Archived Story

Guns not cause for tragedy; people misusing them are

Published 11:02am Wednesday, December 19, 2012

To the Editor:

I see there is now a poll on whether or not to ban assault weapons.

The phrase “assault weapon” is a term made up to make people fearful of guns, used first in the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. The gun used in the most recent tragic school shooting in Connecticut was a legal gun under the current Assault Weapons Ban that is in Connecticut.

A ban on assault weapons would have made no difference in this case.

You can ban all the guns you want, but it will not stop tragedies like this from happening. The shooter in this case stole these guns from his mother who he then murdered.

The worst tragedy in U.S. school history was accomplished with not guns, but dynamite. The two most tragic events in U.S. history (the Oklahoma City bombing and 911) happened with diesel fuel, fertilizer and box cutters. So we should ban diesel fuel, fertilizer and box cutters.

People kill people. Guns are not the cause nor reason for this tragedy.

The same day in China, 22 children were stabbed and slashed by a man wielding a knife. I know they were not killed but on Aug. 2 in China, a man killed eight people with a knife.

So are they going to ban knives in China now?

We must be vigilante in protecting our children by any means, but banning weapons of any kind will not accomplish this. I have two young children and one more on the way; this tragedy only strengthened my resolve and renewed my faith in the right to protect my family.

When a nation is stripped of the right to bear arms, other rights follow.

The constitutions of most of our states assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.” —Thomas Jefferson

William Bunn II
Franklin

  • WilliamBunn

    People you continue to fight over a Right that is guaranteed
    to us by our constitution. We have a right to own any gun we want, and if you read what our forefathers intended you would know that they feel this particular right is one that they felt everyone should participate in.

    “The great object is that every man be armed” and “everyone who is able may have a gun.” (Patrick Henry, in the Virginia Convention on the ratification of the Constitution. Debates and other Proceedings of the Convention of Virginia,…taken in shorthand by David Robertson of Petersburg, at 271, 275 2d ed. Richmond, 1805. Also 3 Elliot, Debates at 386)
    “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike especially when young, how to use them.” (Richard Henry Lee, 1788, Initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights, Walter Bennett, ed., Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican, at 21,22,124 (Univ. of Alabama Press,1975)..

    You see they felt not only was it a Right, but they thought it our DUTY to own and posses them, that we should teach our young to use them properly, not lock them away and act like they are some evil instrument. A culture of fear has been created where people fear guns and what they can do, instead of fearing the government and what it is doing to us (through bills like the Patriot act and the NDAA) they are slowly taking our rights from us and the only thing we will have to stop that is our 2nd amendment right.

    As far as being able to convert an AR-15 to fully automatic from semi-automatic or a bushmaster having a 3 round burst. You are wrong on both accounts, First it takes a skilled gunsmith with a lot of knowledge and know how to convert a gun into a fully automatic weapon, and even then these guns are not easily converted nor is it something that any gun owner off the street can do with the tools he has in hi home (it takes precise machinery to get this done). The Bushmasters did not come available to the public with a 3 round burst option as that would have made it an illegal gun unless you obtained a special tax stamp and even then you could not own one, as only older pre-1986 fully automatic weapons can be owned by the public.

    Suggest Removal

  • handkusp45

    SandMan, I don’t believe that you are correct on the Bushmaster having a three round burst. In fact, Bushmaster has issues a recall on some rifles that unintentially fied more than one round with a trigger pull. You can legally obtain a machine gun but it will cost you an arm and a leg and you will have to jump through many hoops.

    Suggest Removal

  • barney1

    Plain and simple assault weapons should be banned from the public. When our constitution was written there was no such thing as an assault weapon. Assault weapons were made for one reason, KILLING PEOPLE, and in the wrong hands innocent people.

