Gun laws | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: Jim Bispo's weekly column appears in the Beaufort Observer.

    It's time to weep for the children who lost their lives and the adults who gave theirs trying to save the children in Connecticut. What is there to say except that the entire episode was senseless. The entire country is saddened as well it should be. There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of thing to be happening to our children (or anyone else) in our exceptional country.

    But now, even before all those whose life was extinguished are laid to rest, we begin to hear politicians (most of whom apparently enjoy seeing themselves on TV) telling us it's time for another push for gun control. Surprise of surprises.

    We need to outlaw large capacity clips and semi or full automatic assault weapons. We need more laws controlling the sale (and purchase) of weapons. We need more and better (more thorough) background checks before authorizing someone to purchase a weapon. Maybe we need to expand the background check to the potential purchaser's immediate family - after all the weapons used in this massacre were purchased by the gunman's mother - legally. They should have checked on her son also?? Maybe. Maybe not.. And how about perhaps a second cousin?? We need all kinds of other new restrictions on our freedoms. That should ensure that things like this will not happen again. Of course it will. That doesn't really explain how several cities with the most stringent gun laws in the U.S. seem to have the greatest amounts of gun violence in the country. That would include NY, Chicago, and D.C.. Hmmm... What do you make of that??

    I read an editorial in the Greenville paper yesterday (the only paper in the neighborhood that publishes on Monday) that talked about (sort of, almost in passing) the need to control "dangerous" weapons. The only thing I got out of the editorial was that someone at the Daily Reflector doesn't know guns from rabbit poop. Trust me, a .22 caliber pistol or a single shot bolt action rifle can be just as dangerous as any other weapon. To say otherwise is to demonstrate a lack of literacy about weapons. It may not kill as many folks as fast, but it will most assuredly kill them just as dead. Period... But I digress...

    For a long time I have been under the impression that we have on the books laws which prohibit killing folks. As I understand it, the law does not differentiate between alternative methods of committing homicide. Poison, a baseball bat (or other hard object), a chain, bare hands, a pistol, a rifle, a shot gun, a vehicle, and anything else anyone might think of. No matter which of the foregoing it is, the fact remains that it is illegal to kill. It's too bad the Ten Commandments are being removed from so many public places because the 6th Commandment (or the 5th depending on whose version you subscribe to) would be a further reminder that "Thou shalt not kill". And besides, it simply isn't a "nice" thing to do.

    Be that as it may, we are now being expected to believe that despite the fact that the law against killing would seem to be honored more in the breach than it is in practice, the new law would serve to either decrease travesties such as we just experienced or bring them to a halt altogether.

    Every time I hear someone suggesting that another law is required to solve some problem or other (or is it "address some issue" ) I have to wonder how they arrived at their conclusion. Generally, if all it took was another law, another law would still not likely be required because the subject matter of the "new" law is very likely already addressed in an "old" law. That would be a law that is already "on the books". If all we want to do is create and foster the impression that we are taking some bold new actions to solve the problem (whatever it is) then what we need to do is wave the "A new law is needed" flag. That is precisely what we see a lot of politicians doing.

    Back to the school shootings in Connecticut. Have you ever wondered how other people handle the problem (issue??). Israel might be a good place to start looking. They have as much experience with terrorism as anyone. Click here to see how this problem is addressed in Israel. (To explore the site, from which this photo came, go to . Reportedly every teacher has a gun and knows how to use it. That may have something to do with why you don't hear about many school shootings in Israel.

    Clearly we need to do more than simply pass another law.

    D'ya think??
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