More Brady Stupid

About 30,000 people a year in this country die from gun violence, about 80 a day, 32 by homicide – the same number who died at Virginia Tech two years ago this month.? In the space of four months, up to nine Americans died as a result of bacteria-laden peanut butter crackers, and the government quickly took action. Some of the top government officials in our country say we don’t need to do anything different – that we should just ‘enforce the laws on the books.’? The laws on the books aren’t getting the job done. Now is the time to take effective steps to prevent gun violence.

– Paul Helmke, Brady Campaign Press Release (Emphasis in original.)
Leaving out the absurdity of the gun-cracker comparison, I fail to see how more laws would have made any difference.
First off, it’s already illegal to murder people, regardless of the methods used. It’s an additional penalty to murder someone with a gun. There’s plenty of laws already against violent crime, and violent criminals are some of the most zealously pursued and prosecuted criminals in US society.
New York also has some rather strict gun laws (( http://www.bradycampaign.org/legislation/state/viewstate.php?st=ny )) (( http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws/ )). What more does the Brady Campaign want?
More bans or restrictions won’t prevent pe0ple bent on a murderous rampage from committing such heinous crimes — they already need to violate numerous laws and societal norms to do so. The mere presence of such laws, however, cannot prevent one from doing something illegal — it simply provides a means of punishment afterwards. With sufficient motivation, one can acquire weapons (or drugs, or other restricted items) regardless of laws prohibiting them from doing so. Clearly, the murderer had little qualms about acquiring weapons and then going on to commit mass murder.
Honestly, I’m not sure what more “effective steps” can be taken against such behavior. If anyone has any reasonable suggestions, I (and the rest of the world, I suspect) am willing to listen with an open mind. As this incident in New York and the recent mass shooting in Germany have shown, however, is that strict gun control does not prevent murderers from committing their terrible crimes.

11 thoughts on “More Brady Stupid”

  1. The guy who did this, Jiverly Voong/Wong, is reportedly a Vietnamese immigrant.
    Seung-hui Cho (of Virginia Tech fame) was from South Korea.
    Suleman Talovic (the Utah mall shooter) was Bosnian.
    Colin Ferguson (the Long Island Railroad murderer, and the one who allowed Carolyn “the shoulder thingy that goes up” McCarthy to ride her husband’s corpse to the House) is from Jamaica, I believe.
    Gee, do you think maybe we should be a lot more careful when handing out visas?

  2. I doubt that one’s country of origin has any real bearing on one’s mental health.
    Rather, I think it’s more likely that there’s potentially-violent people from all over the world. In any group, there’s a non-zero chance of getting a crazy, violent person. Such is the way of things.

  3. Some immigrants are more assimable than others. A significant portion of immigrant mass murderers aren’t acting “crazy” — they’re acting in a way that is consistent with their upbringing in their home countries. Why is anyone surprised when they act that way over here?
    Chai Vang (a Hmong Laotian) killed 6 people (and wounded 2) who found he was poaching on their land in Wisconsin. Hmong immigrants, unfortunately, have a limited understanding of the concept of private property (property is considered common in Hmong culture.) Also take into account that the Hmong are strong, prideful warriors (that’s why we wanted them on *our* side in Vietnam) and it’s pretty much guaranteed that there will be conflict eventually. He wasn’t “crazy,” he was just acting the same way he would have had he encountered a rival group back in the hills of Laos.
    The 19 hijackers on 9/11 weren’t “crazy”: they were following an ideology (anti-American/anti-Semitic Islamism) that had been dictated to them their entire life. They had entirely rational reasons for commiting that act (American occupation of Saudi Arabia, Jewish occupation of Palestine.)
    Now, not all Muslim immigrants to the US are potential terrorists, and not all Hmong are killers, but why take the chance given how many people have lost their lives due to their presence on American soil?
    Unlike gun ownership, immigration is not a right protected by the Constitution/Bill of Rights. Congress has the authority to make all rules regarding who can or can’t come into the country. Immigration should be restricted to individuals from countries who are unlikely to start capping Americans over racial, religious, or cultural animosities.

