No Right To Bear Firearms

There seems to be a move towards praising the Northern Illinois University for its prompt action in informing students of the killer loose on the campus during its very own Valentine’s Day Massacre.

Tonight, NBC and a number of other news media organizations, said that following the Virginia Tech shootings last year, guidelines introduced in educational establishments had been adhered to, and NIU had used text messaging and its intranet to alert students to the potential danger.

Congratulations to Northern Illinois University for its quick response to this emergency.

It needn’t have bothered.

The guidelines adopted after Virginia Tech had no effect on the loss of life at NIU yesterday. The gunman was already in the building and killing people before anyone was aware what was happening.

The media skirt around the issue, looking for any loophole they can use to justify some cause other than the prevalence of firearms in this country, as the reason for incidents similar to yesterday’s massacre.

Whatever the sickness pervading this nation that creates assassins like Stephen Kazmierczak, the root cause of yesterday’s killings lies with the number of firearms on the loose in this country and the ease with which people like Kazmierczak can obtain them.


The general objection to gun control is that it is impossible to take guns off the streets. Opponents argue that criminals will always be able to obtain them illegally.

Today, I have read comments from those who declare that if only students were allowed to carry weapons on their persons, Kazmierczak would have been gunned down before he could perpetrate his crimes.


Proponents of this crazy idea would turn America’s campuses into battlefields. The young are emotionally impetuous enough, without putting lethal firearms in their pockets.

Today, in Britain, an experiment is taking place in schools in the southern town of Southampton. Metal-detecting wands are being used to check-out pupils suspected of carrying knives into schools. Head teachers confirm there is not a problem with knives in their schools, but the local authority has introduced the measure as an added security, and as an additional tool for teachers, should it be necessary.

Had Stephen Kazmierczak only had the option of a knife, it is likely he could have been overpowered before inflicting any fatal injury. In fact, he probably would never have attempted his attack if his only weapon were a knife. Somehow, a knife does not carry the power and romanticism of a firearm.

And thereby hangs the crux of the matter. In America, guns are romantic. They hold an appeal that lights the eye of every ‘macho’ American male. It’s a false machismo; an indoctrinated delight; a sop to male insecurity.

As an outside observer, it’s not difficult to understand the allure of gun power in America. Getting Americans to understand it is a different matter altogether. Tell an American male the selection of firearms in his gun cabinet is nothing more than a sop to his masculine insecurity is likely to find one at the receiving end of his favorite .270 Winchester.

Yet, doesn’t that just prove my point?

Gun control begins with a period of amnesty followed by enforcement, with fines and jail sentences for offenders. The opponents are right, guns would not disappear off the streets overnight and criminals would be the last people to lose access to them. It would take ten years to lower the level of gun ownership in this country to an acceptable and relatively legal level. It is not impossible. Other countries have achieved it. Over that ten year period, incidents like the massacre at NIU would decline.

The last school shooting in Britain was in March 1996, twelve years ago. Following that massacre of sixteen children and one adult, the government introduced legislation bitterly opposed by gun clubs and rifle associations throughout the land.

That the legislation was effective, is proven by the total lack of similar incidents since that time, and the fact that Southampton schools are more concerned about possible, though unlikely, knife attacks.

Does America have the courage to enact similar legislation, or is the macho insecurity of the American male more important than the lives of young US students?

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6 Replies to “No Right To Bear Firearms”

  1. I’m not sure how many people have been killed by non-gangsters in the U.S. in the past year. It is a fair number. Would any of them have died if we had sensible gun control in this country?

  2. There are about “14,000 preventable medical deaths” in a year .
    With all of these deaths in a setting that is supossed to save lives there are still all of these deaths. Yet no one even makes any fuss about it at all. WHY? Because we have been brain-washed into thinking this is an acceptable loss. As a result no one is calling for doctors to be removed from the work place or for any other sanction against them. Why? Because we can no longer use our own brains to think for ourselvs. We LET the politicans who have FREE HEALTH CARE PLANS and are protected by ARMED SECURITY GUARDS think for us. Oh and by the way WE PAID FOR IT ALL out of our pockets. We let the politicions who are supposed to be doing what we want be swayed into thinking whatever some think tank or group of powerful people tell them to think, because they throw money at them for their re-election. One of the biggest reasons we are still free is we are an armed society that has the right to defend ourselvs. A people who are unarmed soon become the political slaves of the politicians and the so-called powerful.

  3. With respect, jboycan, you are wrong!

    Firearms have one purpose, and one purpose only – to kill.
    They should be in the hands of police, official wardens and military only. Yes – hunters are unnecessary too, and hunting should be banned.

    Your argument about preventable medical deaths is bogus in this context.

    What you American people have been brainwashed to accept is that you are entitled to own weapons of destruction.
    I believe the Constitution did not envision this, in the way it has been interpreted. the words were written in a much different world to that we now inhabit.

