As our main man Zimmerman reported previously, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is organizing/coordinating a nationwide series of candlelight vigils for victims of gun violence. Strangely, the media kit bit is password protected. But we do have access to the sample prayers and stories page. Make the jump for Sample Prayer 2. Apparently, love is more powerful than any gun. Meanwhile and anyway, I’d like to point out that none of the four sample stories present a de facto case for gun control . . .
Kenzo was visiting a friend’s house. His friend decided to show him his father’s gun. Thinking he had unloaded it, his friend walked into the room and pulled the trigger. The bullet, still hidden in the chamber, killed Kenzo. Kenzo was shot. Our lives stopped. Unintentional shootings could be prevented with simple changes in gun design. But guns are exempt from federal consumer product safety regulations.
Some guns have built-in safeties that prevent the shooter from firing the weapon without a magazine. But a mag safety can render a gun ineffective for defensive use (e.g. if the magazine falls out during contact). The free market has spoken on this point; remembering that there are trade-offs with any safety system.
Equally, constitutionally protected gun owners don’t want the Nanny State designing firearms by fiat. Consider the dreaded “Massachusetts trigger” and the limited selection of firearms available for sale in the Bay State. Firearms are, generally, safe. There is no statistically valid case for allowing the government to modify their design.
Besides, a mag safety is no guarantee against a negligent discharge. While we’re at it, one wonders (Tim McNabb style) if young Kenzo would still be alive if both sets of parents had taught their children gun safety—a proposal which never gets air time in the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence’s campaign to prevent gun violence.
Laura Ligon Wilcox
Laura was killed in a rampage shooting at her place of work in Nevada County. A severely mentally ill gunman shot Laura four times at close range, killing her instantly.
Laura’s killer, Scott Thorpe, was diagnosed with acute paranoid psychosis. His health care providers failed to intervene when it was clear that the legal gun owner was a danger to himself and others. Thorpe’s sister specifically warned his doctors that her brother owned guns and would use them “if pressed.” The Brady blurb also fails to mention that Laura’s place of work was the Nevada County Behavioral Health Department.
In short, Laura’s killing was a failure of the mental health care system, not gun laws. (As Wilcox’s parents pointed out last Sunday at sacbe.com). If Thorpe had been committed—as he should have been—he would not have been able to buy or keep firearms. He would not have been able to attack anyone with any weapon.
Dante Boone and Travante James
Every day we read in the papers about another young person killed with guns in Richmond, like my two cousins Travante James and Dante Boone. In the meantime, the gun manufacturing industry is thriving.
The Brady Campaign doesn’t provide any back story for the gun violence victims. sfgate.com reports that Dante Boone was killed in a drive-by shooting. richmondconfidential.org reports that Travante Jones was shot 15 times in the chest at 4am in the so-called “Iron triangle.” Do I really need to point out that gun control has no appreciable effect on illegal gun use amongst the criminal class (whether or not either man was involved in the trade)?
The fact that the gun industry is thriving is a good thing, not a bad thing. It proves that there’s a market amongst law abiding citizens for a tool with which they can defend themselves against hardened criminals. Amongst other things.
Memorial Day, 2005, my beautiful wife of 25 years, Jan, and I were returning a boat we had used to my best friend, Steve Mazin. As we were speaking with Steve in his front yard, a man with a history of violence and, with, whom Steve had a longstanding feud, appeared suddenly, walked straight up to us, pulled a 9mm hand gun from behind his back, and shot all three of us multiple times. Jan and Steve died instantly, and I was left for dead.
Incredibly, Steve had recently been granted a restraining order against the killer, knowing he was capable of doing exactly what he did! The following day, the killer took the life of another young woman, stole a car, and then killed himself as authorities were closing in on him. When authorities searched the monster, they found him armed with a .357 Magnum and a .45 to go along with the 9mm.
Click here to read the back story from a more objective point-of-view.
The question almost asks itself: why did killer and former Air Force Captain Toby Whelchel—a man with a “history of violence” and the subject of a restraining order—continue to legally possess legally purchased firearms? Dunno. But I’d be willing to bet that Welchel’s weapons could have been confiscated under existing laws. Sounds like a failure of the criminal justice system.
Or not. Sometimes shit happens. Which raises an equally Brady-agenda antagonistic point: why didn’t Steve Mazel, Jan Heyne and/or Tim Heyne purchase a firearm to protect themselves from Welchel? Without a gun, they didn’t have a prayer. Although Tim Heyne and the Brady Campaign vigilantes [sic] do now, and here it is . . .
Sample Prayer 2
(Contributed by Rev. Rachel R. Smith)
O God of all people,
We know that you are as near as our next breath,
wherever we go, you are already there.
Thank you for creating us in your image,
and claiming us as your children.
O Lord, we confess that we have forgotten who we are;
that each of us belongs to you.
We confess that we have forsaken your peaceable kingdom,
and allowed gun violence to shatter our communities.
Forgive us O God.
Remind us that your love is more powerful than any gun
and that your spirit will sustain us as nothing else can.
Let us desire, as you desire, forgiveness rather than revenge,
reconciliation rather than retribution.
Give us the courage to live not by the gun but by your spirit.
Open our hearts to you so that we also may open them to each other.
Guide us on the path of peace.
In the name of all who love you, we pray.