  4. Mike,
    I don’t believe in “guilt by association,” and feel that it would be grossly unfair to lump the good, hardworking people that make up the overwhelming majority of immigrants with the occasional bad apple by restricting immigration simply based on country of origin.

  5. People will still find a way to murder….it’s true, but Guns should be an extremely controlled item. Not only does selling guns to the wrong people result in death, but selling to people who are careless also results in death. We live in a world ( at least here in America ) where guns serve no purpose. We don’t have to hunt for food anymore….we breed animals in captivity for that purpose.
    Oh but wait you say…what about self defense…….Lets put our money into early detection of pyschological illness, and treatment, and not into weapons. Lets attack the root of the problem and not just “defend” ourselves against the outcome of a sick mind

  6. Also a word on immigrants….. Don’t point a finger at other cultures with out examining your own. America is full of greedy, spoiled people.
    ex: Christmas 2008- People trampled to death at a Walmart in NY. FOR WHAT you ask…. for “sale” items. Here in America people are killed because we are greedy, and careless. Here in America no one will take responsibility for their own actions. We are constantly blaming our wrong-doings on someone else. I bet that no-one present at that NY Walmart is saying ” Hey I f***ed up, and my actions led to death”…..
    So before blaming someone else…..or pointing a finger at another culture take a look at yourself and your culture

  7. Also people this Gun ownership is a right…..well look up the word “right” or “entitlement” in the dictionary……It is not a right.

  8. @becky
    Becky: I must respectfully disagree with your assertion that guns serve no purpose. My guns serve numerous purposes, mostly recreation. If you peruse the archives here, you’ll see the results of several trips to the range with a bunch of people. Everyone had a fun, safe time.
    I don’t hunt (though I’d like to), but I’ve eaten wild game before. Compared to store-bought food, wild game has a distinctly richer flavor. By eating it, I know that the animal lived a natural life and was killed humanely, so I have no ethical qualms about eating it. Wild animals are not fed the antibiotics, hormones, or unnatural foods that are regularly given to food animals raised in captivity.
    You are, I trust, aware that selling guns to the “wrong people” (i.e. criminals) is already illegal and vigorously enforced by police. While careless people may cause injury and/or death with firearms, accidental injuries and deaths due to firearms are at or near all-time lows. The number people who carelessly injure or kill themselves or others with firearms every year is so small as to hardly be statistically significant.
    I agree that more should be done to address the roots of violent crime, but doing so shouldn’t take away from the rights of the potential victim. There’ll still be crimes-of-passion, those driven to crime not by mental illness but desperation, and those who simply don’t know any other way. No screening or detection program can detect 100% of potential criminals, and no treatment program can guarantee that a person will not commit crimes in the future. While owning and carrying a gun won’t guarantee that I won’t be the victim of a violent crime, at least it gives me the option of defending myself — something I wouldn’t have without a gun.

  9. @becky
    Becky: Care to explain what you define to be a “right” or “entitlement”?
    I’m not a lawyer, but many legal scholars (including the US Supreme Court) have determined that people have a right to self-defense and, by extension, the right to own weapons for self-defense.
    Indeed, the right to keep and bear arms is explicitly protected (but not granted) by the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights and the constitutions of most of the states in the union.
    Even Article 3 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” which clearly states that people have the right to life and the defense of said life, which implies having an effective means of defending it (such as firearms).
    Nobody is obliged to provide another person a firearm, so having arms is not an “entitlement.”
    Based on the history of common law, the writings of the founders of this country and their contemporaries, as well as modern legal scholars, I think it’s pretty well established that an individual person possesses the right to keep and bear arms.
    While I understand that you might find the notion of private citizens owning arms to be distasteful and you are certainly welcome to that opinion, it’s been well-established that people have a right to own firearms for honest, non-criminal purposes.
    If you find yourself in Tucson, Arizona, I’d be glad to give you some basic instruction on safe gun handling and would gladly accompany you to the range. Many others have found such trips to be enlightening and fun.

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