Sunday, December 6, 2015

Guns Are Not Outlawed; Outlaws Have Guns

It’s been an awful couple of weeks of shootings, people killing and wounding lots of other people. Guns, long guns, rifles, assault weapons, and thoughts and prayers have been top of mind and top of the news. Two news items amidst the guns, long guns, rifles, assault weapons and thoughts and prayers I’ve been chewing on this past week.

The first is an account of a theft of assault-style weapons from a pickup parked at a Bellingham motel last weekend. [Assault rifles, pistols stolen from truck at Bellingham hotel ] (The weapons are listed in the news article and a photo of the stolen weapons was posted to Craigslist, presumably by their former owner.)

You can read the story yourself but I’ve pondered what this person was doing with so many weapons of this type and why he would leave them in his truck overnight and how thieves would have known these weapons were in the truck.

Maybe there’s a very reasonable and legal answer (“He just has guns, lots of guns,” [police Lt. Bob] Vander Yacht said) as to why he had the weapons and why he’d left them in the truck overnight. (“There’s never a good time to leave a gun locked up in a vehicle,” Vander Yacht said.”)

The police, according to the article, continue to investigate.

Which means that some outlaws now have a small arsenal of assault-style weapons which pisses me off both at this dick-head out-of-towner and these sleazeball outlaws.

Maybe I’d be just as pissed off if someone brought his arsenal into a motel room next to mine. These days who knows who’s carrying a weapon since people are carrying weapons supposedly to protect themselves from other carrying weapons.

Which bring me to the report that the South African Supreme Court of Appeals reversed Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius’ lower court decision of manslaughter to murder. [Oscar Pistorius guilty of murdering Reeva Steenkamp]

Pistorius shot Steenkamp four times through a locked bathroom door. The court’s decision found the lower court’s ruling “fundamentally flawed.” Pistorius should have foreseen that his firing of a gun would have killed whoever was behind the door in his bathroom, regardless of whether he thought it was Steenkamp or an intruder.

Even in gun-obsessed South Africa, there are limits. In reading the judgment, Judge Eric Leach said, "not only did he not know who was behind the door, he did not know whether that person in fact constituted any threat to him. In these circumstances, although he may have been anxious, it is inconceivable that a rational person could have believed he was entitled to fire at this person with a heavy-calibre firearm." [Oscar Pistorius and South Africa's gun obsession]

OK, guns don’t kill, people kill. Oscar Pretorius was obsessed with firearms. Oscar Pretorius is an outlaw.

You can say your prayers and send your thoughts. You can write Page One editorials like the New York Times did this past weekend. [End the Gun Epidemic in America] Nothing will change until we change the political power around guns—and that political power does not come out of the barrel of a gun.

--Mike Sato


  1. Nice, Mike. I wish I knew how to change the political power. Suggestions for those of us who live here in the liberal NW and feel powerless to change the rest of the country? Or suggestions how to get your police chief to actually fine those guns before my grandkids are hurt?

    1. It's a tall order but it requires changing the culture of romance around guns, the same way cigarettes are no longer romantic. Only then can we get enough people elected who will stand on the side of public safety against the gun makers and advocates and hold accountable those who make, sell and advocate for assault-style weapons. Until then it is possible to be terrorized by people of any complexion, creed or mental balance with assault weapons in their hands.

  2. This is the history of the NRA - on the NRA web site.

    How they got from what this writing describes as their values and programs to the bombastic criticism of anyone who asks for gun sanity eludes me. It would be good to have as large a counter-organization to lobby and preach and pressure for sane management of firearms in this country.