Column: Defending the right to own guns, and to kill

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 17, 2002

By time this goes to press the killer in the Maryland area may have been caught and arrested. As I write this, though, he is still at large, a threat to a good many decent people who deserve better.

We can’t blame the weakness of our gun laws, of course. Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Due to that amendment as interpreted by our up and coming gun lobby it is obviously our patriotic duty to make it easier for them to kill as many as possible.

After all a really good gun is expensive and whoever purchases it should be assisted in getting his money’s worth. Couple of days ago I saw a TV program about the Brady Law. It’s been pretty well watered down. There’s that part, for instance, about those with mental illness not being allowed to purchase a gun.

Email newsletter signup

A gun enthusiast explained how unfair that would be. Never, he said, should the rule of confidentiality between physician and patient be broken. Anyway just because a man is a little strange in his thinking is not a good reason for depriving him of his hunting pleasure. After all think of how many people there are wandering around, loony as all get out, though it hasn’t been discovered yet. Are we to deprive them of their guns, too?

Before I heard this splendid defense of the rights of gun-toters, I read an extremely interesting newspaper article written by a man by the name of Paul Vitello. In it he explains a technology now available to &uot;fingerprint&uot; every gun before it is sold, making it possible to trace a bullet or its casing back to the gun from which it was fired.

The National Rifle Association argues that such a practice would be the equivalent of national registration of firearms.

I don’t know exactly what the problem is about registering a firearm. If the gun is insured, and, if valuable, it probably is, so why object? It’s only going to be used for hunting and self-defense, isn’t it? Unless one of the children takes a potshot at a neighbor’s kid. Courts are pretty lenient with the younger shooters. Kids will be kids and, if they’re to grow up with the gun skills they’ll be needing in this gloriously gun-mad country, better they get an early start.

If by any chance the gun is traced back to a serial killer like our friend in Maryland… well with all those police and everyone hunting for him (her or them) the odds are kind of against him.

We gun lovers are a sporting group, let’s give the poor guy a chance to make his getaway. We all have our moments. I think it was Dorothy Parker who wrote a little gem about &uot;If I had a shiny gun/ I could have a world of fun/ putting bullets through the brains/ of the folks that give me pains.&uot;

I think it was Dorothy Parker. Mind you this column is not meant to criticize the gun lobby or any segment thereof. It has done a splendid job of keeping our record of homicide by shootings well above all the other so-called civilized nations put together.

One has to admire the dedication. It is most unfair, too, to term the NRA an accessory before the fact. The big difference between an accessory and a gun enthusiast is &045; but why split hairs?

Love Cruikshank is an Albert Lea resident. Her column appears Thursdays.