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Writing for on the recent school shooting in Chardon Ohio, Denis Hennigan is full of what’s commonly called common sense. Well, at the beginning. “The ‘Why?’ question is certainly important,” The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence Veep acknowledges. “If we are ever able to offer meaningful help to troubled kids, we must better understand the factors that cause teens to be so alienated and enraged that they would engage in violence.” Wait for it . . .

But the dominant focus on ‘Why?’ often obscures the nature of the problem posed by tragedies like Chardon.

Let’s face it. Chardon happened not because an Ohio teenager was so troubled that he became violent. Chardon happened because a troubled, violent Ohio teenager was able to get access to a gun.

Remove the gun from the equation and there may have been a violent incident involving T.J. Lane [above]. But it is doubtful that three young people would have died and two been seriously injured. The nature and scope of the Chardon tragedy was determined by the nature and lethality of the weapon. It’s not just a question of “Why?” It’s also a question of “How?”

It’s interesting that gun control advocates have moved away from the usual “this wouldn’t have happened if the shooter hadn’t had access to guns” response to spree killings to “it wouldn’t have been so bad.”

It’s a pretty pathetic argument that completely ignores the possibility, the desirability of potential victims fighting back. But it seems logical. Until you consider all the ingenious ways ways that people kill people. Lots of people. And then ignore that possibility. Or indeed, the reality of non-firearms murder. In that regard, Hennigan sees no evil . . .

Take the gun from Seung-Hui Cho and 32 Virginia Tech students would not have died almost five years ago. Nor would 15 more have been injured. Take the guns from Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris and 13 students and teachers would not have died at Columbine High School, nor would 21 others have been injured. Give these violent individuals baseball bats or knives instead of guns and everything changes. The problem is not just the people. The problem is also the guns.

Hennigan forgets one key fact about Columbine. Here’s the missing puzzle piece from

At Columbine, the pair met near Harris’s car and armed two 20 pound (9 kg) propane bombs before entering the cafeteria a few minutes before the A lunch shift began, and placed the duffel bags carrying the bombs inside. Each bomb was set to explode at approximately 11:17 a.m.

In fact, the Columbine killers constructed 99 Improvised Explosive Devices. More to the point—given that school killings are incredibly rare events—most gun-related violence is gang-related. Many of these shooting “victims” may be “young people” but they are also members of a criminal enterprise.

Equally, the people pulling the trigger on the vast majority of U.S. murders don’t obtain their weapons by “finding” legal guns in their parent’s underwear drawer. To suggest that controlling legal access to firearms would reduce overall levels of gun violence is beyond naive. It’s dangerous for both law abiding citizens and society.

Denis doesn’t see it that way. He doesn’t see it all. Nor does he want anyone else to see the truth about guns and America’s gun violence.

We are repeatedly told, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” Clever, but tragically misleading. A gun enabled T.J. Lane to be an efficient and effective multiple killer.

We lost three young people in Chardon. But we lose eight young people every day to gunfire. The problem is the guns.

Who’s misleading whom? That said, the problem could well be the guns. Not enough of them where they’re needed.

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  1. The rampage began at around 5:00am local time Friday at his family’s condo. He woke up his mother, Svetlana, to demand the keys to the family’s 2004 Lexus, police sources said.

    His stepfather, Alexsandr Kuznetsov, 54, refused to hand them over and the two screamed at each other. Gelman’s mother told cops he appeared high.

    After shouting for two minutes, Gelman allegedly pulled a kitchen knife and stabbed his stepfather, a private ambulette driver, sources said. He then took off in his mother’s Lexus.

    Later in the day, Gelman turned up at the home of his ex-girlfriend, Yelena Bulchenko, 20. He allegedly stormed inside and hacked her mother, Anna, 56, to death, sources said.

    Bulchenko arrived home at around 4:20pm local time, called 911 and ran outside to wait for police. Expecting help to arrive, she was instead ambushed by Gelman, who allegedly burst from an alley and attacked her with a knife.

    He then jumped back into the Lexus and tried to make his getaway, but his path was blocked by a double-parked Pontiac Bonneville driven by Arthur DiCrescento, 60.

    Gelman then allegedly ditched his Lexus and carjacked DiCrescento, stabbing him three times in the chest and throwing him to the pavement.

    “He had to cut Arty first. Because Arty is 300 pounds, he couldn’t have just dragged him out of the car,” said Barbara Parry, a neighbor of the victim, who suffered non-life-threatening wounds.

    After the carjacking, Gelman struck down an elderly man, sources said. The victim, identified as Steve Tanebaum, 60, was rushed to Kings County Hospital, where he was in grave condition.
    Mr. Gelman killed more people in “gun-free” New York City than this teenager did in Ohio without firing a shot or handling one magazine or cartridge.

