“Gun-Polluted” America?

Well here’s a lovely little editorial. From the Charleston, West Virginia Gazette comes this screed against guns. Let us fisk:


No hiding from guns

WHEN the West Virginia School Boards Association met last week at the Charleston Marriott, a panel discussion was held on a deadly topic: how to protect board meetings from attackers like the disturbed employee who brought a 75-shot AK-47 to a Kanawha County board session, plus buckets of gasoline, and wounded a teacher before he was subdued. (The assailant also had two pistols and a rifle in his pickup truck parked outside.)

The assembled school board members from around the state realized that dozens of Kanawha people might have been killed at the July 17 session. Only swift tackles by four brave administrators prevented a massacre. Ever since, armed police have been posted at Kanawha school board meetings, a $14,000 video surveillance system has been ordered, and electronic door locks are being considered.

Let’s see: instead of resigning themselves to be victims, four administrators decided to be a pack, not a herd, and defend themselves and others. They didn’t rely on “the authorities” to save them, they did it themselves – at great personal risk. BUT, you’ll note, they did it by physically attacking the perp because (obviously) none of the four defenders (or any of the other potential victims) was armed. What subsequent action did they take in order to protect themselves in the future? THEY EMPLOY AN ARMED GUARD. Nobody (apparently) bothered to get a concealed-carry permit, instead they HIRED OUT their protection. So if someone in the future wants to do what the original perp tried, all he has to do is cap THE GUARD. The herd will then be suitably cowed (no pun intended) and he can carry out whatever nefarious plan he wants.

At the statewide conference, lawyer Kimberly Croyle told the delegates that America suffers an average of 20 workplace murders per week, and 18,000 woundings. The worst death rate is among defenseless taxi drivers, she said, but plenty of other killings happen in offices and plants — usually committed by dismissed employees, angry clients or estranged husbands stalking their wives. Most of the slaughter is by guns.

Really? “Usually committed by dismissed employees, angry clients or estranged husbands”? I thought the overwhelming majority of “workplace murders” were robberies. I’d really like to see her source data for this.

It’s extremely difficult to predict which person will go on a murder rampage, she said. Therefore, all organizations should have “zero tolerance” for threats — and also have attack drills, like fire drills. Employees should rehearse how to barricade themselves safely and dial 911.

More “zero tolerance” idiocy, and more “don’t defend yourself – you’re not qualified” preaching from our self-appointed superiors.

Fellow lawyer John Teare gave school administrators some practical advice: When it’s necessary to discipline or fire a problem employee, try to avoid humiliating or enraging the worker. Use a gentle voice. Let the employee talk, without a dismissive brushoff. Do it at the end of the day, after other employees have gone, so the dismissee can remove personal possessions without being watched by fellow workers. At day’s end, he said, employees are weary and less likely to explode in anger.

This I can agree with. I have never understood why it was necessary to publicly humiliate someone if it’s necessary to fire them. Regardless of whether it will render them less likely to come back and shoot the place up, it takes very little effort to treat people as well as you can.

Our editor, one of the panelists, told the state delegates that workplace massacres are so rare and unpredictable that safeguards are dubious. For example, if the Kanawha school board had been shielded by metal detectors and armed guards, the killer could have pulled his pickup to the front curb and used his four guns to mow down people leaving the meeting. Likewise, it’s doubtful that detectors and guards would have deterred the psychotic students who invaded Columbine High School.

Holy shit, a voice of reason. And he’s an editor of the newspaper, no less!

However, Kanawha board member Bill Raglin replied that he worked many years in dangerous chemical plants, where strict safety practices prevented deadly spills.

Except “deadly spills” are accidents. “Strict safety practices” do nothing to prevent deliberate acts – and Mr. Raglin should certainly understand that. Apple? Meet orange.

Of course, Raglin is correct that intelligent security measures should be used. They may avert some murders. But the irrational nature of attacks — and the easy availability of deadly guns — mean that no Americans truly are safe.

“Easy availability” or not, the fact of the matter is no Americans are truly safe – and if you understand that fact then you understand that the government cannot protect you. YOU are responsible for your safety. But that’s not the mantra of this piece.

When a disturbed school employee can arm himself with a 75-shot assault weapon, two pistols and a rifle, planning to wipe out a school board meeting, who’s really safe? When deranged students can bring guns to school to kill teachers and fellow students, who’s safe?

When they can bring pipe bombs and cans of gasoline, who’s safe? When they can load a Ryder truck with fertilizer and diesel fuel (ANFO), who’s safe? When someone can drive a three-ton Cadillac through a crowd, who’s safe? When men armed with box cutters can hijack airliners and fly them into buildings WHO’S SAFE? Wake up. The world isn’t safe. Never has been.

Gun-polluted America has a murder rate much worse than nations that protect people by controlling illegal weapons.

And there are countries with strict gun control with murder rates far higher, too. (But those are “third-world” countries and don’t count – right?)

But America’s “right to bear arms” (Note the ubiquitous “scare quotes” – A “right to bear arms?” Oh, please. Don’t be gauche.) lobby is so strong that timid U.S. politicians won’t impose safeguards. Even if they did, it might require generations to cleanse the country of concealed pistols and other unlicensed murder instruments.

Note that the author completely ignores the possibility that “cleansing the country” of “unlicensed murder instruments” is IMPOSSIBLE – as has been AMPLY demonstrated by England’s experience. “Facts? Don’t confuse me with the facts. My mind’s made up! Guns are eeeeeevil!

Except, of course, when they’re in the hands of our proper masters.

Edited to add: And note the characterisation of “concealed pistols” as “murder weapons”. This completely disregards the fact that in every state where concealed carry is “shall issue” homicide rates have gone down. The people who have permits and carry are not homicidal. But this editorial paints them with the same bloody brush as the Columbine killers.

Agenda? What agenda?

Therefore, Americans are condemned to live with the daily risk of gun murders, and the rare risk of gun massacres.

Yup. And, as I pointed out before, we’re willing to live with that. It beats giving up our personal sovereignty and making the mistake a free people get to make only once.

(And, of course, the editorial is unsigned.)

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