Commentary: Take guns from the hands of shooters

Re. "Commentary: It's time to arm school personnel," (Jan. 9): Chuck Cassity has the gun issue about as upside-down as a person can.

To begin, he cites "the hysterical pleadings from the gun-haters." The only hysteria I've heard is from his side of the issue: Citizens like Ted Nugent claiming gun-owners are America's new oppressed Rosa Parks; a host of others raising the specter of Stalin and Hitler, while Newport Beach barflies maintain the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings were really done by a government black-ops team; all this World Wrestling Federation-worthy wrath capped by Tennessee's Tactical Response Chief Executive James Yeager posting, "I'm not letting my country be run by a dictator. I'm not letting anybody take my guns. If this goes one inch further, I'm going to start killing people."

I guess I must hate freedom or something, because I find myself thinking more about the recent years' maimed and dead, so many of them so young, and with so much still to discover in life. It isn't a hatred of the 2nd Amendment that has me and other of your neighbors thinking about them first, and about what we can do to please, for Christ's sake already, find a way to minimize such horrors happening again.

You have to be crazy not to be thinking about those kids first, but if you saw Alex Jones on Piers Morgan, you got a master class in crazy. He wasn't thinking about real dead kids. He was thinking about "internationalists" plotting to rob American men of their Precious, just like Hitler, Stalin or Bilbo Baggins did.

If, as they argue, it is only our Constitutionally granted guns that keep us secure in our homes and persons, why is it that the most insecure, ranting, aggrieved, paranoid, bullying guys in the room are the ones with all the guns?

On the side of the room where they're not throwing chairs, you've got people with a genuine right to be furious — parents who have lost their children; Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was shot in the brain — who instead are addressing this needless carnage with the gravity and deliberation it deserves.

No one is taking your precious guns away! With some 270 million guns in play in the U.S., the Kenyan-U.N. hovercrafts simply don't have magnets big enough to scoop them all up. All anyone is talking about is beginning to limit a gun's capacity for carnage, and making it harder for predators and demented folk to get them. That's not us beginning a slippery slope to tyranny, it's just us acting like the human species is still capable of compassion and reason.

If dingoes were killing your children, when looking for a solution, you would probably want to include a discussion about limiting the number of dingoes in your community. Same thing with guns.

Yes, guns don't kill people; people do. It generally requires a person to detonate a nuclear weapon as well, yet somehow humanity has arrived at the conclusion that endless nuclear proliferation is not a good idea.

I grew up reading and rereading my dad's 1940s Marine Corps manual, and, boy, did I want a flamethrower. As an adult, though, I can see where it is not beneficial that we all walk around with flamethrowers. I'm willing, for the common good, to lay that dream aside, and I do not feel I've made the 2nd Amendment any weaker by doing so.

Both nukes and guns are force multipliers, vastly increasing the amount of damage an individual or entity can accomplish. We need laws to limit the destructive capabilities of personal firearms and their accessibility by the crazed or criminal. What we don't need are still more guns in play to supposedly thwart killers.

Want an example of how well that would work? Consider the police. They are far better trained in weapons and crisis situations than most folks, yet the police, bless their hearts, do shoot an awful lot of the wrong people. Consider the incident this past August outside the Empire State Building when police moved in on a shooter. All nine of the bystanders wounded in the skirmish turned out to have been shot by the police. So tell me again, Cassity, how much safer schools will be with a NRA volunteer returning fire in a crowded classroom?

Veteran journalist JIM WASHBURN previously worked as an editor at OC Weekly and regularly contributed to the Los Angeles Times. He lives in Costa Mesa.

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