Designated Driver of North America

No Guns in Hero’s Hands, but School Shooting Prevented Anyway; Sorry, NRA

I’m sure the NRA is terribly disappointed about this. But when a man came into a Decatur, Georgia school yesterday, planning to kill as many defenceless kids as possible because he had nothing left to live for (Yep. Logical.), school clerk Antoinette Tuff stopped him before he killed anybody at all.

She must have been loaded down with weapons that were superior to his, right? Something waaaaay more powerful than his AK-47 assault rifle and other weapons. Something that seriously frightened and intimidated him, that totally overpowered him and cowed him into giving up his goal of going out in what he thought of as a blaze of “glory.” Right?

As a matter of fact, Ms. Tuff was in fact carrying superior weaponry. She had compassion and words. She was able to reason with him, to talk him down, to relate to him and get him to relate to her. While she talked with him, all the students in the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy were safely evacuated.

So there was no blood-soaked, heroic last stand while the defender was the last woman standing in a field of bodies, bringing down the attacker at last with killing weapons. There was no heroic shootout around corners as the defender kept the students safe behind her while she exchanged gunfire to prevent the gunman from getting at them. There were no gun-caused deaths and no deaths at all.

Just soul-to-soul words.

I’m sure Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association is bitterly disappointed.

Interview with Antoinette Tuff

(Thanks to Rachel George and Polycimic for this story: Antoinette Tuff: Meet the Woman Who Prevented a Mass School Shooting Yesterday)

 

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August 22, 2013 - Posted by | * Neo-Con violence | , ,

7 Comments »

  1. “I’m sure Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association is bitterly disappointed.”

    I doubt Wayne is nearly as bitter as you sound.

    Comment by lwk2431 | August 22, 2013 | Reply

    • Ever hear of, you know, sarcasm?

      Comment by Phyl | August 22, 2013 | Reply

      • “Ever hear of, you know, sarcasm?”

        Ok. But you know I am pretty damn sure that Wayne and other people at the NRA are damn glad anytime a law abiding citizen wins a fight against a crook or a madmen regardless of whether they do it with a gun or some other means.

        There is sometimes sarcasm that is just plain funny, and sometimes just plain mean spirited. I guess I thought yours fell somewhere in between, but further to one side than the other. 🙂

        lwk

        Comment by lwk2431 | August 22, 2013

  2. Fair enough, and I take your point. But as far as I’m concerned, the leader of the NRA is so gun-happy that he won’t even listen to entirely rational ideas for getting guns out of the hands of people who are mentally unstable (as this gunman was, we discover, as more news comes out about him). And statements about, for example, putting a gun in the hand of every teacher are, in my opinion, bordering on insane.

    I think that anyone who could fight basic background checks (or even the same level of checks we’d do before giving someone a licence to drive) or who could suggest arming teachers to the teeth has “caring about the welfare of the general populace” pretty much at the bottom of his/her list of priorities. And I would be extremely suspicious of all the things that come higher on the list. (Which is where the sarcasm comes from in this post. What exactly is higher on that list?)

    So it’s inevitable that the sarcasm on my part is going to be very biting. (I don’t really get induced to post very often, except about things I think are, as I said, politically or socially insane or outright anti-human or pro-violence or pro-corporate-pillaging.)

    I don’t mean this as a “like it or lump it” remark, by the way. I am glad you responded, so I wanted to make an explanation. Keep in mind, also, that I’ve lived in Canada for 57 years, so our relative lack of gun violence here (even proportional to our population difference) is going to colour my views of the kind of society LaPierre seems to be envisioning. But unlike many Canadians, I’m not very polite in expressing my dislike of visions like that. 🙂

    Comment by Phyl | August 22, 2013 | Reply

  3. “I think that anyone who could fight basic background checks (or even the same level of checks we’d do before giving someone a licence to drive) or who could suggest arming teachers to the teeth has “caring about the welfare of the general populace” pretty much at the bottom of his/her list of priorities.”

    Your tendency to sarcarsm (or exaggeration) is still coming through. 🙂 Don’t take that statement as being more critical than it really is.

    On teachers, I think the idea was that _only_ teachers who could get a legal carry permit in their state were meant. Not _every_ teacher (or principal or secretary or janitor). As a general rule I think people who get these permits are usually pretty responsible (they don’t on average get arrested more often for firearms violations than sworn police officers).

    In the general population only a couple percent will actually get a permit. I imagine if approved for teachers the same would hold true. I think the NRA is saying that is a good idea at least, that some teachers have concealed firearms.

    The benefit is that the bad guy doesn’t know _who_ has a gun so you probably get more benefit than the actual number of people carrying. How much benefit is controversial.

    On background checks, how do you like the following idea?

    If background checks are good, why not do them for everyone (I am serious, this is not a rhetorical question)?

    Basically the states give the FBI info on people who are convicted of felonies or committed to a mental institution (or they are supposed to, not all states do a good job). When a person wants to buy from an FFL dealer the dealer either calls in, or uses a computer, to send a request to the FBI who either approve or disapprove the sale (sometimes people have to wait for days to get it cleared up if they have a common name and are mistaken for a criminal).

    So why no do this. When a person gets a driver’s license or state id the DMV routinely queries the database just like a person was asking to buy a gun right now (the way it is done today). Based on the answer they stamp, encode, mark or whatever the license indicating a person is either allowed, or barred from buying a gun. Simple.

    I have a code on my license that says I have to wear glasses. Why not a code that says I have passed background check? Everyone would get one. If a person has their status change then their old license is surrendered and they get a new one. I am sure the detail could be worked out, including fair means to challenge a result.

