Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Strong Gun Laws Work (Or, Rather, Weak Ones Don't)

Last week, a man with a concealed carry permit from the state of Virginia shot himself, his mother, and her doctor in Johns Hopkins Hospital because he wasn't pleased with the treatment offered by the top hospital on the planet Earth. Because he thought his mother's care was not moving her towards health quickly enough, he killed her. And then tried to kill the doctor. And then he killed himself. Thankfully there was an incredibly talented, incredibly smart, and incredibly dedicated trauma surgeon just two floors down (who wants to remain anonymous -- let's call him EGG) who saved the doctor's life.

Again, the state of Virginia decided that this man ought to be allowed to carry a loaded firearm with him wherever he went.

For those who claim that the more guns we have, the safer we are, please note that Johns Hopkins Hospital is crawling at all times with visibly armed Baltimore City Police officers. Their presence is sizable and unmistakable. The killer had to know they were there. He had to have seen them. This shooting did not occur because (and it is unbelievable that I have to type this next phrase) there were not enough guns in the hospital. These shootings happened because of Virginia's lax gun laws.

A new report out from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group of over 500 mayors from across the country, traces the origins of guns used in crimes from every corner of the U.S. And guess what they found,

"states with the weakest gun laws are the top suppliers of the guns recovered in out-of-state crimes and are also the source of a greater proportion of likely trafficked guns."
Ten states provide the guns for almost half of the gun crimes across the country. Loosening restrictions does not make us safer, it makes ALL OF US less safe.

My suggestion, universal background checks with extended mandatory waiting periods of nine months and during that time, allow the person seeking the permit to have all the Viagra he can use -- after all, it serves the same purpose and is likely to harm many fewer people.