Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas?

Child greeting 'Santa' was first victim, police say

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Dressed as Santa, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo walked up to his ex-in-laws' home in Covina, California, on Christmas Eve and knocked on the door.

An 8-year-old girl, elated to see Santa, ran toward the door.

That's when, police say, Pardo lifted a gun and shot her in the face.

Full story here...
I really haven't been able to pull out all that many heart-warming Christmas stories this year - it turns out, it's not that sort of a Christmas.

This story is especially sad - after losing his job and his wife, a former Church Usher bought five handguns, built a home-made flame-thrower and went around to is former in-law's house on Christmas Eve intending to slaughter them.

He shot dead eight guests and attempted to torch the house - that planning being partially foiled when his flamethrower exploded, burning him horribly and fusing his Santa suit to his body.

In terrible pain, he drove to his brother's house, where he killed himself with a gunshot to the head - only after first booby-trapping his car and suit to explode should police investigate it. The car actually detonated - fortunately, nobody was hurt.

What really got me about the story was reading this:
A search of Pardo's own home in Montrose, a suburb northeast of Los Angeles, turned up racing fuel, five empty boxes for high-powered semi-automatic handguns and two high-powered shotguns.
This suggests that, just like the Virginia Tech gunman, Pardo legally purchased all the weapons he used to execute his former in-laws. I can't wait to see how the gun-nuts and NRA members try to justify this.

I've gone back and forth on the issue of private ownership of handguns. My opinion that most private gun owners are the LAST people who should be owning guns has not been softened by comments on my blog such as this:
I love guns, but then again I'm a former infantry Marine and not a liberal c*nt like a lot of you on this blog.
Too many gun-owners are 'gun nuts.' People who fetishize weapons with an almost sexual fervor. People whose obsession with these deadly little toys is, frankly, creepy.

Don't get me wrong. I 'get it.' After watching gangs of thugs ransack and rape their way through New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, I can understand why home owners might want to have a single gun, locked somewhere secure for the unlikely event that they really need to defend themselves.

But beyond that, unless you hunt, I don't really think there's much reason for the average person to own more than one gun for 'home defence.' For example, I think if you have more than three handguns, you've moved from 'gun owner,' straight past 'collector' and into the realms of 'one man militia.'

Just to clarify, I do think the 2nd Amendment is pretty explicit and I don't think we need to go to the extremes that we have in England (where only criminals have guns - and the rate of gun crime has more than tripled since handguns were banned.)

But considering, in the last year, I've posted stories about a four year-old shooting themselves in Sam's Club and an eight year-old getting machine-gunned in the head at a gun fair, I think one very serious criticism needs to be leveled at the pro-gun crowd and they need to stop flapping their jaws and actually answer the charges:

Innocent children are getting killed in gun-related accidents. Legally purchased handguns are being used to commit massacres. There is something deeply wrong with this picture.

It's time the pro-gun crowd got their act together. For Christ's sake, they need to stop bleating about 'their' rights and start working to protect the rights of the people killed and wounded by their obsessive desire to maintain accessibility to handguns.

Basically: If the pro-handgun crowd can't keep their house in order, they're going to empower the 'liberal c*nts' like us to take away their guns - because they'd have demonstrated that they don't have the capacity to own them safely or responsibly.

I think in another couple of years, there's going to be a public backlash against private gun ownership. I wouldn't be surprised if somebody from a family victimised by gun crime sued the NRA, or another politically-motived pro-gun lobby, arguing that defence of private gun ownership creates an environment which endangers public safety.

In the right political atmosphere, it could be as big as the court-cases against 'big tobacco,' blaming them for endangering public safety by knowlingly peddling an addictive product that caused lung cancer.

But before the pro-gun lobby pitch a fit - they shouldn't worry. The tabacco industry might have lost millions in those court cases, but you can still buy a packet of Paliaments anywhere in the country. I think it's fair to assume that whatever happens, private gun ownership will be here for a long time to come - and we'll be reading a lot more tragic stories like the ones posted above.


ck said...

Here is the great thing here Roland.

Your opinion doesn't matter. Owning guns is a guaranteed right by our great constitution.

I am not so much pro gun, as I'm pro constitution.

I actually don't own guns. Wouldn't introduce them into my house with my children being the age they are.

One day... I'll own a few.

Roland Hulme said...

Ah, CK - you inadvertently proved my point. I say most gun owners are irresponsible and the last people who should be allowed to own guns. But saying you wouldn't introduce guns into your house with kids of that age, you've revealed that you ARE responsible enough to own a gun - by choosing not to!

But you're right - if you don't have kids, I guess you can do what you want.

Anyway, as I wrote in a different blog post, I agree that the 2nd Amendment is explicit, but I think gun owners - as part of a 'well regulated militia' - should spend one day a month with their national guard unit and have to keep appropriate fitness and attendance levels to be allowed to bear arms 'as part of a well regulated militia.'

The Maid said...

There are so many things people should not be allowed to own.

Ever seen a glue gun tragedy?

Some people get way too carried away with those things. LOL

Seriously, though, I agree with you. I think those who choose to own one gun for personal self defense are not our problem...gun collectors (not in a "hobby" sense)...ammunition fanatics...they are the ones to fear.

And the little ones who have been victims of such senseless slaughter, well that breaks my heart.

The Maid

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