Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Two Students Hurt in Accidental L. A. School Shooting

     Dear Friends,
     That was a headline that I read a few minutes ago.  It struck me as really odd and after a little thinking, it makes for a good story to describe how well gun control laws work.  With all the calls for restricting handgun magazine capacity, prohibiting gun possession within 1,000 feet of "high ranking governmental officials" and tightening up on gun ownership for people like the Tucson shooter we need to think through whether these proposals will work.
     According to the school shooting article, an LA school district spokesman said that a student brought a gun to school in a backpack and it went off when he dropped it. He said two people were wounded and a police spokesman said it was three. 
     Before I continue, let me state for the record that it ios my personal conviction that there is no such thing as a "gun accident."  Somewhere along the line, any unintentional discharge involves a violation of the basic rules of gun safety. Any intentional discharge is categorically the responsibility of the person who has the gun in their hand.
     My question is this: how could it have been accidental when there are plenty of laws to prevent such a thing from happening?
     Gun control laws prohibit possession of a firearm on school grounds or within 1,000 except for law enforcement personnel. Press reports indicate the gun was brought in by a student - not a police officer. It seems the law was violated here.
     Gun control laws prohibit purchase of a handgun by any otherwise legally entitled person under the age of 21.  Unless the high school student was over 21, they didn't purchase it themself.  Since that is pretty unlikely, it would seem that another law was violated.
     Gun control laws generally make it hard to possess a handgun in California unless it is an intra-familial handgun transaction. While that type of transfer is certainly possible, chances are probably better that is not the case, resulting in the violation of another law.
     Gun control laws prohibit the concealed carry of a handgun unless a person has met the licensing requirements mandated by law.  As far as I know, high schoolers generally can't meet those requirements so once again, uless subsequent reports prove otherwise I'll hazard a guess that yet another law was broken.
     It would further seem that the student who brought the gun to school (in and of itself a stupid act) did not take reasonable care to ensure it was unloaded and carried in a safe manner so as not to cause harm to others. Whether criminal negligence laws apply in this case will be up to the local District Attorney. I don't believe that I am going out on a limb by guessing that lawsuits will come out of this event.
     Now about those new gun control proposals that are currently being discussed.  It seems that "high governmental officials" probably were not within 1,000 feet of this tragedy, so that would have had not prevented this.  Press reports do not indicate that more than one round was fired, so limiting magazine capacity would not have prevented this.  Further, it is unknown whether the shooter who dropped the backpack had any identifiable mental defects that could have prevented this shooting.
     In other words, this was no accident, laws to prevent it were broken and new laws would not have prevented it.
     I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.  Please feel free to leave your comments below.
     Sincerely yours,
     Tom Goffe

Friday, January 14, 2011

Your Help Needed: Texas Teen Challenges Federal Gun Law

Dear Friends,
For those who haven't heard, in Texas a Federal lawsuit has been filed seeking to strike down the law that requires a prospective handgun purchaser must be 21 years of age or older. The goal of the suit is to establish that the same laws that currently apply to rifle or shotgun purchase and ownership should also apply when it comes to a handgun.

The following is the text of an e-mail that I received from the NRA:

"To strengthen our case, we are in need of the following:

Young people, age 18-20 who would be willing to sign an affidavit that they would like to purchase a handgun, if it were legal.


FFL dealers, who would be willing to sign an affidavit that they would like to sell a handgun to a person 18-20 years old, if it were legal.

In both cases, Texas residency is not required, although it would be a plus.

These folks would not be plaintiffs, but would be supporting witnesses."

"Please contact the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) at ILAlegal@nrahq.org or call (703)267-1661 for more information.

Thank you for your support."

Any help or assistance provided will be greatly appreciated. If you have any relatives or friends in Texas who support the 2nd Amendment, please copy and paste the information above and pass it along. I'll be adding my personal support to this as well. If they win in overturning the Federal law, it could help here in North Carolina as well.

Sincerely yours,

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A New Day for Liberty in Washington

   Dear Friends,

   Last summer and fall, I exhorted you to work your will at the ballot box on election day.  For many of us who value the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, that was a pretty successful evening.  NRA endorsed candidtes won approximately 85% of the time and together we in the 2nd Congressional District managed to replace a champion of the poor, misguided anti-gun agenda with a woman new to politics who centered her candidacy on restoring liberty.  As Bob Etheridge fades into the sunset, it is a new dawn for the citizens of the 2nd District and for America.  We worked hard to elect a pro-gun candidate and I have no doubt that your efforts put Renee Ellmers in the US House of Representatives.

   Renee Ellmers was sworn in about an hour ago.In a rare example of governmental efficiency, her Congressional website is up and running.  There you can subscribe to her electronic newsletter, send her your comments and ideas and otherwise keep an eye on what she is doing to support and strengthen our liberties.