    Suggest Removal

    • simplifyingit

      WRONG!!! when it was written the “assault weapon” of the day was a single shot, flintlock rifle or musket and swords. A sword was made for one reason…wait, yes killing people, in SELF DEFENSE!!!! That would be the same reason for the second amendment- SELF DEFENSE!!! So think before you spout next time. If you don’t like firearms don’t own one!!! BUT DO NOT TRY TO TAKE AWAY MY RIGHT TO OWN ONE!!!!

      See i can type in capital letters too….you are not special. live your life your way, let others live theirs in their way with the rights given to them, not taken away because you disagree!

      Suggest Removal

  • rmcclenny

    Maybe someone should ask Chief Hardison what he did with THREE 45 cal Glock semi-automatics with high capacity mags and a Remington 870 Wingmaster shotgun that he purchased for $225 that belonged to the City of Franklin???

    Suggest Removal

    • SandMan

      We’ve asked….and asked…..and asked. Mr. Williams keeps covering it up. Monkey see….monkey do.

      Suggest Removal

    • simplifyingit

      Officer McClenny, that is the thing that bothers me most!

      Why should he have been able to buy(as a citizen)property, that was the cities just minutes prior, for so cheap? I mean $225 doesn’t even cover the value of one weapon! Any one of them! Used Glock .45s sell for at least $350 and the Wingmaster sells for at least $300. Thats $1300 worth of guns he bought for $225! A CLEAR ABUSE OF POSITION!

      Then where are those guns now? Of course he still has “yours” locked away, but who would venture to assume that he sold the others to friends/relatives??

      So he used his position to decide the city no longer had use for something he wanted and sold them, as the chief of FPD, to a wholesaler. We’ll assume he then walked outside, changed shirts, and came back in as a regular Joe and purchased those same guns back, before Town Police Supply even had time to inventory them! This even sounds like someone at Town PS was involved. Maybe the city should no longer do business with an unscrupulous dealer like that?

      I guess, since this was OK and nobody is supposed to care, that Mr Martin should sell City Hall to a realtor for $1 and then buy it back an hour later for $5, as a private citizen, and rent it out to the separate depts housed there. I mean use your position for profit and have Mr williams explain it away as best he can. Which is usually like some stuttering teenager!!

      Suggest Removal

  • Liberty With Responsibility

    Hey simplifyingit—–You need to read me again (2 comments)—don’t lump me in with gunner! As a free man in America, I don’t hang with anyone who believes he can tell me what I should have from my own labor based on what I “need.”

    Suggest Removal

    • simplifyingit

      Sorry Lib

      Suggest Removal

    • gunner58

      Liberty–

      Don’t forget–your liberty require responsibility. The government already restricts what you can buy as a free man with your hard earned money.

      A simple example that I have not used here involves certain drugs. To protect you and the rest of society, our leaders have decided that morphine, etc. should not be dispensed in Virginia without a script. Most reasonable folks would agree that this limitation on an individual freedom helps the greater good. Try to buy a couple of packs of Sudafed at once and you’ll discover that the government also restricts its access (to interrupt the sourcing for meth labs).

      Another thought–why don’t we allow a 17 year old who just finished a shift at Dairy Queen to stop by Fred’s for a beer? He earned the money…

      My point is we face small inconveniences in our lives all the time. I don’t mind if the purpose is to protect someone, particularly a child.

      Suggest Removal

      • simplifyingit

        and not one of those laws you mention have stopped the problem that they were enacted because of. Under age children still get their beer, the Meth problem is getting worse and who knows about the morphine( thats one i can’t answer)????? They only made it cost someone more and cause the addicts to committ more crimes to get it(ie, stealing, burglary).

        Ooops now you must give new example-that myth is busted!

        Suggest Removal

  • simplifyingit

    @gunner58 and Libert/responsibility:

    Gunner quoted Va law. Here is the key wording that is “less than perfect” to me, “a magazine which will hold more than 20 rounds”.

    If that were perfect it would say any man carrying/who owns more than 20 rounds…..because if the magazine only holds 9 rds and we can buy as many mags as we want then we could conceivably with a 5 shot revolver and speed loaders shoot 50-60 times a minute. With a 3 minute or longer response time by Law enforcement thats 150-180 shots/innocent people before someone can stop a shooter.

