Nov 14, 2011 The wild, wild west is over – Ditch the handguns
As I have said before, as to guns, I recommend that people voluntarily disarm now. By the same token, the Second Amendment has no meaning if people do not have the individual right to bear arms. The Second Amendment reads too similarly to my cherished First Amendment for the First Amendment not to suffer the more that courts do not provide such protection under the Second Amendment.
Unlike the People’s Republic of Maryland (when it comes to guns), which is a tough place to be permitted to possess a gun other than at home, one’s business, the shooting range, the gun shop, or unloaded and encased while traveling between such places (but loaded rifles at my last check could be freely carried all over the place in Maryland), Virginia is a scary wild, wild west that liberally allows people to walk around with guns. Sometimes I wonder while on the streets and in the businesses of Virginia as to who is carrying a concealed handgun. Seeing people with openly holstered handguns on the streets — other than at least telling me who is armed, and therefore who to avoid if I want — is in some respects more scary than having them concealed, at least as to those who carry guns openly as a twisted way to try to strike fear into others.
Having fired — and immensely enjoyed — single-shot .22 caliber rifles in summer camp, I doubt that it was a wise idea for those camps even to have allowed firearms in the hands of campers. It takes just one camper to go postal with one of those guns to make the summer camps re-think having had rifle ranges. Then again where do you draw the line? I loved archery, but a bow-and-arrow also can be lethal.
Violence begets violence. Teaching a love of guns must at the very least be counterbalanced with a love of proverbial, if not actual, hugs. I advocate not teaching any love of weapons.
Sadly, last night a man in a Spotsylvania County, Virginia, grocery store parking lot accidentally shot himself — ultimately to death, and in front of his four young children — when releasing his seatbelt.
I send deep sympathy to the accidentally self-shot man and his family, who is thus far unnamed in this article from a Richmond television station’s website.
It is unclear whether the deceased man had a license to carry a concealed handgun, had the handgun properly holstered or just sticking in his pocket, was properly trained, had excellent and years-long gun handling and gun safety experience or not, was in a calm mood or not, or was sober or not. It is unclear whether the handgun malfunctioned due to a defect from manufacturing, wear and tear, or repair.
Adding to the danger of having guns around is when they get in the hands of children, people who are not properly trained with them, and people who are downright angry, irrational, drugged, or drunk.
My initial reaction to this tragedy — beyond having sympathy for the man and his family — is to feel that this is not merely a freak accident, but that this is some sick sh*t. My gut currently overtakes my head over this story.