    Now I walk into a gun store, pick a gun, and show them my driver’s license. Fill out a form 4473 to record the sale and pay and walk out with the gun (assuming my license permits).

    Now I go to someone’s house who advertised in the paper and want to buy a gun privately. The guy checks my license too – it is against the law not to. The BATFE could set up some well publicized “sting operations” to catch people who didn’t and to make sure every one knew it was not optional.

    What are the benefits?

    1. You might get a lot of gunowners to support a system that doesn’t involve gun registration or a scheme that could be used for gun registration.

    2. If you get gunowners to support it and the NRA then such a background check system could actually be passed.

    What do you think?

    lwk

    Comment by lwk2431 | August 22, 2013 | Reply

  4. First — remind me if I don’t get back to this in the next couple of days. (i.e. post again and ask if I’m ignoring you or something, hee!) I’m doing an editing project, and the deadline is looming, so I’m not going to have time right away to look over your ideas the way they should be looked at and considered.

    Quick answer: just upon skimming, it may sound good. I wouldn’t just require a background check, though; I’d require testing and, if necessary, certificates of instruction showing that the gun owner actually is trained in how to use it safely. And why we matter-of-factly register our vehicles but would object to registering our gun ownership (when the vehicles are only incidentally dangerous whereas a gun is explicitly designed to shoot someone/something and make a hole in it), I can’t imagine.

    And I really have heard people (even NRA reps) argue for a gun in the hand of every citizen, let alone every teacher in a school. I’ve discussed this with a lot of people. I honestly don’t understand the worship of a constitutional amendment that was made for a much different time and society than this one — as though it was Divine Writ and every word is so sacred that it can’t be changed or applied in any way that’s different from what “the Founders” intended. (Also a divine group, the way they’re talked about.)

    Anyway. This is three paragraphs longer than I intended. I’ll be back, hopefully tomorrow. 🙂

    Comment by Phyl | August 22, 2013 | Reply

  5. “First — remind me if I don’t get back to this in the next couple of days.”

    No problem. I will write my reply today, and whenever, if ever, you reply I will probably read it.

    “I wouldn’t just require a background check, though;…”

    I would only ask that you consider this. Are you interested in getting something done that might be doable, and are you willing to understand why some things are not easily doable, even if you don’t identify very well with the world view of the people who wont’ go along with what you think is reasonable?

    Some people were shocked that nothing much happened nationally after Newtown. They did not understand the worldview of many other Americans and chose instead to vilify those people. As a result they didn’t accomplish much.

    “I’d require testing and, if necessary, certificates of instruction showing that the gun owner actually is trained in how to use it safely.”

    Yes, and you probably would run into a lot of opposition.

    “And why we matter-of-factly register our vehicles but would object to registering our gun ownership …”

    That really shouldn’t be all that hard to understand. Seriously. There are not a lot of people afraid of the government coming and demanding they surrender their cars.

    “…a gun is explicitly designed to shoot someone/something and make a hole in it…”

    I have a little different view on this. I actually think that – in terms of self defense -that a gun is designed primarily to _threaten_ people with. Bear with me a second on this.

    You should read “On Killing” by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. It is about soldiers and killing in war. What he says may drastically change your perception forever once you read it. He says that most human beings cannot deliberately kill another human being, often even to save their own life, and if by chance they do, they will suffer a lot for it.

    Some people kill easily according to Grossman: sociopaths and men who tend to be very successful CEOs and politicians.

    On other thing to look at. Dr. Gary Kleck did some very controversial research a while back. Forget the back and forth claims on whether his numbers are precisely accurate – they probably aren’t and no one is going to get the right numbers easily.

    His research was on the use of firearms in self defense in the U.S. He came up with a number of 2,500,000 times a year. Again, probably exaggerated. Other research might start at 100,000 times a year. The real number is somewhere in between.

    Whatever the real number, the number of justifiable homicides is drastically lower. Why? As Dr. Kleck showed, in the vast majority of cases people displayed a firearm and the aggressor left the areas. Most crooks, etc. don’t want to get shot by a citizen. Surveys of guys in jail confirm their fear of armed citizens.

    Ok, said a lot. What is the conclusion? It is this, most people use guns in a display that they hope will scare off the person(s) they are afraid of. Most people could not pull the trigger in any case so it is good crooks are scared of them.

    So what do people really use guns for a lot? To kill people? To shoot holes in them? No, to scare them and in the process save themselves from attackers.

    I want to return for a second to your statement I quoted before:

    “I wouldn’t just require a background check, though;…”

    So think about this. Look how the IRS treated the Tea Party. Do you _really_ think a lot of people want to give a government agency that kind of leeway in regards to approving a person to own a firearm?

    Here is my belief, and I think it echoes that of a lot of gunowners. If the government can show I am unfit to own a gun because I have a criminal record or are crazy, then ok. But the burden of proof should be on the government.

    So the bottom line to me is this. There might be some things that could be done to try to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. No system is going to be perfect though. If you want to do something and hope to have success in your lifetime, you _really_ need to understand the views of people like me and why we don’t see some of your ideas as being all that good.

    If you take those ideas seriously – not necessarily agree 100%, but understand them – then you might have a chance of doing something useful.

    There are a lot of gunowners who do not want crazies to easily be able to get guns, but we have other issues too, and a big part of those issues involve a complete, and total distrust of government. If you don’t understand that – again, not necessarily agree 100% – you are going to have a hard time doing much useful.

    I think understand your arguments, and in a perfect world I might even agree with some. But as the Founders of America thought, we don’t live in a perfect world and we have to account for human evil, and evil government. 🙂

    Thanks for listening to my long winded spiel.

    lwk

    Comment by lwk2431 | August 22, 2013 | Reply


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