Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Crisis in America

Dear Friends,

There’s been a lot of talk, gnashing of teeth, sympathy expressed, and just plain foolishness spewed after the shootings in Colorado. I’d like to make a few points from my own perspective as clear as possible.

Hand guns and assault weapons are horribly imprecise weapons. Assault weapons, semi-automatic rifles of large caliber, make up for the deficiency in their accuracy by spewing a large number of lethal projectiles in a big hurry. Pistols are good for making hamburger out of human flesh at close range.

At long range, except in the hands of a well trained shooter with good vision, time on his hands and a clean shot at a well lit enemy; well? They are not reliable at hitting the intended target. This ain’t like it seems watching western movies.

I can tell you this most assuredly, as I have had the opportunity to train on hand guns. I’ve also had the stimulating experience of being fired upon. I am grateful that pistols make very poor weapons at any range aside from those circumstances found on a target field.  Else wise, I would not presently have a head on my shoulders to make this report.

In any case, the idea of arming ordinary citizens without real training, I mean REAL TRAINING as a deterrent to psychopathic criminals or even just plain thugs is absurd. First, a nut case who is intent on spraying a crowd with bullets, tear gas, and is wearing a flak jacket, helmet and a gas mask, is likely not afraid of seeing his corpse on the evening news. He’s wagering that he won’t be around to see that news and/or is so far gone that he really hasn’t thought things out all too well.

Second, letting loose more lead flying in a darkened theater full of panicked and wounded people is only likely to cause more carnage. Even in simple situations, a home burglary, a bored perimeter guard on duty at a Marine base in Guam, a kid trying out his new BB gun, whatever, four out of five gun shots are taken in accidents. It is seldom the intended target that gets the bullet. More often it is either the baby sleeping in the room next door or the terrified homeowner plugging his own foot.

So, let’s please get a grip. More weapons of carnage, good for nothing but making holes in people and most likely to kill the innocent, are not going to make anybody more safe. We can honor the spirit of the 2nd Amendment in such a way as we do the 4th (we do allow folks to have their car registration and driver’s licenses revoked) and stop this homicidal nonsense.

Oh, one last thing! This guy Holmes, this mutant freak, this damaged child managed to get thrown out of one gun shop while trying to buy weapons acting “weird and making monkey noises”, got thrown off a rifle range for the same sort of simian gesticulations and behaving like a “frightened animal” in the weeks before his attack. Nobody called the cops. No. The gun shop owner referred him to a web site to get his six thousand rounds of ammo. His neighbors watched him tote in enough explosives and grenades and weapons to blow up the entire building and kill hundreds of people. Nobody called the cops.

I’m no fan of the cops where it concerns my own ill behavior, but they are there for a reason. Next time you see a kid toting heavy weapons, an old guy taking a little kid into the shower, don’t keep quiet. Don’t call the guy’s boss, a football coach. Screw your head on and don’t wait for a neighbor to make the call. You are the neighbor or the friend or the coach. It will be less embarrassing to be wrong, if your judgement is not right, than see a little girl shot or another ten year old boy raped in the shower.

Res Ipsa Loquitor,