    While i understand &share your concern with the deaths of innocent people by the misuse of firearms, banning/controlling them is a fallacy!
    A criminal will find ways to own weapons and kill, and he is not going to stop and think….”maybe i should only have 19 shots so i don’t break that gun law”…before he goes out to committ his crimes. No he will carry as much as he can tote and use it with reckless abandon until someone with a weapon stops him. I will have my on my side at that time, locked & loaded, and more than willing to use it.

    Speak of laws and politics with an open mind not a breaking heart please.

    Suggest Removal

    • gunner58

      Simplifyingit– I have an open mind as evidenced as by my invitation for someone to explain the reason behind these weapons.

      Have you noticed that these spree killers tend (Ct. school, Aurora movie theater, Va Tech, Gabby Giffords, etc.) have used legally purchased guns?

      Have you also noticed that many of them are not long-time shooters? They buy weapons (or have someone buy the weapon for them), practice enough to be proficient in their eyes, and then go on their killing rampage. These are not Olympic shooters gone wild. I question their ability to fire accurately and to change clips under pressure.

      I fully support your right to own and carry a weapon (with a permit), but you can’t be everywhere. Who is going to protect my child (and the millions of others) when you are at work, at lunch, or on vacation? The NRA proposes armed police in every school, but one or two police officers can’t protect an entire campus simultaneously, and what happens when my child goes to the movies or to see the local congressman?

      Gun control is not the only answer but it can be a start. If you have a better answer, please enlighten me.

      My final questions are- what is the source of some gun owner’ fear that other people want to ban all guns? Which politician has run with this plank? Is there a movement that I am not aware of? Please help me to understand this knee-jerk reaction.

      Suggest Removal

      • simplifyingit

        i will answer with a question or two of my own:

        1)if they make it harder to get a 9mm semi-auto pistol, whats to stop the criminal from using a .380 or .40?
        2) if they make it harder to get the semi-auto .223/5.56 but i can still get the semi-auto .243 why wouldn’t a criminal use it?
        3) If the bolt action .7mm is controled but i can still have the .308, well, you know where i’m headed!!!

        A .22 long rifle can kill just as many people as a Barrett .50cal machine gun. There is no distinction once the bullet leaves the barrel!
        Hence the fear i have of complete gun bans

        No killer has trouble killing whether he be proficient or not when all his targets are huddled in fear in a classroom! Changing clips is the easiest part of gun use and when you have sveveral guns, the bullets really never stop flying! But a mass murderer that has rounds coming in his direction is WAAYYYYYY less proficient at all those skills mentioned above!

        No i don’t advocate armed people inside our schools….i advocate sensible law making and more bible study/prayer in our lives!! That won’t even stop the killing but it will very well save the true believers.
        That is my better answer-bring back prayer in schools, parents take your children w/ you to church on sunday morning, and pray every day for god love to shine all people.

        Suggest Removal

      • gunner58

        Simplifyingit–

        My goal is to save as many lives as possible. The editorial board at the Virginian Pilot (12/23/12) made my point: “These guns are designed to kill quickly and in great numbers. Semi-automatic guns load a new bullet into the chamber each time the trigger is pulled. High capacity magazines gave those killers the ability to literally spray a near endless stream of bullets. Add in ammunition designed to inflict maximum damage, and the carnage multiplies.” Anything that can be done to prevent, slow down, or interrupt and end a killing rampage must be done.

        I do agree that we all need more faith in our lives. I hope that you have had a Merry Christmas and I wish us all a Happy New Year!

        Suggest Removal

  • Liberty With Responsibility

    It is called the “Bill of Rights,” not “the Bill of Needs.” We don’t have to “need” any gun. We don’t have to justify our possessions. Or our rights to self-defense.

