Best quote in the article: "Responsible gun owners don't use guns irresponsibly. Go figure."
All I can add is a quote from my 16 year old niece: "Well, duh!"
Orlando Sentinel Commentary
Oct. 4, 2007
Gun control doesn't protect us -- guns do
October 4, 2007
Tiffany Barwick and Michael Ruschak asked the cops to protect them from Barwick's former boyfriend.
She told them he had harassed her, threatened to kill her, bought a gun and sent an image of her riddled with bullet holes.
A Seminole deputy advised her to get a protective court order. We all know how effective they are against the criminally obsessed.
The deputy also would send her complaint to the State Attorney's Office, which is akin to tossing it into the Grand Canyon.
There is a lesson in all this.
The cops can't protect you.
The cops could not protect Erin Belanger and her five friends who were beaten to death by Troy Victorino and his band of thugs in Deltona.
She begged police for help in the days leading up to the assault.
"Can I ask you a question?" she said to a 911 dispatcher. "What can I do?"
Or better yet, what could they do?
I am not knocking the cops, just acknowledging reality. There are a thousand threats in the Big City. Picking out the real ones from the bluster is an impossible task.
Given this reality, given that Central Florida is turning into a bad Mad Max sequel, my liberal belief in gun control is getting wobbly.
I'm not advocating selling machine guns and cop-killer bullets at Wal-Mart. But if somebody faces an immediate threat, I have a hard time understanding why they need to wait three days or longer to buy a handgun for self-protection.
Shouldn't we be allowed to go to a reputable gun store, get a lesson in how to use a specific weapon and buy it after the background check?
The stated reason against this is that some ill-tempered lout will blow a fuse, run off to Guns R Us, buy a Glock and open fire on his spouse, neighbor, boss or co-worker.
One might assume someone this prone to venting with a volley already has a gun, locked and loaded.
A 2000 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, hardly part of the gun lobby, showed cooling-off periods did not reduce homicide rates or overall suicide rates.
After examining 51 studies on various gun-control laws, including mandatory waiting periods, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded in 2003 that there was "insufficient evidence" to say they reduced gun violence.
It seems we pass laws that feel good without a lot of proof they are doing any good.
Maybe I need a good slap from Ted Kennedy, but I almost buy the National Rifle Association argument that the primary target of gun-control laws would be the people who shoot them at ranges, then lovingly oil and ogle them before safely locking them up.
As far as keeping guns away from bad guys, gun-control laws work as well as crack cocaine-control laws. My footnoted reference on this would be our crime blog.
We even have high school kids in Orange County firing guns in the air at high school athletic events.
If there were no guns, I would say allow no guns. But since all the wrong people already have them, and the cops can't do much about it except match their firepower, then it may well be time to arm thyself, citizen.
When Florida liberalized permits for concealed weapons in the 1980s, critics predicted a Wild West bloodbath. It never happened.
Responsible gun owners don't use guns irresponsibly. Go figure.
Until the cops get better at enforcing gun control on those who shouldn't have guns, a better alternative for the rest of us is gun education, gun classes and secure gun storage.
Mike Thomas can be reached at 407-420-5525 or email@example.com.. His blog is OrlandoSentinel.com/mikethomas.
Thank you Mike Thomas.
I don't believe it, this from the orlando sentinel.... there still might be hope after all.
Alright, which one of you hacked the Sent.'s servers and posted this in there?!
Even though he does not seem to understand that we are armed to keep the government straight, it is good to see a liberal see the light.
Is this a sign of the Apocalypse? Because something is all backwards when an article like that appears in the Sentinel.
Lets support this -- email the guy anad let him know he did good ....
I just read your editorial Gun control doesn't protect us -- guns do and I want to say that you make some excellent points and rely on logic and not emotionalism. I also applaud you for the research that you did and the statistics you quoted. You wrote that "The cops can't protect you" that comment is unfortunately true. They do what they can but they are not personal bodyguards and they usually can only pick up the pieces after a crime has been committed. You also write that "I'm not advocating selling machine guns and cop-killer bullets at Wal-Mart." That is fine by me. Cop-killer bullets don;t exist outside of hype and misinformation and machine guns have been regulated by the government since 1934 and while I believe that law abiding citizens should be able to own a machine gun if they so desire, few people are calling for a repeal of laws regulating them.
Another good point you make is "Shouldn't we be allowed to go to a reputable gun store, get a lesson in how to use a specific weapon and buy it after the background check?" I agree completely and I have done so in my home state of Virginia.
This is the first article of yours that I have read but I really like the way you think. Statements like this one "It seems we pass laws that feel good without a lot of proof they are doing any good" are not very common. Much of the gun control legislation and other laws are best described as laws that feel good but really have no positive impact or perhaps even have a negative impact.
This is what the facts show "Responsible gun owners don't use guns irresponsibly." and I agree completely.
The only point I really disagree with you on is this one "Until the cops get better at enforcing gun control on those who shouldn't have guns, a better alternative for the rest of us is gun education, gun classes and secure gun storage." I sincerely believe that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right and even if the cops get better at keeping crimes like this one from happening the rest of us who want to be protected need to take our own measures. You mention Erin Belanger and her five friends, a baseball bat and knives were used in that disgusting crime and the police enforcing gun laws would have had no effect. If they police can help we should utilize them, but we truly are responsible for our own safety and well being. The gun is the most effective self defense tool and can be used by anyone. Those with weak physical strength, the outnumbered, the asthmatic who cannot run, the wheelchair bound, the lonely woman, even the small child can all use a firearm to defend themselves and others from a bigger, faster, stronger foe.
I am looking forward to more well thought out and logical columns from you.