Not deferential enough: Good guys with guns

Posted Tuesday, September 17, 2013 in Opinion

Not deferential enough: Good guys with guns

by Gina Hamilton

Dear National Rifle Association and U.S. Congress,

Another 12 people were killed Monday morning in Washington D.C. at the Washington Navy Yard.  The murderer, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, was an ex-Navy man who had received a general discharge in 2011 for a "pattern of misconduct", and had a couple of illegal "shooting incidents" for which he was never prosecuted.  Even so, he'd managed to get a concealed carry permit in Texas.  He had been undergoing treatment for mental illness, including post-traumatic stress disorder and anger management issues, and according to family members, was "hearing voices". He used his own ID to gain legitimate access to the base, because he was working onsite as a computer contractor.  He wasn't asked to go through a metal detector.  His trunk wasn't examined on his way into the yard.  He flashed his badge and was waived through.

You thought he deserved a weapon, or at least, shouldn't have had to undergo any examination of his mental state before handing him a deadly weapon.  Thanks, NRA.

When he was killed he had a shotgun, an AR-15 assault weapon, and two handguns.  Some of those he is thought to have picked up from victims during the rampage.  At least the shotgun was purchased by Alexis legally.

That means that at least some "good guys" were armed when Alexis killed or wounded them, disarming them and using their weapons to continue his murderous rampage.

You said after 26 people were killed in a school in Connecticut, a week before Christmas last year, that the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is for a good guy with a gun to be on scene.  Using this argument, you stopped any sort of rational gun debate in the country, in favor of absurd plans to arm teachers in schools, make sure that as many civilians as possible are armed, and eliminate meaningful restrictions on who can carry a concealed weapon.

At least some of the people who were killed at the Washington Navy Yard were armed.

Capisce, NRA? Your plan didn't work.  And when the armed 'good guys' went down, the 'bad guy' had another arm, which he used to shoot more 'good guys'.

I mean, it's country-simple, isn't it? There hasn't been a case of a good guy taking out an armed bad guy in this country for 30 years, and in that case, it was an off-duty cop. You knew that, of course.  Or you should have.  It took me all of five seconds to find that story.  But it's amazing how many people took your words as gospel.  How many schools are considering arming kindergarten teachers.  How many states are rethinking their concealed carry permit laws.   

Another 13 people - including the shooter's - have families in mourning today because of your misguided advice.

And do you even show any remorse, let alone shame?  Do you even know the meaning of the word?

And Congress, where are you? Right, right, on vacation, probably.  But this happened in the shadow of the Capitol, gentlemen.  If you'd been in residence, you would have heard the sirens.  You might have heard the screams. They were people working for the Armed Services of the United States who lost their lives here.  Are you anxious? Angry? Moved to do something to change the status quo?

Don't look at the gentleman from the NRA, Congress, I am asking YOU the question. 

It's long past time to do something more than drop the flag by a few inches.  It's time for meaningful gun control. 

And I expect you to do something about it.  Now. You're in charge, even if the NRA says it won't pay for your reelection campaign next time. 



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