    Some say the Constitution and Bill of Rights could not forsee the modern guns we have, and they should not be protected unde the Second Amendment. OK. If we believe that, to be fair, do we also believe that they could not have envisioned “modern” forms of free speech, such as the internet, telephones and the television? Are those of you willing to demand the only guns available are antiques also willing to only allow yourself the antique methods of free “speech?” Or, are you just a hypocrite!

    Suggest Removal

    • gunner58

      Liberty with Responsibility– I don’t have any issues with modern forms of communication and am probably as protective of people’s individual rights as you are (or more so).

      I also don’t think that you should have to defend yourself in 2012 with a musket.

      But, at the same time, like free speech has to be restricted at times for the greater good, civilians should not have legal access to military style weaponry. Yes, the Bushmaster (and other AR-15s) is a military knockoff that was designed for the gun enthusiast but it is essentially the same weapon when equipped with high capacity clips or an array of other accessories. Improved gun control laws may not prevent every tragedy, but combined with better care for the mentally ill and a societal examination of our fascination with violence, they will have a positive impact.

      And every life saved has the opportunity to enjoy the liberties and responsibilities of our republic.

      Suggest Removal

  • Akari

    None of those 22 Chinese children who were stabbed have died, as you pointed out. You cannot tell me that this murderer, who was a 20 year old video game nerd who maybe weighed 100 pounds could have stabbed and killed 26 people in 10 minutes with a knife.
    I should have the right, as a FREE woman, to go to work or send my children to school without worrying that they will run into someone with easy access to an assault weapon.

    Suggest Removal

  • gunner58

    Could someone explain to me why a gun owner NEEDS access to assault rifles and high capacity magazines? I am not interested in infringing upon anyone’s right to own a handgun or a hunting rifle, but these military style weapons need to be restricted.

    Suggest Removal

    • Bill Skora

      Gunner, you asked why does anyone need a weapon with a high capacity magazine? The Second Amendmant is not a protection on our ability to hunt ducks and deer. It enshrines our right & duty as free men to protect ourselves from tyranical government. Do I think that a bunch of armed civilians can stand against a contingient of trained soldiers? No, but them we so far have not needed too. The idea that we are not willing to stand idly by and be ruled by an autocratic goverment has traditionaly been enough to keep our elected goverment in line.
      When this Nation was founded, the Brown Bess and Charlville muskets were the state of the art assault weapons. Each round fired would send down range a large ball and three to five buck shot, hence the term “buck and ball”. A proficient man could fire up to four round per minute. In a minute he could unleash up to thirty potentially leathal projectiles. With his musket, a private citizen was armed equall to a soldier of his time. Now times have changed, we can not without jumping through many legal hoops possess a weapon truly equal to what our soldiers carry; automatic weapons have been restricted since the 1930s and require a special tax stamp to possess. We can come close with our Ar15s, FALs and such, however they are no assault weapons in that they are only semi automatic in function.
      You ask why I need it? Because as a FREE man I want it. As a US citizen I have a DUTY to fulfil that role I desribed above. You think that sounds crazy? Read the Federalist papers and the writings of our founders. This is exactly their intent; it’s no mistery, they were open about it.
      None of the mass shootings that have happened in recent years happened because of high capactiy magazines. Any of these events could have been pulled of by a man moderately proficient with a 5 shot bolt action rifle, a pump shotgun or a six shot revolver. The evil is in the man not the tool.

      Suggest Removal

      • gunner58

        Mr. Skora,

        With all due respect, I do think you sound “crazy,” (your word choice not mine) because the same argument can be used to justify the purchase of any weapon.

        You say that you NEED a high capacity gun clip because as a “free man” you WANT it; then what is to stop you from wanting a tomahawk missile? A tank? A nuclear bomb? What does the average citizen need to protect himself from the tyrannical government these days?

        And here, I was simply worried about whether children would be safe in schools. I can see that that you have bigger issues.

        I do agree that the evil is not in the weapon but in the person but we need to find some ways to keep the evil and/or severely mentally ill away from these weapons.

