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Thread: Tamara Dietrich's Latest Column

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    A higher-caliber argument is needed for gun control
    Tamara Dietrich

    February 1, 2008

    T[/i]hey were mothers of dead children alongside Virginia Tech students who'd taken bullets and lived to tell the tale. They were their friends and loved ones. They were folks who simply hate guns and their cold, indiscriminate authority with a passion.

    One day last week they gathered outside the Capitol in Richmond to lie down on the winter turf for a few minutes and pretend to be dead.

    They did it to show solidarity for Tech students and other victims of gun violence and to urge lawmakers to finally close a loophole that allows any criminal or head case to buy a firearm from a private seller at a gun show with no background check whatsoever.

    What they didn't count on was anti-gun-control counter-demonstrators showing up in force and armed to the teeth.

    Jeanette Richardson of Newport News, mother of an 18-year-old shot to death in 2004 for asking a guy to turn down his radio, calls them simply the "gun guys."

    "The gun guys were menacing, well-armed and ruthless," she says. "We are all still so shocked. The Tech survivors did not deserve to be treated like that. None of us did."

    Also getting the treatment was Yvette Griffin of Hampton, whose only son was gunned down by robbers for the $6.50 in his pocket.

    "What made it so bad was, while we were laying there, somebody calling out, 'Y'all must be the ones who weren't armed,'" Griffin recounts. "And I'm like, 'How in the world can something come out of their mouths like that?'

    "If people put themselves in our place and know what we have to go through day-to-day and walk in our shoes, they might not be able to take it."

    Maybe lawmakers felt their pain, I don't know. But in the end, grieving mothers playing dead didn't convince them to close the gun-show loophole. It died in committee two days later.

    Jeff Knox was also in Richmond that day, but not agitating for tougher laws. Knox is a gun guy, director of operations for the Firearms Coalition, based in Manassas, which participated in the counter-rally.

    Knox says he did hear a couple of overripe comments and wasn't happy about it.

    "Each time," Knox says, "the gun guys spun around on him and said, 'Hey, we're not here to do that.'"

    When a man nearby yelled something obnoxious, Knox says he personally set him straight.

    Their 400 gun-rights people mingled closely with the 200 gun-control people not to intimidate, he says, but to make sure their pro-gun signs were picked up by media cameras.

    Talk to Knox for any length of time, as I did Thursday, and you'll come away with the belief that Knox is a sensible, articulate guy who knows weapons and isn't about to take one into a clock tower.

    He will defend quite sensibly his right to take a firearm everywhere else, and can recount true-life stories where guns have stopped murderous criminals — or would have if they'd only been available.

    I know gun guys like Knox and I respect them. Like them, I support the right to bear arms. Where we differ is on when that right is not absolute.

    I don't have room or time enough here to run through the entire gun debate. Let's just say that the law at issue last week was a no-brainer that failed through lack of political courage.

    The state should not allow a private seller at a gun show to sell a firearm to a criminal or a deranged person. Where's the problem?

    For that matter, lawmakers continue to have no problem allowing guns to be carried freely into the General Assembly building itself.

    As one gun-rights blogger chortled online last week, when he and his many armed cohorts arrived to start lobbying lawmakers, the metal detectors started to sing out. But they were ushered in anyway.

    Even in my old stomping grounds of Arizona — a bastion of gun rights — you can't pack heat inside government buildings.

    Del. Lionell Spruill Sr., D-Chesapeake, tried to end that particular Virginia tradition again this year, but pulled his own bill last week when he realized it would never make it out of committee. Again.

    So he submitted it as a proposed rules change, where it had to be read on the House floor five days in a row, then voted on. It didn't just die — it was pulverized 77-18.

    "Why in the world would you want to have a gun on the House floor?" Spruill said to me Wednesday, clearly upset. "Sometimes you get into a heated discussion — you never know what people will do when they get into a heated discussion."

    A Christopher Newport University statewide poll this month shows that Virginians of both parties overwhelmingly favor tighter gun laws — including closing the gun-show loophole.

    Yet lawmakers continue to act as if tightening gun laws is volunteering for a political wood chipper.