    The only thing gun laws change is the means of senseless violence. As prisons across the world demonstrate, so long as someone wants to hurt someone he or she will find a way to do so with whatever is handy, including bare hands if necessary.

    • Violence is a fact of life. There are violent people in this world, and there always will be violent people as long as people are still alive. The means in which they act on this violence may change if firearms are banned, but there are plenty of other more than capable tools for violence out there. Many of them can be much more dangerous than a firearm. As Mr Farago and ST have demonstrated other weapons can be used rather effectively. Thank God the Colombine kids didn’t have the proper training to make a working IED. That tragedy could have been much worse without them even firing a single shot if they had.
      I wish the Brady Bunch would just be honest about their true agenda and motives and stop piggy-backing on tragedy. It disgusts me that these “people” are part of the same species as me.

  2. I stopped after “” If I want to hear idiots prattle on about things they’re mentally ill-equipped to handle and morally unable to comprehend, I’ll go watch CSPAN.

    • I bet you read the whole thing.

      Anyway, I remembering seeing on a documentary about Columbine that if those bombs had gone off the entire cafeteria would have been vaporized and it had hundreds of kids in it.

  3. Actually, a friend of mine who lives in Cincy and I discussed the Chardon event . While better gun storage might help in some cases, the real truth is that kids can get guns easier than drugs on the black market in big cities.

  4. Denis gives a pass to the perps. This is the new strategy. Forget laws we already have , they just want to go for the big dumpster on it’s way to the smelter.

  5. Another perspective:

    Columbine and all those other school shootings that involved the killing of multiple students back then had something in common and interesting to consider:

    All of the young men (boys) were on some form of a Ritalin-type drug. Based on what I have read, in about 5-10% of the cases, users (young males) of Ritalin type drugs have an inverse reaction also known more innocently as a ‘side effect’. In other words, 5-10% of the users become even more agitated and aggressive than before. I’m not saying the drug usage was the primary or even a secondary cause since I don’t know. What I do know is that in modern society up is down and good is bad.

  6. “We lost three young people in Chardon. But we lose eight young people every day to gunfire.”

    I like how they always resort to the collectivist view when discussing such matters. “We lost…”, “Our streets…”.

    The communist ideology shines through no matter what.

  7. I wonder how many people would have died if Timothy McVeigh had used a handgun instead of a Ryder truck filled with fertilizer and oil? Probably a lot less than 168.

  8. There is a video on YouTube of a hispanic California teen pulling a hand gun on another teen who is skateboarding.

    I do not think his parents let him have a gun to stuff in his pants. I doubt his parents could or did own firearms.

    From what I have seen growing up in a state that bans the right to arms is that even a 12 year old can get a gun off the street. A TEC-9, Hi-Point, even an AK. Glocks are pretty popular too, but that isn’t really the best gun to stuff in your pants.

    I have seen kids bring guns, knives and drugs to school. I know for a fact that their parents didn’t give them that stuff nor did they own anything like that. When the police came to do random searches with their K9s they didn’t find any of it. That is because kids are not completely stupid.

    When I was in high school I knew kids who were shot and killed. There was a lot of shootings at or near Carl’s Junior. That is why I never went with them to any fast food places as there tends to be shootings there. For instance when I was walking home from school some kids I knew asked if I wanted to stop by Carl’s Jr. to eat and I declined, because my house was miles away. By the time I got home, grabbed some food and turned on the TV; the news was reporting a shooting that killed a teen at Carl’s. It was no surprise to me that it was the kid that asked me earlier.

    What I am saying is that you cannot remove guns from American society. There are people in Japan (an island by the way) who have guns and no they are not police! It is 2012 the gun is not going anywhere. Even a guy in prison can get or manufacture a gun. America has to change their culture. Move away from the violence (war) seeking society of today to a society that can have arms in every responsible household and will not use them for anything other than defense.

    Humans are weak. We will lose to most (if not all) of the predators in this world. Only thing that keeps us thriving is are ability to use our brains to create tools. It is that brain of yours that decides what to do with them. So do not be dishonest and blame the object. Blame the subject.

  9. Huffington Post can only focus on their slant and demonize one thing at a time. Taking two facts and constructing a logical argument is not within their powers. Anything that has to do with personal responsibility or logic will likely not surface at the HuffPo.

  10. I like how the gun made him “an efficient and effective multiple killer”. Must be one of those super guns that possess your body as soon as you touch them. Even smelling them causes extreme violence.

    I have an excellent knee jerk reaction idea! How about we get rid of all schools. No more school shootings! Its a win-win!

  11. I’m actually pleasantly surprised at the number of dissenting comments on the HuffPo page.

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