I am the honorable flamingo. What you read here might make you smile, make you think, or make you wonder. This is the world as I see it, from the view of a pink, long legged, slightly awkward bird.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Let The Gun Control Battle Begin

Of course it is really no surprise that less than a week after the tragedy at Virginia Tech, advocates from both sides of the gun control issue have stepped forward to exploit it. CNN.com published editorials from two typical sides of the debate, and this post will examine these pieces.

First, perhaps a little background is necessary. Tom Plate takes the pro-gun control side, and judging from the looks of his glasses, thats probably a good thing. On the other side, Ted Nugent will argue for more guns. Oh, and by the way, he is wearing camouflage in this picture, just in case you were having trouble seeing him. Alright, thats plenty of background, lets get to the writing.

Plate-"So let's just disregard all the hoopla about the race of the student responsible for the slayings. These students were not killed by a Korean, they were killed by a 9 mm handgun and a .22-caliber handgun."

I can't say I've heard much "hoopla" about race, and I agree that that is beside the point. However, to say that these students and professors were killed by handguns is ridiculous. If handguns are fully responsible here, then we can blame planes for September 11th, and marshmallows for those damned circus peanuts. What say you Mr. Nugent?

Nugent-"Yet, there are still the mindless puppets of the Brady Campaign and other anti-gun organizations insisting on continuing the gun-free zone insanity by which innocents are forced into unarmed helplessness."

I wish I had thought of calling everyone who disagrees with me a "mindless puppet", because it is so much better than actually trying to formulate a coherent point. Who are gun-control advocates puppets of, you ask? That's a good question, surely not the President, and I can guess not the vice president either. Is Mr. Nugent really advocating arming every college student with a firearm so that they aren't forced into "unarmed helplessness", you have to be kidding.

In reality, most Americans probably fall somewhere between these two extremes in the gun control debate. Not all of us go to sleep in camouflage pajamas dreaming of knocking off burglars with out sub-machine gun/guitar. On the other hand, most of us realize that it is not only impossible but unnecessary to pass laws to the point at which guns will be available only in museums.

So where are we now. A mentally ill young man walked into a building and gunned down innocent people with two semi-automatic handguns. I think that most people, like myself, support reasonable measures to control who can get their hands on weapons. The type of extreme reactions that occur after these incidents only serves to cheapen the actual debate.

My heart goes out to the victims at Virginia Tech, and I sincerely hope that they will be remembered for who they were: students and teachers, friends and families, sons and daughters, and not as some launchpad for a political firefight.

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