Commentary: Gun-free zones could only work in utopia

Exploring gun safety from a realist’s perspective, I fervently hope that Dr. Jo Ann Fields [“Exploring gun safety from a medical perspective,” Opinion, Oct. 24] is a better doctor on physical issues than she tries to portray from a common-sense standpoint. Common sense obviously isn’t that common any more. Dr. Fields immediately launches into the all-too-familiar diatribe of the anti-gun sentiment while using her professional title as some badge of validating the statements. Truth be told, physicians kill millions more people worldwide through malpractice than guns do. How do we stop physicians from creating that havoc? But I digress. Each and every point is based on a knee-jerk reaction to a situation that has been exploited by the mass media of this country. When a jihadist kills 100 men, women, and children with a bomb blast, we find that on the inside pages of the paper. But let one person get shot with a gun, and it’s going to be headline news. She claims most gun violence is not attributable to mental illness. Really? You mean all the drug dealers and muggers out there are just like you and me and the 35 million gun owners in America are a danger to all of us? I’ve yet to hear of any psychiatrist who didn’t think everyone — excepting themselves, of course — had some mental issues. Most prospective gun owners have no issue with having a background check performed. There’s a program in place that, when used correctly, can identify those who should not be allowed to buy a gun. Still, right here in Delaware, Sara Brady, the late founder of “Handgun Control,” illegally purchased a gun and gave it to a family member but was never prosecuted for the crime. If Sara Brady can get away with it, why can’t others? The “waiting period” is the most egregious effort of that mindset. It’s all right to have an abortion on demand, but you have to wait to buy a gun after your background check has failed. Perhaps that should apply to liquor sales and automobiles. Still, she saved her dumbest comments for the last: upholding “gun free” zones, limiting ownership of guns to “categories of individuals,” counseling parents, holding manufacturers responsible, gun locks, ad nauseum. First of all, without all the “research” she implores, mass murders have a common denominator: they take place where the perpetrator knows honest people will have no means of protecting themselves. Read “Gun Free Zones.” Four million NRA members understand that the only means of stopping a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Parents need to stop making gun ownership an enigma. I know of hundreds of households that have guns. Some of those guns are accessible by the homeowners in case of an ever-increasing tendency of home invasions. Their children are taught from birth about the guns and don’t need to sneak around and “play” with them. They don’t allow friends to explore their homes, either. It’s the children where the gun is the big bad wolf whose curiosity leads to such tragic events. Here in Delaware, I’m not familiar with any child being killed by a gun during “play,” but I do know of a handful, including a 7-year-old last month, that have hanged themselves. If the sheeple of this country confiscated all the legally owned guns, do you really think gun crime would stop? Cain killed Able with a rock. The genie is out of the jar. Any intelligent person can make a gun with just a few household supplies. Restricting ownership to “specific categories of people” simply puts targets on their backs. If a scofflaw wanted a gun and couldn’t rob an innocent person, the easiest way would be to waylay a policeman and take his or hers. I’ve never met a doctor who didn’t tout “research,” but that always leads to “statistics” which are commonly manipulated to validate some meaningless point. I don’t care if physicians ask me about gun ownership. You see, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides me a platform that I can tell the doctor under the First Amendment that my personal possessions are none of their business. If you sincerely want an end to gun violence, you need to castigate the charlatans hiding behind some diploma and eliminate “gun-free zones.” Start prosecuting, without any “bargaining” or hiding behind excuses of a depraved childhood, any crimes committed under the tens of thousands of laws already on the books. Stop shackling the police who enforce those laws. And most of all, insist that the media stop condemning the gun while excusing the perpetrator. Eugen Volokh made a profound statement in 2009. He said, “Those who beat their swords into plowshares, end up working for those who kept their swords.” I would hope the doctor wrote her letter with all the good intentions we’d hope for in a utopia. Sadly, utopia doesn’t exist. Perhaps she should research legalizing street drugs and see how much mayhem could be prevented.

George Roof


Members and subscribers make this story possible.
You can help support non-partisan, community journalism.