December 8, 2011

VaTech Shooting, Redux

Perusing over some of the coverage of today's incident at Virginia Tech, I came across the following comment on this page:
The argument that anyone who wants to kill will use a rock, stick or knife ignores the reality that none of those means can kill so many so quickly as an automatic weapon. If you want to find the source of this specious argument, follow the money. The sale of automatic weapons means big money. The bigger the money-motivated-argument, the harder it is to defeat with even the most rational of arguments.

Oh, my FSM, where to begin?

1. I haven't seen any evidence at all that this crime was committed by an automatic weapon. Granted, I haven't been able to read EVERY bit of news on the event. I am at work, after all, and should probably appear productive at the very least. But the point remains: As yet, I haven't seen any information about the type of firearm used. The author of this comment is speculating about the firearm used, and then using that speculation to advance her view.

2. Anyone that bothers to do a basic check of facts would learn that functional automatic weapons are already banned from civilian ownership (unless you bought one WAY back in the day and are "Grandfathered" in. People who do legally own fully automatic guns -- at least in the USA -- are generally firearms enthusiasts and avid shooters and aren't the type that would perpetrate this sort of violence.)

3. Even IF this was done with an "automatic" weapon, wouldn't that make the entire argument for strict gun control a toothless tiger? "If we enact laws to make it illegal to own a gun that is already illegal to own, then people won't have illegal guns -- like the one used here -- available to kill other people."

4. Eric Holder was unavailable for comment.

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