    You say “A people who are unarmed soon become the political slaves of the politicians and the so-called powerful.”
    Funny how this hasn’t happened in Europe. To my mind Americans are the political slaves, and their guns have not saved them.

  4. Al – some still may have died. It’s impossible to control the circulation of all illegal firearms. What is certain, however, is that most of them would still be alive had America introduced and enforced sensible gun control some years ago. In a nation of this size, with so many firearms in circulation, it would take ten years before any serious effects would be felt. All the more reason for legislation to take effect as soon as possible.

    j boycan – I have little argument with the bulk of your comment, but find the last two sentences illogical. The idea that as soon as the populace have laid down their small-arms the government will enslave them, makes no sense. The government controls the military, and has access to private militias like Blackwater. If it wanted to enslave the populace, you may just as well fill your house with kiddy’s peashooters for all the good your firearms will do against tanks, bombs, and the other powerful weaponry of the US military. Also, do you truly expect the American people to rise up as one? The US is one of the most divided nations on earth. You cannot agree on anything and your societies are split into many different splinter groups all with differing ideas of right and wrong. At best, there would be an almighty, and bloody, civil war with citizen turning on citizen.

    Is that what you want? I think not.

    I note, on your website, you comment on the British and Australians having their right to bear arms taken from them – “in a heartbeat”, is how you describe it happening in Britain. In fact, since 1903 the British have never had, or wanted, the right to carry guns. I assume you are referring to the Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997 which was, thankfully, the final nail in the coffin of gun ownership in Britain. In fact, gun control in the UK dates back to 1870, when licenses for gun ownership were first introduced, though real control only began in 1903 with the Pistols Act, that required a license for the ownership of a hand weapon. This legislation was strengthened in 1920 by the Firearms Act; further reinforced in the Act of 1937 (which banned automatic weapons), the 1968 Criminal Justice and Firearms Act, The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988, and finally, as mentioned above, The Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997 (which effectively banned all handguns from private ownership).

    So, all-in-all a legal process lasting over a century. Hardly “in a heartbeat”.

    As for its effectiveness – judge for yourself – between 1999 and 2006, there were only two fatal shootings of police officers in England. In the USA over the same period, an average of around 50 per year, or approx 400, died from shooting incidents.

    I don’t have figures for Australia to hand, but friends there inform me shooting death statistics are way down since gun control was introduced, in line with British legislation.

    Finally, both on your website and in your comment, you write of freedom only being upheld by an armed society. I’m not sure how you view British and Australian society, but having lived in Britain in excess of fifty years, I was appalled to arrive on these shores and discover the lack of freedoms Brits take for granted. One, and possibly the most important, is the ability to walk around the town at night without fear of being the victim of a shooter. Can you imagine a society where the police carry out their duties unarmed? Such is British society. The British are hardly “enslaved”. They work shorter hours, have very long holidays, earn as much as most Americans, and do whatever they wish, within reason, without fear of any state interference. In Britain, human life is considered much more valuable than in the US.

    The firearms you go to such lengths to keep are, in truth, your jailers. It is not for the defense of freedom that you demand your guns, it is to defend your fear. That fear has little to do with the invasion of a foreign enemy, or takeover by a corrupt government. It is the fear of your neighbor that causes the coveting of firearms; fear of your own countrymen.

    On your website, you write proudly of your grandfather teaching you to use a gun. I understand that pride, and your grandfather’s sincere wish to pass on his knowledge and sense of responsibility. But your grandfather, who probably learned from his father or grandfather, lived in different times. America now has the greatest military arsenal in the world. An arsenal no external enemy can penetrate in any numbers. Its capitalistic base relies on ordinary Americans to work and keep the economy functioning. Such work cannot be performed efficiently by an enslaved people.

    The Constitution was written when America was still undergoing birth pangs. The military was poor and few. Then, it seemed a good idea for citizenry to swell the ranks as required. It is no longer required. The National Guard performs that duty well enough.

    You call your website, “The Thinking Man’s Page”, yet our thinking is only as good as is provided by our base – our belief system. If the belief system is flawed, our thinking can never be accurate. We have to constantly adjust our belief systems in the light of changing times and changing events. The 2nd Amendment was written in 1789, but its precedent dates back another 650 years, to the time of Henry II of England, and it is likely the Founding Fathers considered this English common law, still in effect at the time, to be sound for a newly-fledged nation unsure of its future.

    The time of 2008 bears little resemblance to the time of 1789. Our belief systems must change accordingly, if we are not to become stuck in an era long since passed into history.

    What was right for your grandfather, and his forebears, is not necessarily correct today.

  5. Twilight and TOB – you made your comments while I was composing my response to ‘j boycan’. Obviously, I am in agreement with both of you. We three have the advantage of having lived – indeed, in the case of TOB, still living – in a nation where the possession of lethal weapons is severely restricted, to the benefit, safety, and wellbeing of all UK citizens. One day, Americans will realize the effect a gun free-for-all is having on their society, and do something about it. Sadly, it often seems that day is a long way off.

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