Sitting Dems or Sitting Ducks?

Mad gunmen know Democratic politicians won't have guns.

Devoted newshounds may recall the incident last November in which a deranged man held hostage the occupants of one of Hillary Clinton's campaign offices in New Hampshire.  He threatened to blow them all up with a suicide vest.  The "dynamite" was actually road flares and nobody was hurt, but there were a few anxious moments among Hillary's campaign staff.

A lot more people are going to hear about this week's rather more serious event, this time in Arkansas.  Reports are sketchy, but at this point it appears that the Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman, Bill Gwatney, was shot at party HQ.  The attacker fled but was chased and gunned down by police; we have no reliable information on his identity or motives.

Two makes a pattern.  This isn't the first pattern, either.  Over the last decade or so, as formerly rare incidents of school shootings turned into a bloody trend, the pundits have been consumed with handwringing.  How could it happen?  Why aren't we protecting the children better?  Shouldn't someone have prevented it?

Only with last year's atrocities at Virginia Tech followed by a dreadful mall shooting in Omaha did public debate finally come to rest on the question of why there?  What is it about schools, malls, and other similar places that seem to attract suicidal mass murderers?

Criminals Prefer Unarmed Victims

The answer is as plain as it was previously ignored: in most places, schools and malls prohibit guns entirely, even to those otherwise legally licensed to carry them.  Therefore a murderer, who by definition is no stickler for the law, can open fire in confidence that his victims can't shoot back.

The students at VT, and the shoppers in Omaha, as well as countless others all across the nation, are victims of gun control.  The Supreme Court implicitly said as much in their recent ruling that individual American citizens have a personal right to possess firearms if they so choose, and that it is unconstitutional for governments to flatly outlaw them.

Looks like the demented among us are sane enough to have identified a new place to safely assault unarmed victims: their local Democratic Party HQ.  After all, while a Democratic politician might find it expedient to be photographed hunting, it's very difficult to imagine any ambitious Democrat carting a weapon around as a matter of course.

A desire to regulate private firearms out of existence has been the hallmark of the Party for many decades; Barack Obama is no exception.  When a madman wants to kill somebody and doesn't much care who - reports appear to indicate that the shooter didn't even know Mr. Gwatney - the choice of firing range fits.

It's hard to know fully how to react to this tragedy.  On the one hand, walking up to someone and shooting them - even a Democratic Party Chairman - is utterly wrong, and it's satisfying to hear that the shooter has already paid the appropriate price thanks to the prompt action of the local police.

On the other hand, however, there does seem to be an element of poetic justice in the possibility that Mr. Gwatney might have had a better outcome had he or his colleagues availed themselves of the Second Amendment rights his chosen political party so loathes.  Can we say contributory negligence?  At least we can honor him for staying true to his beliefs even at the ultimate personal cost, quite an uncommon virtue these days.

Now why do you suppose that this doesn't generally happen at, say, the headquarters of the Texas Republican Party?  Could it be that there's a reason that the Founding Fathers felt firearms worthy of mention in the Bill of Rights?

Here's hoping the Dems reconsider their stance, if only for the sake of their own skins.  Two makes a pattern; three a trend.

Read other articles by Hobbes or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments
A salient point, no doubt. But I worry that if the attacker was a Republican this will be another nail in McCain's coffin
August 14, 2008 9:03 AM
We will shortly know who the attacker is. If he was a Republican, libertarian, or member of a church, he will shortly be promoted as Karl Rove's adopted son.

If, OTOH, he was some welfare-collecting loser, or minor Dem footsoldier with a personal grudge against Gwatney... you'll never even hear his name, and the entire incident will be forgotten by next week. That's how you'll know.
August 14, 2008 11:07 AM
Looks like at least one school district has finally figured it out.

"North Texas school district will let teachers carry guns"

And get this:

"When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that's when all of these shootings started. Why would you put it out there that a group of people can't defend themselves? That's like saying 'sic 'em' to a dog," [school district superintendent] Thweatt said in Friday's online edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Not bad! Now, will the Dems get a clue?
August 15, 2008 10:19 AM

tells how this 85 year old lady gets out the 'ol equalizer and makes the burglar call 911 for her. Stop Violence Against Women! Empower Women! Give 'em guns!
August 19, 2008 7:21 PM
Well said! Amen, sister!
August 19, 2008 7:31 PM
Some people are catching on. A town in Texas says school teachers can carry guns.

The school board in this impoverished rural hamlet in north-central Texas has drawn national attention with its decision to let some teachers carry concealed weapons, a track no other school in the country has followed. The idea is to ward off a massacre along the lines of what happened at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999.

"Our people just don't want their children to be fish in a bowl," said David Thweatt, the superintendent and driving force behind the policy. "Country people are take-care-of-yourself people. They are not under the illusion that the police are there to protect them."

Even in Texas, with its long tradition of lenient gun laws and frontier justice, the idea of teachers taking guns to class has rattled some folks and sparked a fiery debate.

Gun-control advocates are wringing their hands, while pro-gun groups are gleeful. The leader of the giant teachers' union in Houston has expressed stunned outrage, while the conservative Republican governor, Rick Perry, has endorsed the idea.

In the center of the storm is Thweatt, a man who describes himself as "a contingency planner," who believes Americans should be less afraid of protecting themselves and who thinks that signs at schools saying "Gun-Free Zone" make them targets for armed attacks.

"That's like saying sic 'em to a dog," he said.
August 28, 2008 8:36 PM
Yet another murderer goes on a rampage:

Reuters doesn't get it - they stated that this is leading the anti-gun crowd to demand more controls, and did not mention that the pro gunners are using these incidents as reasons to make guns more available for when, not if, they're needed.
September 3, 2008 9:12 AM
The Chicago police have decided they're outgunned and are asking to be allowed to carry assault rifles.
November 26, 2008 10:45 AM
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