Las Vegas Sun

October 24, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

More guns won’t reduce carnage

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A proposal was made to the Legislature that people be allowed to carry concealed weapons in school classrooms. This idea keeps coming back. Let’s say it is adopted.

You and I have our concealed carry permits. We have practiced our fast draw in front of the mirror and are prepared to prevent some crazy guy from shooting up the classroom. We’re ready, just in case.

We’re listening to our professor in a crowded lecture hall when a shot and a scream ring out. You pull your gun and so do I, looking for the bad guy. I see him pointing a gun at me, and I fire in self-defense, just as you do.

Congratulations. We have just killed each other. The shot and scream came from a classmate who forgot to engage the safety on the pistol and his waistband and had to scratch an itch.

Guns kill people. It is the ubiquity and not the righteousness of these instruments of death that leads to our daily dose of carnage. More guns only make an appalling situation worse.

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  1. Guns do not kill people. People using guns kill people. Bombs do not kill people. People using bombs kill people. Cars do not kill people. People driving cars kill people. Knives do not kill people. People using knives kill people. Say it and write it as many times as you have to in order to learn it.

    Carmine D

  2. James,

    At 74 years old, we would all expect you to follow the concealed handgun guidelines and use the gun when life or injury to you or others is at stake. If you can't determine who the hostile attacker is then don't draw the weapon. You could simply make a dash towards the exit to escape harm James or just sit at your desk and wait for the armed attacker to gun you down. There are your options James. Take your pick.

  3. The issue over gun registration and background checks really should be discussed honestly, and it rarely is.

    Registration and background checks are very unlikely to have much of an effect on mass shootings. That's because most of the people that perpetrate these crimes have no prior record of violence, which would prevent them from obtaining a gun. Others get a gun in a way that bypasses any background check, and would continue to do that in the future.

    When advocates argue that registration and background checks would lessen mass shootings, they sound desperate and uninformed to me.

    However, where registration and background checks would be effective is in assisting authorities in investigating gun crimes of all sorts. That should be the argument used to support increased background checks and registration, both of which I, and I think a majority of Americans support.

    Use the argument that makes logical sense, not the one that sounds emotional and is not not logically supportable. If a better argument was used, the chances of success would increase.

    Michael

  4. To get a concealed weapon permit you have to pass a background check (another apalling attack on the Second Amendment?) and demonstrate proficiency with the weapon. No personality or psychological testing is required.

    So, how do we know that handing out these permits like candy will make us safer or put us more at risk?

  5. To see how silly the argument put forward by Geffert is, merely substitute the word "cars" for "guns." There are way too many "cars" on the road and "cars" kill far more people per year than "guns." So, if the aim is to reduce deaths, it would make far more sense to remove as many "cars" from law-abiding citizens as possible. But, of course, that's not the aim. The true aim, as always, is to expand the power of government by the Commie-lites and their fellow travelers.

  6. It would be interesting to see the facial expression of an attacker when 25 out of 50 students pull out their concealed handguns pointing each at him. Who are you going to shoot first Mr. Bad guy? That rush of power and control would leave him within a matter of seconds.

  7. In response to Mr. Fink. Cars do not kill far more people than guns. They both kill about 30,000 people a year.

    People who favor guns in crowded venues need to study the concept of fratricide.

  8. "We have practiced our fast draw in front of the mirror..."

    When I was growing up, there was a term for that: "O.K. Corral syndrome." The primary symptom was a hole in the leg, running diagonally from high on the outside to lower on the inside. Had a couple of classmates afflicted.

  9. The 'Zero Tolerance' policy expelled a child for bringing a steak knife to school in his lunchbox. Somehow, we couldn't wrap our heads around that policy to prevent ruining that child's life!

    Now, we are proposing that teachers carry guns to schools to save children's lives? Really?

  10. Never in all the years I've held a CCL nor in any of the civilian or military training I've had, did I or any of the like minded folks I know ever have the urge to "practiced our fast draw in front of the mirror".

    Something tells me the author lacks both the knowledge and experience that would preclude such childish behavior. While the scenario suggested seems likely to him, it does not to me.

  11. The appalling absurdity of James A. Geffert's fantasy scenario, where two people, in a college lecture hall, mistakenly shoot and kill each other after a third person's concealed weapon accidentally discharges, shows just how far critical thinking skills have been eroded in Las Vegas.

    Simple online research shows that just a bit over 1% of the total population of Clark County is licensed to carry a concealed weapon.

    Given the number of Clark County CCW licenses, a total of 300 people would need to be present during the instruction for there to be a believable chance that three people in the room are carrying a concealed weapon.

    In Geffert's daydream of a story, one would also have to suspend belief that an accidental discharge of a weapon, while in a holster, through and by scratching-an-itch, as a function of all weapon discharges, is not several thousand orders of magnitude above the chance you will die in an aircraft disaster - about 1 in 19,000 years (source: Arnold Barnett).

    You must also suspend all belief to think that someone sitting in a crowded 300 seat echo-reducing, sound-enhanced lecture hall could not immediately determine the direction of a weapons discharge.