    It strikes me that gun-control advocates have been using the wrong ammunition.

    Lie-ins and heartfelt speeches have their place, but don't carry the same weight in Richmond as a Glock or a Smith & Wesson openly strapped to a leg or hip.

    If you're serious about gun control and want to grab the attention of lawmakers, start buying as much firepower as the law allows.

    Carry your firearms anywhere and everywhere it's legal to do so. It's easy — this is Virginia.

    Then visit your legislators very, very, very often and, this is important: Pack heat every single time.

    Stop lying down, and let those metal detectors sing out like Megadeth — the soundtrack of Virginia gun law politics.


    http://www.dailypress.com/news/colum....column?page=1

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    I don't know that to make of that. The author seems kind of nutty to me.

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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    You're right the article isn't "too" bad :^). I posted a reply to it on their website.

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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    I'd like to hear what you all think. Why DO we need guns in the general assybly?

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    Because a location does not matter to criminals and lunatics. A bad guy doesn't care about the fact that carrying a gun in a proscribed place may be against the law. It's what makes them criminals and lunatics. Didn't we have a guy try to shoot up the U.S. Capitol building not too long ago? Gun free zones only mean that the bad guy doesn't have to worry about an armed response until he gets several shots off.

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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    kaiheitai17 wrote:
    Because a location does not matter to criminals and lunatics. A bad guy doesn't care about the fact that carrying a gun in a proscribed place may be against the law. It's what makes them criminals and lunatics. Didn't we have a guy try to shoot up the U.S. Capitol building not too long ago? Gun free zones only mean that the bad guy doesn't have to worry about an armed response until he gets several shots off.
    Except we're talking about inside the capitol and genreal assymbly buidlings, not the grounds. You have to go through metal detectors to get in. And they don't let anyone get in with guns, only those with CC permits.

    So why should the assymbly allow guns in?

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    Neplusultra wrote:
    kaiheitai17 wrote:
    Because a location does not matter to criminals and lunatics. A bad guy doesn't care about the fact that carrying a gun in a proscribed place may be against the law. It's what makes them criminals and lunatics. Didn't we have a guy try to shoot up the U.S. Capitol building not too long ago? Gun free zones only mean that the bad guy doesn't have to worry about an armed response until he gets several shots off.
    Except we're talking about inside the capitol and genreal assymbly buidlings, not the grounds. You have to go through metal detectors to get in. And they don't let anyone get in with guns, only those with CC permits.

    So why should the assymbly allow guns in?
    'Cause you can shoot your way in...

    News Link
    Officials said the incident began on the ground floor of the Capitol before 4 p.m., just inside a ground-level entrance where people must walk through metal detectors -- an area known as the , below the House Rotunda.

    The shooting started after the gunman entered and magnetometer alarms went off. The man, armed with a handgun, opened fire as he ran toward the office of Texas Republican Rep. Tom DeLay, the House Majority Whip, authorities said.

    When the man got to DeLay's office, he allegedly got into a gunfight with a security guard there.

    "The gunman came into our office and started firing," said John Feehery, a spokesman for DeLay. "We heard 20 shots."




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    Regular Member IanB's Avatar
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    Passing through security and metal detectors does not mean the area is sanitary. See link.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/01/23/airport.gun/index.html

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    Neplusultra wrote:
    I'd like to hear what you all think. Why DO we need guns in the general assybly?
    First, because there is no stated reason notto have guns there, and because the counter argument advanced by Spruill and others is that we're all homicidal maniacs just under the skin, and if we're rubbed the wrong way, we won't be able to control our rage and we'll kill someone if we have access to deadly force.

    The entire premise of Spruill's argument is that the only thing that keeps us from killing each other in murderous rages is lack of access to a firearm.

    "Sometimes you get into a heated discussion — you never know what people will do when they get into a heated discussion."

    Yes I do. I've been in plenty of heated discussions in my life--we all have--and never have I had to fight back the urge to act out in a murderous rage. Neverwas lack of a firearm the determinant of whether or not someone was killed.

