I see where Clark County School District Superintendent Walt Rulffes has responded to the drive-by murder of a 15-year-old Palo Verde High School inmate by another one of his young charges by whining that it's difficult to prevent his wards from shooting each other given today's "easy access to guns" and television violence.
I'm not sure about the TV part -- seems to me most of the drive-bys I've seen portrayed on the tube have concluded with the perpetrator going to prison.
Just as it's true that there would be fewer shootings if we "got rid of all the guns," so would there doubtless be fewer rapes if we "got rid of all the penises." But -- as attractive as the scheme might seem to the disciples of Andrea Dworkin -- I suspect there might be some hint of a civil rights problem with a society-wide penis removal program, even though the right to keep and bear those organs is not protected as explicitly in the Constitution as the right to keep and bear arms of military usefulness.
The point, if I must connect the dots, is that only an infinitessimal percentage of those possessed of either, um, tool use it to commit a crime, so we might want to look beyond "easy availability" for an explanation of such behaviors.
Once again last week, all our overlapping "gun control" laws failed to work. On the other hand, if the young perpetrator had been taught proper gun safety on the school shooting range -- such facilities were ubiquitous through the 1960s; I was taught safe supervised shooting at Eaglebrook in Massachusetts starting at age 12 -- what are the chances this killer would have remained so chillingly opaque to the likely consequence of his actions?
Meantime, on the subject of school shootings, surely I wasn't the only one to notice the befuddled opinion piece credited to The Washington Post, right there on our Feb. 16 front page:
"DEKALB, Ill. -- If there were lessons learned after the Virginia Tech massacre, they were: Lock down and notify," the supposed "news" story began.
"School officials did neither until hours after the first shots sounded across the Blacksburg, Va., campus in April. Northern Illinois University officials did not make the same mistake Thursday.
"But the actions could not stop a gunman armed with powerful rapid-fire weapons and the intent of killing as many people as possible, higher education and safety experts said Friday. ...
"By many preliminary accounts, the university did well: Within 30 seconds of a report of shots fired at Cole Hall, the first officer was on the scene. But he was too late. The shooter, Steven Kazmierczak, 27, a former graduate student who was armed with a 12-gauge shotgun and three pistols, had already sprayed more than 50 rounds of buckshot and bullets at panicked students before turning his weapon on himself. Six people ... were killed."
Here's the way that story would read, if constructed by someone not demented by anti-gun hysteria:
"If school officials and gun-grabbing politicians thought the lesson of the shooting deaths of 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus last April was 'lock down and notify,' they learned the fruitlessness of such top-down 'control' solutions when another depraved dropout shot and killed five students in less than a minute at Northern Illinois University Feb. 14.
"What did Northern Illinois University and Virginia Tech still have in common, as of Feb. 14, 2008? They both remained artificial 'gun-free zones,' where self-serving politicians have effectively barred potential victims from carrying self-defense weapons."
On their Web sites, the gun-grabbers whimper sarcastically that, "The NRA will absurdly insist the solution is MORE GUNS! Ha ha ha."
But to ridicule the obvious step of "allowing" civilians to carry arms for self-defense -- a right which all levels of government are barred from infringing by the 2nd and 14th amendments -- is akin to saying, "Why, to hear these madmen tell it, the best way to eliminate smallpox is to inoculate people with cattle pox, spreading even more disease! Hee-haw!"
In fact, it worked, just as armed students and an armed vice principal cut short would-be student rampages at Appalachian School of Law in 2002 and at Pearl High School in Pearl, Miss., in 1997.
"If there is a way where this tragedy could have been anticipated and stopped beforehand, we will find it," vowed Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Feb. 16.
Actually, there was
a link between the first modern schoolhouse shooter; Kip Kinkel of Springfield, Ore.; one if not both of the teen killers at Columbine High School; and most of our other domestic mass killers of recent years. A link that makes a lot more sense than "the easy availability of guns."
Steven Kazmierczak had recently stopped taking his Prozac, his girlfriend told the press less than a week after the NIU shootings.
Guns were far easier to obtain in this country before 1968 -- you could buy them through the mail. But there were hardly any such mass-shooting rampages.
On the other hand, chart the frequency of these mass shootings against the widespread introduction of such hallucinogenic drugs as Prozac, Ritalin and Luvox among the inmates of the tax-funded youth concentration camps -- the kinds of drugs that Kip Kinkel had been on, the kind that got Columbine killer Eric Harris blocked from enlistment in the Marines. Let me know what you find.
Meantime, there's a second-best solution -- the one that "allowed" congregation member and former police officer Jeanne Assam to cut short an intended rampage by disgruntled former student Matthew Murray, carrying two handguns, an assault rifle and more than 1,000 rounds of ammo, at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs just two months ago.
Until they get around to properly re-labeling the depravity-inducing drugs which have been prescribed to nearly all these mass shooters ("This stuff may make you kill people,") Gov. Blagojevich could tell the Illinois Legislature and sundry county authorities it's way past time to restore the Second and 14th amendment right to self-defense in Illinois by repealing every one of their overlapping "gun control" laws, ending that state's status as a de jure "gun-free zone."
But he won't do that. Will he?
Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Review-Journal and author of the novel "The Black Arrow." See http://www.vinsuprynowicz.com/.