TEAM SWFA - Admin
Arizona Shooting Leads to Repeat of Inaccuracies
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Last weekend's shooting rampage in Arizona was a senseless crime against decency, and totally without reason. Trying to portray the actions of an obviously disturbed twenty-two year old shooter as anything other than the actions of a lunatic simply don't wash.
Despite the fact it appears the attack was planned and executed, no sane individual would set out on a Saturday morning with the goal of assassinating a politician and slaughtering anyone who happened to be unfortunate enough to be there. Should Jared Loughner should be spared the death penalty because of diminished capacity? Thankfully (for Loughner) that's not for us to decide.
What we could all do, however, is stop watching and listening silently as the media keeps pushing a one-sided characterization of firearms and their owners.
Since this tragedy, mainstream media has once again repeated half-truths and inaccurate statements with little regard for - or knowledge of- the inaccuracy of their so-called facts. And it seems no one is calling them on those inaccuracies.
One report claims it's easier to buy a gun than to get a prescription filled in Arizona.
Wrong. Every individual purchasing a firearm - nationwide- fills out a federal form that's processed through the NICS system.
No one asks if your prescription is actually going to be taken by you and not given to someone else, if you have any addiction problem or are under any sort of legal constraints for violence or felonious behavior.
Another writer says the GLOCK 19 is popular with "police, sport shooters, and gangsters" and then writes that when it comes to handguns, Arizona's "limits on owning and carrying a gun are among the most permissive in the country". This fact, accepted as gospel by the writer, came from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
At least that report described the Brady Center as a "gun-control advocacy group."
The extended magazine allegedly used by Loughner was, according to one report, "illegal" until the assault weapons ban (AWB) was allowed to expire in 2004. This apparently evil "clip" allowed Loughner to fire 33 rounds without reloading.
According to Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, a "forensic expert at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York" quoted in another piece, that magazine in an unto itself proved that Loughner was "not out just to kill...he was there to do a mass killing."
It's hair-splitting, but that magazine was never "illegal" although it remains restricted from sales in some parts of the country. If a high-capacity magazine carried a manufacturing date prior to the AWB's passage, it was perfectly legal. Higher capacity magazines were manufactured during the ban, but we labeled for "law enforcement or military use only".
All the "ban" did was create a category of magazines - "pre-bans" with higher prices. Ditto the firearms that were in the banned assault-weapon category.
As expected, politicians have seized what they see as another opportunity to use a news event to push a political agenda.
U.S. Representative Carolyn McCarthy of New York jumped on the opportunity to once again announce her plan to re-introduce legislation that would ban the "high-capacity magazine". In 1993, McCarthy's husband was one of six killed and her son among those wounded on a Long Island commuter train by another crazed shooter.
This might sound cold-blooded, but McCarthy's political career was launched -and remains sustained - by a single issue: increased regulation until firearms are illegal or unobtainable by average citizens.
Point of fact, handgun sales did spike on Monday.
Like the post-election gun boom that followed President Obama's election, firearms owners reflect the general low esteem in which politicians are currently held by the electorate. Expecting the worst from our elected representatives, citizens try to plan accordingly.
Some politicians, it seems, aren't that much different from average citizens.
According to an op-ed in Wednesday's New York Times, some members of Congress, including Heath Shuler of North Carolina and Jason Chaffetz of Utah, are planning to wear guns in their home districts. The Op-Ed goes on to point out that in the nineteenth century it wasn't unusual for pistols to be worn- and occasionally brandished - in the halls of Congress. The pistols, not surprisingly, were worn to protect Congressmen from each other.
One possible solution offered to keep elected officials safe was the idea of banning pistols within 1,000 feet of Congressmen. One of our editors has suggested that a more reasonable protective measure for all of us would be to ban Congress from coming within 1,000 feet of citizens.
And yesterday, word from Arizona Game and Fish Department that one of their officers made a traffic stop early last Saturday morning after he observed a car run a red light.
AGFD officers don't normally make traffic stops - unless public safety is at risk. Running a red light is one of those instances.
The driver? Jared Loughner.
When Loughner's license and vehicle registration were run through dispatch and came back with no wants or warrants, he was issued a verbal warning and released. That's the way AGFD officers are trained and it was consistent with department policy.
AGFD's releasing the information was smart. Not releasing it could have opened them up to all sorts of speculation and second-guessing.
When it comes to a tragedy like this, it's apparently difficult for officials to admit that the toughest thing to defend against - even if you're in a defensive mode- is the single-assassin with no apparent regard for his -or her- own safety.