    This is part and parcel of the whole "wild west," shoot-out-at-every-traffic-accident argument that anti's use everywhere. It all relies on this premise that the only thing that keeps us from killing our fellow man in the presence of strong emotion is the lack of an available gun. Ludicrous, and insulting, as well.



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    Regular Member IanB's Avatar
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    Scott,

    This is exactly the argument I am typing up to send to Tamara after I get home (don't want to send it from my work email).

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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    DoubleR wrote:
    Cause you can shoot your way in...
    That was easy.

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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    Very good point Scott. I agree he really hasn't made a good enough point to restrict my rights.

    But, a good point could be made that the legislature is a focal point for crazy agrevied people who "might" just show up and shoot someone who passed a law they didn't like. So the GA needs security.

    What kinds of counterarguments can be made against this reasoning?

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    Regular Member sccrref's Avatar
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    Neplusultra wrote:
    Very good point Scott. I agree he really hasn't made a good enough point to restrict my rights.

    But, a good point could be made that the legislature is a focal point for crazy agrevied people who "might" just show up and shoot someone who passed a law they didn't like. So the GA needs security.

    What kinds of counterarguments can be made against this reasoning?
    You make the argument right there. Someone might just show up and.... You never ever know where that someone is going to show up. The legislature is not the only place this can happen. We should all always have the option to choose for ourselves if we are going to be armed to defend ourselves or not. We should also always have the option of how we decide to carry (OC or CC) as we see fit.

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    Because you have to park several blocks (at least) away from the GA building and walk through a rough section of the city to get there. How good are those metal detectors inside the GA building lobby during that walk? I would really hate to have to walk back to my car late at night in that area (unarmed, that is).

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    Carpetbagger wrote:
    Because you have to park several blocks (at least) away from the GA building and walk through a rough section of the city to get there. How good are those metal detectors inside the GA building lobby during that walk? I would really hate to have to walk back to my car late at night in that area (unarmed, that is).
    I didn't even like walking in that area in full daylight.

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    Neplusultra wrote:
    Very good point Scott. I agree he really hasn't made a good enough point to restrict my rights.

    But, a good point could be made that the legislature is a focal point for crazy agrevied people who "might" just show up and shoot someone who passed a law they didn't like. So the GA needs security.

    What kinds of counterarguments can be made against this reasoning?
    Seems you've answered your own question......

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    If your legislators are doing nothing wrong, they shouldn't fear proximity to armed citizens... :shock:

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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    sccrref wrote:
    Neplusultra wrote:
    Very good point Scott. I agree he really hasn't made a good enough point to restrict my rights.

    But, a good point could be made that the legislature is a focal point for crazy agrevied people who "might" just show up and shoot someone who passed a law they didn't like. So the GA needs security.

    What kinds of counterarguments can be made against this reasoning?
    You make the argument right there. Someone might just show up and.... You never ever know where that someone is going to show up. The legislature is not the only place this can happen. We should all always have the option to choose for ourselves if we are going to be armed to defend ourselves or not. We should also always have the option of how we decide to carry (OC or CC) as we see fit.
    Your argument is true of course but wouldn't the GA's need for protection exceed my need for such for the short time I may be there? But this would only make sense if everyone was allowed in with a gun. There could be an "elite" group of citizens called let's say, conceal carry permit holders, that have passed a background check and are therefore significantly less likely than the average citizen to shoot a GA member. YET, because they are still citizens they are still likely to revolt against tyrannical government..... So the GA is safe unless they become tyrannical.....

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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    vtme_grad98 wrote:
    Carpetbagger wrote:
    Because you have to park several blocks (at least) away from the GA building and walk through a rough section of the city to get there. How good are those metal detectors inside the GA building lobby during that walk? I would really hate to have to walk back to my car late at night in that area (unarmed, that is).
    I didn't even like walking in that area in full daylight.
    Being from Chicago it didn't bother me that much but being from Chicago I can understand your point :^). Good point both of youse.

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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    Comp-tech wrote:
    Neplusultra wrote:
    Very good point Scott. I agree he really hasn't made a good enough point to restrict my rights.

    But, a good point could be made that the legislature is a focal point for crazy agrevied people who "might" just show up and shoot someone who passed a law they didn't like. So the GA needs security.

