Letter to the Editor: A 'murderer' speaks out

Thursday, March 15, 2018

To the Editor:

Gini Paulsen ("We Must Fix This", 3/15/18) writes:

"Those who support the NRA, and block legislative actions that would regulate the type of guns available to citizens and limit gun ownership and use of extremely lethal fast acting weapons of mass destruction are murderers in the true sense of the word. "

This statement is a textbook illustration of Charles Krauthammer's cogent observation: "Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil."

I'm not sure how to have a rational discussion with somebody who thinks I'm a "murderer" because I disagree with her, but I'll try.

Guns are not the problem. Evil in the human heart is the problem. Millions of law-abiding Americans own guns, and use them only for target-shooting, hunting, and self-defense. To think that you can "fix" the problem of human evil by banning a tool is worse than misguided - it actually aids and abets evil. When you take that powerful tool out of the hands of good people, you empower evil people, such as the Florida mass murderer.

The delusion that the tool creates the evil is usually accompanied by another erroneous belief: "we should not punish wrongdoers, but should instead reach out to them in understanding and compassion". This misguided belief underlies feel-good-do-bad school policies such as "Restorative Justice", designed to keep dangerous teenagers out of the criminal justice system, so that said teenagers, including the Florida mass murderer, will have a better chance in life.

So what do you do when you can't bring yourself to punish actual wrongdoers, but feel the need to "do something"? Demonize the tool, of course, and deprive good people of the right to use it. Better yet, accuse those good people of being "murderers".

Maggie Wilson


Ian Taylor,  March 16, 2018 at 6:03 AM  

Maggie: I suppose I'm a "liberal", although I prefer to think of us human beings with different perspectives based on life experiences and values rather than attaching labels freighted with all kinds of wrong assumptions, but I don't think you are either "evil" or a "murderer". So Mr. Krauthammer remark is not accurate in my case, nor, I expect in the case of vast numbers of people you and he might label as "liberals". Wrong assumptions, you see. That's inevitable when you label whole groups of people that way.
But to your point about guns not being "the problem", but rather that "evil" in the human heart being the problem. Is a 2-year old who shoots his mother in the head with a loaded gun he finds in her purse while sitting in a shopping cart acting out of "evil"? Is the depressed teenager who commits suicide with his father's gun acting out of "evil"? I think not. And in each of these cases it IS the gun that makes all the difference. Guns allow for impulsive suicide attempts to be more than 90% effective: far more than other methods.
Even Ivan Abramov, the Mukilteo shooter, was not acting our of "evil" in my view. He was experiencing the temporary insanity of the jealous teenager, and he himself says that if he had been obliged to wait for some days before taking possession of the gun he bought he would probably have calmed down and not shot people to death, ending and ruining several lives.
Our children, all over the country, are asking us to DO SOMETHING. Are they all "Liberals"? I doubt it. Do they think that this country has gone too far down the wrong path in our relationship with firearms? They do. They are asking us to re-examine our society's capitulation to the gun manufacturers and their sales force, the NRA, and the legislators they both buy, and to make the necessary changes to restore sanity and safety to our cities and schools. That's a move towards a more civil society, and all of us who care about our country should be working towards that more civil society.

Joy March 16, 2018 at 7:22 AM  

I agree with you 100%. Well written. So many of these killers are just that killers. Our money is better spent with mental institutions. Many times the family of these killers know it. They feel they have no options. Almost impossible to get someone put away when they know they are dangerous.
Add to the Florida incident that so many people had informed the police, and others. Could they put him away with just accusations? Not sure. Add to that the schools are given money to "not report" these violent kids...

Doug March 16, 2018 at 7:38 AM  

Amen, sister. I will consider them serious about stopping school shootings when they throw their support behind real solutions: like enforcing existing laws, security guards at schools, metal detectors, eliminating “gun free zones” . Instead they prefer attacking red herrings.

Anonymous,  March 16, 2018 at 1:22 PM  

So apparently all you have to do to eliminate this inherent "evil" is outlaw guns? After Australia and Britain outlawed guns these evil mass shooters seemed to disappear from their countries. Wow, what a concept! Maybe if troubled young men didn't have such easy access to weapons of mass destruction we would all be better off. These things don't happen in other countries; why are we so special?

I also don't really like the idea of living in a world where our schools are more like prisons so that a minority of gun fetishists can satisfy their desires. Evidence shows that they and their families are more endangered for having guns in the house than they are ever likely to defend themselves from an intruder. This is not rocket science.

Anonymous,  March 16, 2018 at 4:13 PM  

Perhaps gun sales could be taxed and then money used for mental health care for children? Maybe smaller schools where its harder to slip through the cracks for years and then end up with so much despair that you kill people? Maybe provide easy access to birth control so people that don't want children won't birth them? Maybe help parents who need help and support? Maybe pay closer attention when children are orphaned or undergo traumatic experiences?

Temporary Sanity March 16, 2018 at 8:41 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steph.a.s March 17, 2018 at 7:51 AM  

Ian, I completely agree with you. It's not about "conservatives vs liberals", it's about doing the right thing and passing common sense gun laws to keep guns out of the hands of people who don't need them--particularly high-end magazine assault weapons. IMO, no one needs access to those, period.

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