Reach us by Mail

P.O. Box 25532
Rochester, NY 14625

Reach us by E-Mail

Reach us by Phone


It depends on your point of view

Another crazy person has made the news. As this column is being written, the killer has not been caught. He is the suspect in the murder of four people in a Waffle House in Tennessee. The reports so far state that he was naked except for a green jacket. He also carried an AR 15 type rifle.

There was a brave person in the restaurant with outstanding courage, who disarmed the shooter, but the killer got away leaving the rifle behind. The police reported that he was still at large and they determined that he had returned to his home to get a pair of pants and possibly two more guns, a rifle and handgun.

If that is accurate, he is armed and dangerous and it may end up with others being killed. It is unlikely that he will still be at large by the time this column is printed.

Predictably, there will be more media focused on the fact that he used an “assault weapon” rather than a more obvious condition for his horrific actions, a mental problem. It is easier to blame the gun and demand more gun laws than it is to focus on mental conditions and come up with a solution addressing that problem.

He bought his rifle in Illinois which has a state license to possess firearms and he had to pass the NICS check to obtain his guns. Details are sketchy regarding an investigation by the FBI for a violation of some sort, but his Illinois firearms possession card was revoked and he most likely was placed on the NICS list as being unable to buy a gun.

Law enforcement in Illinois returned the guns to his father who later gave them to him. That pretty much is what is available now.

Now, this columnist’s predictions for the reporting! The mass media prompted by the anti-gun special interests will focus on the use of the “assault weapon” and will probably look to create more anti-gun rallies and a negative focus. They haven’t figured out yet that criminals and crazy people don’t obey laws.

It is far less likely they will focus on laws that will put violent criminals in prison and create more mental health facilities for testing and treating, to make any reasonable and sensible progress to reduce all violence.

However, it would appear from the media reports, opinion reporting and activist organizations, they will focus strictly on banning the “assault rifles” and “strengthening background checks.” That is much easier and more interesting that finding ways to check people for mental problems and providing treatment.

Those on both sides of the gun issue will agree that criminals and mentally disturbed people should not have access to or to possess guns. That is a no brainer. It is easy to call for a ban on a product than to find a solution to straighten out a disturbed mind.

The vast majority of people with mental and emotional issues are not violent. Some say that they are more likely to be victims rather than perpetrators of violence.

However, it is easier and more politically correct to call for banning guns. There are more than 22,000 gun control laws. How well have they worked? Hard to say, because most of them are not reasonably enforced and criminals ignore them anyway.

Using the “logic” that the anti-gun groups use to “save lives” brings up some interesting comparison to other problems in our society. We have strict laws against drunken driving and alcohol is present in other crimes like domestic violence. Here is a suggestion to cut down on the “alcohol violence” problem and could save more lives than more gun control.

Most people drink responsibly and don’t have an “alcohol problem.” It is like most gun owners don’t use their firearms in a dangerous or criminal manner. The government could pass a law that anyone who wishes to drink has to get an Alcohol Consumption License.

In order to get that license you have to apply to a local Alcohol Board and fill out a form that will be followed by a background check and the clearance by a judge, magistrate or law enforcement. If given, that person may buy alcoholic beverages, possess and consume them. If you don’t have the license, you are legally prohibited from any of those activities.

If, at a party, you give alcohol to a person who doesn’t have a license you will be guilty of a violation. If that person is arrested for any alcohol violation, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. If the person gets a DWI, you could lose your permit.. That should put an end to irresponsible drinking, shouldn’t it?

Then to make it easier to enforce, the government could ban whiskey. We know that it is so much easier to get drunk on whiskey than beer and wine because whiskey has a much higher alcohol content. You know, like large capacity gun magazines hold more ammunition which makes them more dangerous. (So they say.)

Nobody NEEDS whiskey. Only those who want to get drunk will drink it, Right? Think of all the lives that will save with a simple law like that. And, if it saves just one life, if is worth it. At least that is what the anti-gun lobby thinks about gun laws.

Of course as a conservative, this columnist would not want to government to be able to do that. Why should the responsible drinkers be denied the product that they don’t abuse because of the actions of drunks?

Responsible gun owners feel the same way. They should not be denied a product that they don’t abuse because of the actions of criminals and crazies. Look at the numbers. More people are killed by drunks than by people with guns.

It is hard to remember any deaths caused by drunk drivers and having the liberals focus on the alcohol. Maybe it is because a majority in the anti-gun side of the argument likes drinking and don’t see the deaths and misery caused by irresponsible drinkers as a problem. All a matter of perception and perspective!

Budd Schroeder