Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Domestic Terrorism - A Recurrent Theme

In Mumbai, Baghdad and Kabul they call it terrorism. In our U.S.A. they call it a shooting spree.

That's what happened in Alabama today: nine innocents killed, plus one suicider shooter.

This is all part and parcel of the NRA's promotion of conceal carry: permitting the carrying of concealed hand guns under the cloak of law. The NRA says that if you prevent people from carrying side arms, only outlaws would have guns.

How about considering: if laws prohibited the carrying of loaded guns outside your home or your business, then if you caught a gun being carried in the streets, you would have caught one outlaw. Perhaps you could then bag him before he began behaving outlawish - by actually killing people. But the NRA has had its way: by legalizing the concealed carrying of side arms, police can't tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys until the shooting starts.

In Missouri, in fact, the law is so open that pretty much any resident over 21 with a clean criminal record can legally carry a loaded gun concealed in a car, even without getting the permit.

I never was persuaded on the appeal of conealed carry. It seems to me:
  • By the time you realize that deadly force is appropriate, the bad guy very likely has an advantage over you. Remember that virtually every police officer slain on the job was armed and trained in self defense.
  • The more you handle your gun, the more likely a child will get hold of it.
  • Misuse of a gun, accidentally or deliberately, might cost you your liberty, your home and your bank account.
  • Carrying a gun may make you cocky enough to fight when you ought to run.
No matter.

Let's continue with the comparison with domestic and international terrorism:

In the Middle East they have suicide vests; in our own Mid-West, we have the NRA Concealed Carry Vest.

Description: We’ve sold thousands of these vests to NRA Members who are quickly making it one of our most popular items of all time. Perfect for concealed carry, competitive shooting, off duty law enforcement, outdoor photography or just traveling around town. Made of 100% cotton double wall canvas with a full-zip and snap front closure. Features two interior pockets with an internal velcro panel that accepts any velcro-backed holster or accessory, such as the 5.11 Tactical pouches (not included). These pouches allow you to conveniently carry a concealed firearm, extra magazines and a flashlight or mace. Sixteen well-designed specialized pockets for cell phone, water bottle, writing instruments, etc. Available with or without NRA logo. Vented in the back for cool everyday wear. Price: $69.95-$74.95

That's what I learned today. Continuing education teaches me the older I become, the less I understand.

14 Moderated Comments:

Blogger MadMike said...

Actually it is 10 innocents and one asshole that were killed Vigil. Secondly, it is not domestic terrorism. There is no ideological motive and no mission to bring about change. It is but another brutal and senseless crime perpetrated by an individual who had access to automatic weapons in a country that chooses to allow such things.

3/11/2009 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger MacDaddy said...

"It is but another brutal and senseless crime perpetrated by an individual who had access to automatic weapons in a country that chooses to allow such things."
Madmike: I'm against the conceal & carry Law. But I'm not so sure that Mr. McClendon's acts were so "senseless," at least from his perspectives. When most of us lose our jobs, or get disrespected or treated badly on our jobs, we either compromise and stay or move on to another job. But what if we can't find a job to move on to? What if we can't do that one thing that we cherish above all else- take care of our families without any need to rely on some of government "handout?" What if we lose financial means and enter the realm of psychological depression, moving from depression to sadness? And what if no amount of alcohol or some other drug will medicate this hurt, this pain?

I don't fathom going over the edge for myself. But I've seen it happen to people (one of whom was my friend).

They may have had mental issues. One thing I knew for sure: they were proud, hardworking people; and all they wanted was a decent-paying job and to provide security for their families.

I know we don't want to hear it, but a little bit of McClendon may be in all of us.

3/11/2009 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

McDaddy makes my points better than I have, as usual. MadMike on terrorism? Yes, all my beer was warm last night; the only thing I had cold was an old bottle from which the label had fallen off. It must have been the hyperbolic acid I had been saving. Tasted good at the time. But I have a hell of a hangover.

3/11/2009 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger LittleBilly said...

What is all this hysterical "Right to Bear Arms" stuff? As far as I can tell, they are used mainly to kill innocent animals for "sport," practice target shooting (during which the spent bullets and shells are left to poison the area used for that "sport"), to kill other people, protect the gun owner, or commit suicide.

The first two uses, above, undoubtedly do the most harm, the third use (killing other people) is the most feared by the targets and people in general, as well as the least defensible. It also appears to be growing in popularity and spread. Suicide is generally the most plausible use, and it, too, is gaining in popularity.

3/11/2009 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger MadMike said...

MacD while I understand what you are saying the overwhelming majority of the people in the world who suffer from job loss, depression and etc. learn to deal with it. It is only a few that resort to such great violence. Quite frankly a guy like this would do us all a favor by eating his gun not aiming it at others.

Vigil I understand more than you know. I can no longer afford top shelf scotch so I had to drop down a shelf of two. Talk about hangovers! Now that is what I call depressing.

Little Bill I agree with every word you say.

3/11/2009 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Cold War Vet said...

