist

—Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6, whose mother was critically injured

—Matt McQuinn, 27, of Denver; technical support provider

—Alex Sullivan, 27, of Aurora; worked at Red Robin restaurant

— Micayla Medek, 23, of Westminster, Colo., student at Aurora Community College

—John Larimer, 27, of Buckley Air Force Base, Navy cryptologist

—Jesse Childress, 29, of Thornton, Colo., Air Force cyber-systems operator

—Gordon W. Cowden, 51, of Aurora, small business owner and father of two teens

—Jonathan T. Blunk, 26, of Aurora, worked at a hardware store, served five years in the U.S. Navy.

—Rebecca Ann Wingo, 32, of Aurora customer relations representative at a mobile medical imaging company

—Alexander C. Teves, 24, of Phoenix, earned master’s degree in counseling psychology in June from University of Denver

—Alexander J. Boik, 18, incoming freshman student at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design who planned to become an art teacher

8 thoughts on “Why?

  1. Guns are good for self defense.They are also good for target shooting or collecting for that matter0I know people who own guns and have no ammo because they don’t want to “ruin”a “collectible”by firing-silly to me,but whatever.
    I knew you couldn’t resist this debate.It’s disgusting that a six year old girl was killed among others.
    A 7 year old girl was killed by gangbangers spraying bullets in Chicago some weeks back-she was selling lemonade-a rite of passage for most kids and obviously she wasn’t the target,but she got killed.
    You know what?If they ever catch the shooter,it’ll turn out he has a record of violence,but in our socially engineered society he was out and about and no stringent gun law in Chicago was gonna slow him down.
    A six week old girl was murdered in Providence recently-and no stranger with an AR15 did it.It was her father and he beat her to death.He should be executed.But no-the social engineers will have him out and fathering another potential victim in 20 years.
    Most child murder victims in this country are killed by those they depend on for love and protection.I don’t know what to say about that-but high capacity magazines aren’t a factor there.
    Other children are murdered(it’s not a typo) by drunk drivers.We treat drunk drivers far too leniently.People like my State Senator who got caught recently.He should have stuck to stealing condoms.
    I know you think a new “assault weapons ban”will make things better-probably not.This turd in Colorado had improvised explosives-anyone can go into Home Depot and buy all the components necessary without raising any flags.One can access the anarchist Cookbook and other such crap and learn such niceties as making napalm at home.Exploding lightbulbs,etc.
    I’m not arguing with you here because i have no agenda to push and frankly i don’t need an assault rifle with a 30 round magazine.I can do a very good job with a six shot revolver or a 1911 semiauto that holds 8 rounds.We won WW2 with the Garand M1 rifle that holds 8 rounds-but I’m not for banning anything because it provides a false sense of security.

    1. The drunk driving issue will be moot in the not too distant future. Autonomous vehicles solve that one quite handily.

      As to guns – I keep a shotgun in the house. You see, RI has Castle Doctrine. Anyone breaks in here and they’re going to hear the sound of a round being chambered in a pump shotgun. That’s usually enough to make most perps crap their pants.

      1. You’re right.I carried a 12 gauge with a 14″ barrel(not available to civilians)on my job-coming through the door with that calmed things right down and no one got hurt.
        Those auto-vehicles sound good,but won’t be in wide use for a long time yet.

      2. Want to lay a bet on that long time? I’d say less than five years. Why? You and I are already starting to see features of autonomous vehicles filtering into production vehicles.

        For example, the one that parks for you, or the one that will apply the brakes if you get too close to an obstruction. Those are features found on autonomous cars. And Google has already had the autonomous cars roaming over 100,000 miles so far without a hitch.

        Instead what has to catch up is the law. Right now the owner/operator is responsible for accidents – but what if the owner isn’t the operator? That’s what has to be updated.

      3. Interesting-I have seen the ads and I really like the automatic backup stop-it will save numerous little ones.

  2. There is always the temptation to overreact in the face of tragedy, especially senseless, deadly and brutal tragedy that needlessly steals so many lives. In the face of this killing, the usual uninformed media is as expected a mile wide and an inch deep. Over the last 50 years, in the United States alone, about 40,000 people each year have been killed violently in motor vehicle accidents. Think about that number. 40,000 people each year, many young people, for 50 years. That total is 2,000,000 human beings killed violently in motor vehicle accidents. Two to three times that number have been injured, many terribly, another 4-6,000,000 people. Perhaps we should ban all motor vehicles. Approximately 50,000 Americans died in Vietnam over 7-8 years, perhaps 6,000 per year and they were killed in a war. We have lost about 6,000 soldiers since the 2002 Iraq-Afghanistan war began, and in that 10 year period, about 400,000 Americans died on roads in motor vehicle accidents. It would be wonderful to ban war. Perhaps we should ban all motor vehicles to save even more lives.

    Finally, I wonder if matters had been different if an armed guard or perhaps two, or perhaps someone in the audience with a weapons permit had been present and ready to act.

  3. In this particular incident,an armed patron might have added to an already terrible situation given that there was tear gas and the perp was wearing body armor.IF the patron was trained and/or experienced,who knows?maybe.You can’t quantify these things.

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