« Bring home U.S. troops | Main | Sanchez column »

December 13, 2010

Senseless gun deaths

Recent stories told of two young men gunned down for no apparent reason — simply shot dead as they sat in their cars. They were threatening no one. By all appearances, the shootings were random. Two young men paid with their lives for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Thank you, Second Amendment advocates. Thank you NRA. Thank you gun show merchants who sell firearms without background checks. Thank you pawn shop owners.

Thank you for allowing the least stable among us access to guns. Thank you for arming gangs and for making so many citizens feel that their only safety lies in gun ownership.

We do not live on the frontier. Police help is available to citizens with cell phones in a matter of minutes. And if your call to the police is an overreaction, you can apologize to the police. You can never apologize to the person you’ve shot because they cut you off in traffic, or to the neighbor who comes over to check on you because he hasn’t seen you out of your house for a week, and who tries your door when you don’t answer the bell.

John Van Horn
Kansas City

Comments

Robert Fowler

"Police help is available to citizens with cell phones in a matter of minutes."

And you will be dead in a matter of seconds. As a gun shop owner, I have never sold a gun to anyone that cannot pass the standard FBI NICS check. This check is required to be run by anyone in the business of selling guns.
These miscreants buy their guns illegally on the street from other criminals. If the feds would enforce the current gun laws against these criminals they would go away for 10 years minimum. There is no parole in federal prison.
It's not gun owners, pawn shops or the NRA that is responsible for the criminals having guns. It's other criminals.

E. Zach Lee-Wright

I too appreciate Mr. Van Horn's passion on this subject. Ten years ago my brother-in-law was murdered by a mental defective who had just purchased a gun from a store. My relative was a Missouri doctor with seven children who had a lot to offer the community. His death was tragic on many levels. Since then I have looked long and hard at the gun issue and gun control. I notice that the state with the most gun control (California) has a murder rate over four times higher than the state with the least gun control. I notice that Mexico has tight gun control but has a much higher murder rate than the US. John, the answer is not to hate the gun, the answer be a responsible person and to raise responsible people. Those who choose to defend themselves should not be prevented from doing so.

Mark Steele

Mr. Van Horn,

I can appreciate your passion, however misplaced it may be.

What proof do you have that the guns used to shoot these two men were purchased without a background check at pawn shop by an NRA member?

You make a good point about gangs being armed - ILLEGALLY armed. These thugs don't go through the process - they posses and use guns illegally.

Perhaps if the two young men in question had been able to defend themselves with a gun this would be a moot conversation.

Finally, calling the police is difficult with a criminal in your face or a baseball bat upside your head. Confrontations occur in seconds - and you want law abiding citizens to wait MINUTES for the police to arrive.

If you were standing between a criminal and your family would you prefer to have a cell phone with a police dispatcher on the phone, or a loaded gun? I suppose you could throw the phone at the thief / rapist / murderer and hope it renders him incapacitated long enough for you and your loved ones to get away. Of course the OTHER bad guy down the hall may have other ideas...

Mark Steele

Mr. Van Horn,

I can appreciate your passion, however misplaced it may be.

What proof do you have that the guns used to shoot these two men were purchased without a background check at pawn shop by an NRA member?

Sir - you make a good point about gangs being armed - ILLEGALLY armed. These thugs don't go through the process - they posses and use guns illegally.

Perhaps if the two young men in question had been able to defend themselves with a gun this would be a moot conversation.

Finally, calling the police is difficult with a criminal in your face or a baseball bat upside your head. Confrontations occur in seconds - and you want law abiding citizens to wait MINUTES for the police to arrive.

Sir - if you were standing between a criminal and your family would you prefer to have a cell phone with a police dispatcher on the phone, or a loaded gun? I suppose you could throw the phone at the thief / rapist / murderer and hope it renders him incapacitated long enough for you and your loved ones to get away. Of course the OTHER bad guy down the hall may have other ideas...

 
About KansasCity.com | About the Real Cities Network | Terms of Use & Privacy Statement | About Knight Ridder | Copyright