Read about Lubys, Virginia Tech, The I-95 Highway shooter, The Texas Tower Sniper, The North Hollywood Bank Robbery & Shootout, and you'll find nary a mention of the word "Terrorist". Can't say that about McVeigh or Kaczynski though, they're repeatedly called "Domestic Terrorists". For the life of me I can't understand why the national dissociation, same end, different means. One of the police spokesmen in the most recent melee in Alabama lamented that his department didn't have that kind of fire power in their arsenal, I'm guessing their solution will end up with a trip to the gun store.

All I have to do to see the dysfunctionality of Americans is observe the roadways, the amatures are dangerous, the drunks are dangerous, then there's the mentaly and emotionally unstable, unfortunately most people need to drive. On the other hand, most people don't need high power assault rifles.

On a sorta side note, My boss got a CC permit just after Ohio changed the law. I laughed when he told me about it. He asked why and I told him "If I ever decide to kill you, you'll never get to your gun."

I still find it hard to believe the cops supported CC in Ohio.

3/11/2009 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger MadMike said...

Surprisingly [Cold War Vet] there has been no increase in gun crimes in those states that have enacted the carry and conceal laws. The best example of this is Florida, a state that passed the legislation any number of years ago.

I still don't support it, nor do I support the possession of automatic or semi-automatic assault rifles by any except law enforcement.

3/12/2009 03:24:00 PM  
Blogger MadMike said...

Off the subject but Vigil where did you get that news scrolling thingie?

3/12/2009 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Beach Bum said...

I really don't mean to bring the wraith of everyone down on me, Hell I catch enough shit from my wife. But just a couple of days ago a pizza delivery dude drove up to a house with four guys hiding nearby planning to rob him. The pizza dude, legally carrying a concealed weapon, shot and killed one guy scaring the other three off.

Jason Beckham, 18, and Carlos Dates, 20 appeared before a magistrate at the Lexington County Detention Center. The judge set bond at $250,000 for both men.

Pizza Hut delivery man Christopher Miller, 43, says he showed up at the home at 10:30 p.m. and 17-year-old Paul Sturgill was standing on the sidewalk waiting for him.

Officials say soon after Miller got out of the car, two other men ran at him from the woods. When Miller started running away, that's when authorities say Sturgill continually tried beating him in the face.

Miller, who has a concealed weapons permit, says he pulled out .45 caliber handgun that he had in his fanny pack and shot Sturgill in his chest. Sturgill was taken to the hospital where he later died.


http://www.wltx.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=71268

I don't offer this as an counter-argument against carry and conceal. I know far, far too many people who have earned their carry and conceal permits who think of weapons as an extension of themselves increasing their "manhood". If I had my way I'd make sure they never even owned a weapon. My bringing the gun toting pizza dude up is that it isn't as simple as black and white because I know many people for whom owning a weapon is thought of as a responsibility for which the utmost care is taken whenever they are used. Because I'm sure as hell the pizza dude's family is glad he was carrying.

As for assault weapons, they need to be banned from individual ownership.

3/12/2009 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger the WIZARD, fkap said...

An amazingly astute observation was made by some new Right Wing Radio Zealot last night as I drove home from work. Sorry, he is new and I don't know his name. He is nationally syndicated.

He observed the tragedy of wholesale mass murder in the United States is never reported, except for 15 seconds on the local news televison station. That's because it happens to one person at a time!

He had an array of statistics to back up his point. The press works overtime when one guy shoots ten people.... but if ten guys shoot one person each, that isn't news....... EXCEPT more people are murdered everyday in the largest 25 cities alone than in the Alabama and Germany shootings combined.

Only ten people in south Alabama.... it's actually statistically insignificant, meaningless against the tapestry of murder across the United States every day!!

In fact, even 9/11 was small change compared to murders in the US each year. We get the equivilent of 1 1/2 to 2 9/11's every year.

But the press doesn't notice when the murders happen one at a time and are spread across the United States.

I'd like to believe strong gun control might reduce these murders, although, as pointed out earlier, statistics don't bear this out..... yet.

3/13/2009 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Stella said...

The right to bear arms? Gee, I thought it was the right to arm bears...

I'm of the mind that Congress should overturn the Second Amendment, legalize marijuana, and save room for all people who carry guns illegally—which would be everyone in America who carries a gun. This is a horrible trend that will worsen with the economy. Vig, you understand better than you think.

As I surface for air, just want to say hi to all. I miss blogging and responding to all your wise words.

3/13/2009 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Stella, Stella, you are always worth the wait. I love it when you bare your arms!

3/13/2009 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger MadMike said...

LOL! I love the idea of arming bears. Run Barracuda run......

3/15/2009 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger The Commentator said...

I agree with MadMike. One important aspect of terrorism is that its proponents act as "spoilers" against a particular political issue. I don't see a political motive here. You can't blur lines for the sake of drawing analogies.

Terrorists are not necessarily deranged lunatics (although sometimes they overlap.) Sometimes, they're cold hearted, rational players.

Germany had a similar tragedy in the same week - only difference it was in a school.

3/16/2009 06:46:00 AM  

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