Friday, February 12, 2010

Pass the Ammunition!

Today's shooting at the University of Alabama-Huntsville is a horrible event, but not so horrible that gun nuts shouldn't try to score political points off it:
Gina Hammond, a UAH student, told WAFF that she lobbied the University of Alabama trustees to allow students with gun permits to carry their weapons on campus. She was turned down.

“I’m scared to go back to school,” Hammond said. “However, if they were to allow me to carry my permanent pistol on campus, I would not be as scared.

“... I’m sorry that nobody in that room had a permanent pistol to save at least one person’s life,” Hammond said.

That's right--the answer to the problem is more guns! Read the whole news story on


Michael said...

I don't know how anybody can stop a nut like Bishop. She's obviously not right in the head, not only from her denial of the act, or her statement that those killed aren't really dead, but simply by the nature of the act. Sane people just don't go off in a faculty meeting and shoot the place up. As for "more guns" being an answer,

I'm not sure Hammond's remarks call for an increase in firearm sales. More like, "let us carry the guns we already own." In that regard, more guns in the hands of the sane might have been able to stop people like Nidal Hasan, or at least kept the death toll lower.

I think Hammond needs to investigate the laws of the state rather than asking the University to overstep their powers in granting individuals the right to carry a weapon, simply because it's "registered." The University has no such authority.

There are "right to carry" laws already on the books in 39 states, and Alabama is one such state. In fact, Alabama has granted rather broad powers to county sheriffs who may issue CCW permits with pretty simple restrictions....

"The sheriff of a county may, upon the application of any person residing in that county, issue a qualified or unlimited license to such person to carry a pistol in a vehicle or concealed on or about his person within this state for not more than one year from date of issue, if it appears that the applicant has good reason to fear injury to his person or property or has any other proper reason for carrying a pistol, and that he is a suitable person to be so licensed."

In practice, virtually all Alabama county sheriffs as of 2006 issue licenses to all "suitable persons." Application fees and other requirements such as training as well as the conduct of background checks vary from sheriff to sheriff. Alabama permits are honored in 22 states.

Aaron said...

Hmm. It seems to me that there is also something else as work, just as insidious, but not (perhaps) as disingenuous - the idea that in order to defend yourself against someone with a gun - you need a gun. Perhaps one of the things that we aren't doing, that we should, is researching ways that you can actively defend yourself without needing to be packing lethal heat.

Archaeopteryx said...

Schmutzie--it's my understanding (not that my understanding is necessarily in step with reality) that Concealed Carry Laws can be overridden by University Policy (just as they can be in elementary or high schools). I know that if a student at our university is seen to have a gun in their vehicle or on them (even if the weapon is possessed legally), they can be arrested, or issued a citation, and the gun can be confiscated.

Aaron, I don't like the idea that, at least in Arkansas (and I assume in most of the South) the person holding the gun always wins the argument. If the idea behind carrying a weapon is truly defense, then a person should not be allowed to carry a concealed weapon. How does that defend you? No, the idea behind concealed carry permits is for people who want to be able to do so to carry a weapon wherever they want--in school, in church, at the grocery store, in biology faculty meetings.

Also, it seems to me that since Bishop killed her brother under curious circumstances in 1986, she might forfeit any right she would have otherwise have to carry a gun. If police officers in Massachusetts had done their job then, three professors would be alive today.

I don't know what the answer is to how many guns are too many. If you saw Bowling for Columbine you know that Canada has plenty of legally owned guns, and a gun murder rate a tiny fraction of ours. Something is wrong, but I don't pretend to have any idea what the answer is. I just don't think it's more guns, or more freely available guns.

Aaron said...

Well, if you don't like the idea that the guy with the gun wins, how do you change that equation? And if you can't change it, then what do you do? It seems to me that if people don't have what they feel is a viable way to even the odds, they're going to look to firearms instead. Unless we can find another way to tamp down the American habit of using violence as a "problem-solving" tool, there's going to be violence (with guns and other things) and people are going to look to find ways to fight back.

Keifus said...

Yeah, if firearms couldn't prevent a shooting at a military base, or of Seattle cops in a donut shop, you might want to consider the way in which this sort of large-scale crime tends to play out (that is, how targets and circumstances are chosen by the shooters), even when, in a general sense, arms can reasonably be expected to be present. Although, I suppose I'd be careful with anecdotes too.

Back with the Virginia tech shootings, the response of various armchair sherrifs regarding what they would do if they were in that situation (and armed) was pretty damn offensive.

Cindy said...

The answer cannot be more guns. No matter what the question is if it has to do with regular citizens in a civilian world.

I'm not going to go off on my (perfectly legal right to) rant about gun control. I recognize the extremism of my position.

Barring that stance, I support any reasoned and rational effort to address the fact that there is a problem.

And the problem is in the U.S.

The problem may not be the gun. The problem must certainly be in the people.

And if the violence that is America doesn't get addressed then we will not have that wonderfully scenic and uplifting Bladerunner future, but rather we will simply shoot each other to death. Probably not even worth writing the screenplay for that scenario.

And all the while we Americans emphatically shall be declaring our inherent right to have and to shoot more guns.

Cindy said...

If no one but the pilot dies in the Austin attack on the IRS then perhaps planes are the answer.

Archaeopteryx said...

I certainly don't know what the answer is. If we're waiting for extremists in this country to become more reasonable, we have a very long wait.

Cindy said...

That is so true. And I don't know
"the answer" either and maybe there isn't one.

Violence and extremism aren't new and the repetition of images makes them not original either.

Sadly, they are even ceasing to be shocking.