    The shot's epicenter, accidental or intentional, would be highly and instantly apparent both by ear and by eye. Furthermore, when's the last time you saw a group of people stand perfectly still after a shot was fired unexpectedly into a crowd? Never. The crowd moves away from the discharge, so it's not reasonable to speculate that the other two people with concealed weapons would look any other direction than at the source of the shot.

    And since there's only one shot in this flight-of-fancy story concocted by Geffert, the incident is done and over in a moment's time. One would have to suspend all cognitive thought processes to suggest that CCW trained and licensed persons would instantly draw weapons, expose themselves fully so that they are now open targets, and start visual scanning in a direction not associated with the initial and only shot and that when they eventually spot the other CCW person, both fire off a round into a crowd of people to eliminate the "bad guy," who, in all likely hood, is out of the 40-to-50-foot effective hand-gun range that would be expected in a 300 seat lecture hall.

    Give it a bit of critical thought and you'll see that Mr. Geffert is better suited to writing science fiction than advising the Sun readership of wanton carnage.

  12. The scneario posed by the letter writer is an unlikely fantasty for most CCW carriers. While you do need practice in drawing a weapon and learning which clothing works better while carrying concealed, the letter writer paints CCW holders as looking for a fight, which is the exact opposite of the truth. The majority of CCW holders have the permit to defend themselves and their family, not play police officer and take down the next active shooter. Even if a CCW holder takes extra training in tactical shooting they aren't prepared to effectively engage a shooter. I carry a concealed weapon by virute of my career, but I have no issue with a law abiding citizen carrying one after being property vetted and trained. I have always supported stringent checks on people who own a weapon, while still believing in their right to do so. If I encountered an active shooter at the mall my first priority would be to get my family to safety, even though I've been trained to engage. Another person with a weapon wearing civilian clothing just adds to the confusion of the arriving officers. All CCW holders aren't gun nuts and to paint them as so isn't fair.

  13. Carmine DiFazio, if you feel there is equivalency between a knife and a gun, you are mistaken. Both are tools that can be used for killing, but vary wildly in efficiency. If you continue in this argument, you've brought a knife to a gunfight!

  14. CreatedEQL - I already addressed one person's fantasy story. I see no reason to address your, even much more unlikely, fantasy story. Get a grip on reality dude.

    And did I say I was not in favor of background checks or mental health funding? Did I say I was a Republican, tea-bagger, or Democrat? I didn't and I'm not.

    You have punctuated my entire point by showing you have none of what it takes to make an objective conclusion based on fact and/or circumstance. - Do me a favor and start with a little critical thinking first and stop trying to peg me as something I am not.

  15. Author, you have not been properly trained. That's why you are dead. I have been properly trained...I am a responsible gun owner.

  16. "Carmine: "people kill people". True statement, so lets ensure the 'people' purchasing them are sane, and not criminals. Repeat that only once, because it makes immediate sense."

    I posted above on another thread that only about 12 percent of the 20 percent of Americans with mental and emotional illnesses seek and receive professional medical assistance. Add to these staggering stats, a background check for gun purchases if passed or passes. What will that do to the numbers or persons who will seek help? I'll tell you. Make them go down even lower. Why? Because they will fear they can't buy a gun, or if they own a gun already, fear it will be taken away.

    Carmine D

  17. Reports I have seen cite the number of guns deaths in 2011 at roughly 8,000. Those killed in vehicular accidents: roughly 32,000. I stand by my assertion. Vehicles are far more deadly to people than guns, especially when driven by those having intoxicants in their systems.

  18. At 9:52 last night cebuano_refugee (Dwayne Morton) commented: "Both <knives and guns> are tools that can be used for killing, but vary wildly in efficiency."

    There is one major difference, Dwayne. Knives were designed, and improved over the years, to perform a variety of cutting tasks. Guns were designed, and improved over the years, to perform ONE task - killing more people, easier, faster and at a greater distance.

  19. "Carmine: so your argument is that we shouldn't do background checks on felons, terrorists, and insane people because the subset of insane gun lovers will not seek treatment for fear of losing their gun?!?!?! I suspect your are speaking from personal experience."

    Wrong. Criminals do not buy guns from licensed gun dealers. So no background checks are ever done on them. AND when you strip people of their Second Amendment Constitutional rights, for whatever reasons, they had better be good reasons. Because once you do, you and we are going down a very slippery slope.

    Carmine D

  20. Joe:

    Read my above post. Are you still laughing? If so, read it again until it sinks in.

    Carmine D

  21. http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies...

    Carmine doesn't know that the slippery slope argument is fallacious.

  22. Mark:

    I know that stripping one of their Constitutional rights is a violation of their rights. When you do that, there had better be good reasons for doing so. And if there are not good reasons for doing so, then our U.S. Constitution isn't worth the price of the old, faded, worn out paper it's written on.

    Carmine D

  23. Jeff:

    If you quote stats, provide the sources, please. If not, don't make them up as you go along.

    Carmine D