Who’s the Killer: The Person or the Gun?
“A man is nothing without his name” stated Christopher Dorner in his February 2013 manifesto posted online by a Los Angeles news station. He subsequently killed four people, including police officers, with a firearm. Of particular interest is the fact that he encountered others in his killing spree, but chose not to harm them. This was a decision made by a man, not his gun. Like it or not, violence is a fact of life. Whether you live in America, Europe, Asia or the Middle East, people kill each other with, or without, guns. It appears that this blame is a facade for a political agenda by both sides of the issue. Gun control advocates will scream he should have been regulated out of the possession of those weapons. Gun rights activists will argue he should have had the right to bear those weapons, but not use them in such a deadly fashion. In Dorner’s case, all it took was a belief that he was being persecuted and his name was tarnished.
In 1991, Suzanna Hupp was eating at a Luby’s cafeteria with her family in Killeen, Texas. A man described as angry and withdrawn, drove his truck in through the front window and began shooting people indiscriminately. 50 were shot, and 23 were killed. Mrs. Hupp owned a pistol. She was proficient and law abiding. On that day, she did not carry the pistol because it was against the law. Her father, who was unarmed, had been killed while attempting to stop the man. Her mother was later found slumped over her husband, executed. Suzanna’s greatest regret is that she did not have her pistol with her; she knows she could have stopped this attack from taking more lives, but was regulated out of the ability to protect herself, her family and others.
In 2012, at a shopping mall in Portland, Oregon, Nick Meli stopped a similar incident by confronting a masked man shooting innocent people. It was clear that the man intended to kill as many people as possible. The fact that Mr. Meli prevented further killings by standing up to the killer says it all. Interestingly enough, Mr. Meli never fired a round. He was concerned that his bullet might strike someone behind the shooter. Only 2 were killed, as compared to the 23 who died at Luby’s Massacre. The difference was the ability of a law abiding citizen to stand up and defend himself against unprovoked aggression. The hero chose not to fire. He prevented collateral damage and stood his ground. The fact he could fight back was the difference between life or death.
Perhaps a legally armed citizen could have stopped the shooter before he killed 26 children and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School. We know how it ended with no one there to prevent it.
Guns are tools that we use to defend and kill. Simply put, gun possession by decent people is an acceptable right. They prevent more harm than what they cause. Gun possession by the homicidal maniac is a bad idea. It’s just that simple.
More effort should be spent on fixing a broken society where Hollywood makes fortunes from violent kill-everybody movies that only perpetuate our violent tendencies, especially those of unstable persons. If they were to promote family life and distinguish right from wrong, would it make a difference? I think so. The Hollywood effect on unbalanced and dysfunctional people is tremendous; it puts us all at risk.
We should never forget that we have a right to protect ourselves and a duty to protect our Constitution. This is what makes our country one of the greatest on this Earth. People kill people. Blaming guns is only a means to a political agenda for some.