        Suggest Removal

    • handkusp45

      gunner58, I can explain to you why a gun owner needs access to such a weapon. First of all the Bushmaster the evil boy used is not an assault weapon. It is not automatic. You have to pull the trigger to fire each bullet. It looks different than a typical wooden stock rifle. But it functions the same. With the military version it will shoot as long as you hold the trigger or it runs out of ammo. But that aside, the reason I have one is this: A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. It is my right to have one. Our Founders understod that the first step to tyranny is to disarm the citizens. It works. Look at Stalin and Hitler and all the third world dictators. That is what they do. Do you want to one day be remembered as a victim of tyranny? If that doesn’t answer your question or if you don’t understand the concept, well wait and see what happens to America if they disarm us.

      Suggest Removal

      • gunner58

        Handkusp45,

        I don’t want to disarm you. You have the Constitutional right to defend yourself, but I don’t think that to do so, you need access to magazines with 20 or more bullets.

        In Virginia, the Bushmaster used in the Connecticut tragedy is legally classified as an assault weapon. Unfortunately, there is no uniformity across the United States about the definition or the legality of the semi-automatic weapons.

        As you and I both know, the issue of whether the trigger of this AR-15 knock-off has to be pulled for each shot is irrelevant because it can easily be customized to fire automatically.

        The devastation that these weapons create with or without the automatic capability is extremely disturbing to me.

        Sadly, if the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 not been allowed to expire by our brow-beaten politicians, the Connecticut shooter’s mother would not have been able to legally purchase this weapon. Think about all those bright futures that might have been saved.

        Finally, I don’t fear that my government is going to invade my home. I pay attention to the actions of my government and vote sensibly.

        Here’s the Code of Virginia for anyone interested:
        § 18.2-308.2:01 “…‘Assault firearm’ means any semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine which will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock.”

        Suggest Removal

      • gunner58

        I did want to add that a future federal ban on assault weapons needs to include both their manufacture and sale. The 1994 ban was limited to the manufacture.

        Suggest Removal

      • SandMan

        Handkusp45…actually, the Bushmaster used has a 3 round burst.

        Suggest Removal

  • Liberty With Responsibility

    I meet people everyday as part of my job. I have recently taken to working it into my discussion to mention the “Golden Rule.” I have been shocked to realize over and over, that people today 40 and younger have no idea what I am talking about when I say “The Golden Rule!” Even when I explain it to them, they still say they never heard of the idea or concept. Folks, this is important. Try it yourself. Test what I say, on the local streets. I expect at church, you will get a better result. In other words “Treat others the way you wish they would treat you.” This is the heart of our moral problem today.

    Suggest Removal

  • DIESEL

    And don’t forget that the Columbine school shooting happened in the middle of the last “ban” that expired in 2004.

    Suggest Removal

  • Bill Skora

    Mr. Bunn is absolutely correct. The event of this week is a twofold abomination. First the heinous act itself. This has no place in a civil western society; yet here it is.
    I don’t know all the causes but one I can say with conviction. For the past two or three generations there has been a concerted effort to eradicate the Judeo/ Christian ethos from American culture. Now folks my age are not likely to be swayed by this effort but the young are another story. We have whole generations that all too often were raised with no real exposure to the Christian faith of their grandparents. These kids are missing that thing inside them that says “this thing you want to do is wrong”. They want it, whatever it is, so they do it.
    They place no value upon human life, not even their own. That thing that is missing inside them leaves them empty, miserable and unhappy with their lot. All in all, a bomb just waiting to be triggered. Most will not act out like this fellow did, thank God for small favours.
    The second aspect to this abomination is the giddy abandon that the Left and its media cohort displayed as they jumped to exploit the story for their sleazy political gain.
    I wonder what is more despicable, the defectives who commit such acts or those who see these act and true to the idea of “never letting a crisis go to waste”, seek to make political profit on the bodies of the innocent.

    Suggest Removal

Editor's Picks