FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT
Virginia on My Mind
The right to bear arms needs to have a caveat or two.
by Rita Ayers
April 18, 2007
The education article that I intended to post today is relatively meaningless. I defer to our resident poet, Greg Asimakoupoulos, to provide us some words of comfort on the subject of the tragedy at Virginia Tech.
I would like to commend Fox News' Shepard Smith, who refused to jump on the bandwagon and cast accusations at the college administration without further information and time to determine what had actually happened. I also felt Virginia Governor Tim Kaine did a wonderful job defending Virginia Tech President, Dr. Charles Steger.
Finally, the only other thing I can say at this time is that I hope and pray no one uses this phrase during this news coverage, because it makes me absolutely crazy: Guns don't kill people; people kill people.
It is true that guns usually don't shoot someone without a human behind the trigger. My husband and I had a conversation about this, wherein he tried to defend that statement by saying, "Cars kill people, you can choke on your food, a tree limb can fall on your head - people die in all sorts of ways."
To that, I offered this. I choose to get in a car, knowing the risk, because the car is a convenience. I gain something from the use of the car. All modes of transportation, all of which have been known to be deadly, are not designed for that express purpose. Eating food, obviously, has a number of desirable outcomes which offset the risk of choking on it. At least while the tree limb is still attached, I am enjoying it and it is doing its part in nature.
A gun is designed to kill; nothing more and nothing less.
Some may say that hunters receive a benefit and they are necessary to keep the game populations from becoming out of control. To that I say - if hunting is a sport, let the animals have a fighting chance and let the hunters shoot with bows and arrows. An armed man hiding in a tree has such an advantage over an animal that it hardly seems sporting.
The Virginia Tech shooter, Cho Seung-Hui, broke no laws in acquiring the guns that he used for the shooting. The instant background check revealed he had no prior transgressions; he was allowed to walk out of the store with the gun instantly. That's ridiculous. If we cannot stop this craziness that is happening - and I know we cannot - we can at least cripple the attempts of those aspiring to such acts by strengthening gun laws throughout the land. I think a waiting period of at least a year is not out of the question. If you have valid reasons, you'll wait. If you don't have valid reasons, maybe the waiting period will help a cooler head prevail. Most of these shooters have used their rampages as a long-term solution to a temporary problem.
God bless the families of those lost Monday.
About the Author:
The brevity of this article is due, in part, to the fact that Rita Ayers has three children on three different college campuses in two states. Hours have been spent on the phone discussing safety issues. Mrs. Ayers also believes that the effects of anti-depressants should be studied very carefully, and users of these drugs should be monitored constantly.
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