    What kinds of counterarguments can be made against this reasoning?
    Seems you've answered your own question......
    Ha! Not sure I actually understand your point but the idea is that an "actual" crazy person, not a citizen who's real rights have been violated, shows up and shoots someone not deserving of such.

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    Probably the safest day of the year for our delegates and senators at the state capital is our annual Lobby Day. This year there were approximatley 400 armed citizens attending. Would not have been a good day for a BG to plan something stupid.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Campaign Veteran kimbercarrier's Avatar
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    So why should the assymbly allow guns in?


    The better question is why should we (the law abiding) be disarmed in a public building?

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    This man is afraid that HE might lose control of himself, and thus believes that everybody must be like him. There is no hope for him and people like him as their world is just too scary a place to live in -- so they spend their time hiding.
    Del. Lionell Spruill Sr., D-Chesapeake, tried to end that particular Virginia tradition again this year, but pulled his own bill last week when he realized it would never make it out of committee. Again.

    So he submitted it as a proposed rules change, where it had to be read on the House floor five days in a row, then voted on. It didn't just die — it was pulverized 77-18.

    "Why in the world would you want to have a gun on the House floor?" Spruill said to me Wednesday, clearly upset. "Sometimes you get into a heated discussion — you never know what people will do when they get into a heated discussion."
    First, I'd like to see the numbers that show that Virginians "overwhelmingly" favor tighter gun laws. I'd also like to see how the questions were asked, just to test for any possible bias in the wording.

    Second, I disagree with the statement that members of the General Assembly look on tightening gun laws as political suicide. Instead, I strongly believe they are hearing and responding to the claim is that guns are not the problem, but that the person who misuses a gun is the problem. As we know, there are more than enough laws already out there. We need to get them used.

    A Christopher Newport University statewide poll this month shows that Virginians of both parties overwhelmingly favor tighter gun laws — including closing the gun-show loophole.

    Yet lawmakers continue to act as if tightening gun laws is volunteering for a political wood chipper.
    As much as I am disturbed and disgusted by the biased rhetoric of most of the rest of her column, I fully agree with this portion.

    "Come over to the dark side, Luke." We'll see if THEIR guns go off without provocation, causing the streets to run red with the blood they said would be there because of "us." If that happens, then I'm going to want to know where they got their guns at, because mine and yours would be proven to be defective, and we'd need to replace them with properly functioning killers.

    On the other hand, it would be worth the price of an admission ticket to be there when they realize "they" have become "us" and nothing happened.


    It strikes me that gun-control advocates have been using the wrong ammunition.

    Lie-ins and heartfelt speeches have their place, but don't carry the same weight in Richmond as a Glock or a Smith & Wesson openly strapped to a leg or hip.

    If you're serious about gun control and want to grab the attention of lawmakers, start buying as much firepower as the law allows.

    Carry your firearms anywhere and everywhere it's legal to do so. It's easy — this is Virginia.

    Then visit your legislators very, very, very often and, this is important: Pack heat every single time.

    Stop lying down, and let those metal detectors sing out like Megadeth — the soundtrack of Virginia gun law politics.
    How do you think she would respond to an offer to buy her a fancy belt & holster set if she will buy a gun?

    stay safe.

    skidmark
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    I'll sell her one tomarrow if she wants to meet me at the show. :celebrate

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Neplusultra wrote:
    Comp-tech wrote:
    Neplusultra wrote:
    Very good point Scott. I agree he really hasn't made a good enough point to restrict my rights.

    But, a good point could be made that the legislature is a focal point for crazy agrevied people who "might" just show up and shoot someone who passed a law they didn't like. So the GA needs security.

    What kinds of counterarguments can be made against this reasoning?
    Seems you've answered your own question......
    Ha! Not sure I actually understand your point but the idea is that an "actual" crazy person, not a citizen who's real rights have been violated, shows up and shoots someone not deserving of such.
    IMHO, every "focal point for crazy people" should have as many legally armed citizens as possible....seems more "secure" against criminal acts than "gun free zones" of any kind.........

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