Popcorn, Road Rage, and Handguns

Haven't checked the status in the last little while, but Texas either has approved or is about to approve a law allowing students, faculty, and administrators to carry concealed weapons on campus.

I think that's a dangerously wrong idea. For example, Texans already are allowed to carry weapons in their vehicles. So how has that worked out?

ABILENE, Texas -- Chris North has been identified, officially for the first time, as the man who shot and killed Austin David on Feb. 9 during what the Abilene Police Department called a road rage incident.

A lifelong resident of Abilene, North, 44, was identified by attorney Sam Moore, who was hired by the family to represent North.

Moore told the media during a news conference in his office Wednesday that North fired his gun in self-defense. He said that David "had already pulled a gun and had threatened to kill him.

Forget insanity. Focus on hormones. I taught college for nearly 4 decades, and I can guarantee that college students will fight among themselves ... especially when they're drunk. Guns weren't permitted on our campus, so the fights I learned of almost always involved fisticuffs and nothing more. I wonder how many on-campus murders I'd have seen if students had been carrying guns? If both sides in a conflict had started shooting, multiple victims would have died.

Insanity? That's what's reflected in the laws encouraging citizens to carry guns. The men who support this kind of legislation (including men now serving in Congress) must see themselves as civilian incarnations of the fictional character Dirty Harry.

Instead they should imagine what it might be like to confront a real-life, non-fictional bad guy like, say, John Wesley Hardin. Hardin claimed to have killed 42 men. Might not have been that many, but it was a lot. And all of those men were carrying their own guns. Or, say, Clyde Barrow. He killed plenty of fully armed police officers before he himself was killed in an ambush by a numerous group of lawmen.

[Cross-posted from Scarabus. Illustrations included there.]

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    The best exmaple I ever heard (none / 0) (#1)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 12:55:29 PM EST
    and wish more people would get the message, came from former Detroit Police Chief Ike McKinnon.  He did a segment on the local news a few years ago and made the following points:

    1. Police officers constantly train on their firearms.

    2. Police officers constantly work in, and train for, dealing with stressful situations where split second decisions have to be made.

    3. Police officers, when discharging a weapon, still miss most of their shots.

    4. What makes anyone think that the average Joe or Jane, who has not been trained as a police officer has, will be able to accurately take down a gunman with their concealed weapon in a stressful situation?  Instead, how many other people would be injured or die because someone thinks they can play Robocop?

    Armed police... (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 01:04:07 PM EST
    are exactly the reason I firmly support 2nd amendment rights, despite being an anti-gun DFH myself.  Dictators & their mercenaries love unarmed peasants.

    That being said, guns have no place in an institution of learning, and that includes campus police.  I wouldn't in a million years attended a school that allowed or encouraged the carrying of firearms to class...and sure as hell wouldn't wanna teach at one.


    Yep (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 01:14:35 PM EST
    However, it doesn't matter about anyone's view of the police or their role. The reality is, trained professionals in this country still aren't 100% accurate when it comes to brandishing a weapon in a highly stressful situation - far from it.  I think it's something like 20-30% accuracy rate.  So, I don't see how having Joe "ordinary citizen" is going to make me feel safer out there.

    Of course, what these people also don't count on is if their precious darling is carrying a weapon, statistics show that there is a greater chance it will be used against them.


    Gun training... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 01:22:58 PM EST
    is available to all...just because it is required of police doesn't mean much, training can be ignored/forgotten, especially by cowboys.  

    The badge on the chest doesn't make me feel any better about the gun on the hip...in fact, its scarier because if they use it in an unjustified manner the law will cover for them, unlike civilians who are held responsible, draconianly so in some states.


    Well (none / 0) (#5)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 01:41:19 PM EST
    the fact that they require regular training leads me to believe that they are better prepared to wield a weapon than Bubba or Muffy.

    I'd rather roll the dice... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 01:54:46 PM EST
    with Bubba or Muffy...no badge to hide behind, no power to be tripping on.

    No accountability or training (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 02:06:30 PM EST
    But I just like that we started a conversation in this post.

    People take the time to write posts on this blog, I like to let them know that someone has read it!


    Accountability? (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 02:22:49 PM EST
    I think ya got that backwards pal...Plaxico was held uber-accountable for shooting himself in the leg for example...the cops who pumped Diallo with 41 shots???  Or Sean Bell's killer?  Or DJ Henry's killer?  

    If I had the time (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 02:32:47 PM EST
    I could find thousands more names of criminals who shot at (and hit and killed) police officers doing their jobs.

    We could play this game all night.


    We could play all day... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 02:54:03 PM EST
    and in the end the numbers are on my side...more civilians have been killed by police officers than police officers killed by civilians....thats just the facts ma'am.

    Show me - 2010 (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 03:14:23 PM EST
    Since we are so far off the topic anyways, show me how many civilians were killed by police officers in 2010 (just to make things easier).  You need to split it out by justifiable kills vs. rogue kills, because only rogue killings count.

    Here's the numbers of police killed in the line of duty for 2010 - a 37% increase over 2009 (yes, my stats include those killed in car accidents - from people not paying attention or doing what they are supposed to be doing).

    Here's the number for 2011 (33) - and it's only the beginning of March.


    No way... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 03:29:11 PM EST
    because rogue killings get whitewashed into justifiable killings as s.o.p....different rules different fools....where you been?

    As far as the law and "official records" are concerned Sean Bell wasn't murdered, DJ Henry wasn't murdered...and thats a buncha bullsh*t.


    So you think (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 03:32:00 PM EST
    Criminals never point weapons at officers, never fire guns, never try to run them off the road, never try to kill them?

    I love ya kdog, but I don't think you can show me the stats besides the anecdotal few you pulled out earlier.  :)


    Of course they do... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 03:48:21 PM EST
    just not equal to the number of people gunned down or run off the road by police.

    Found this in an article related to the murder by BART cop covered by TL last year, more than 350 people killed by police per year....charges rarely filed (obviously).


    Fair enough (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 03:59:45 PM EST
    But it is interesting the article also doesn't break it down into rogue vs. justifiable.

    Sorry - I have no sympathy for someone who decides to point a gun at a cop and fire and then ends up dead.  Then of course, there is the "suicide by cop" phenomenon too.


    Kdog, despite (none / 0) (#12)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 03:26:30 PM EST
    my stance on being firmly in support of all of all of the Bill of Rights (including the 2nd Amendment), and despite the fact that we have long guns (both shot guns and rifles) in the house, and we both know how to use them, I have to say- do you really think that, if the police or the government decide to take you out, you can stand up to them, no matter how heavily you are (legally) armed?  We have a friend who is NRA all the way, and thinks everyone should be armed in case the "government"  starts coming after individual citizens.  I did ask him "What are you going to do if 'the government' sends an up-armored Humvee against you?  Or, worse, what are you going to do against a Hellfire missile?"  He had no answer.  That said (and I hardly think that, bad as the government gets, they're going to send tanks and Humvees into the streets against us- although I could be wrong), I think that private citizens have the right to reasonable armament.  I do not think that it's a good idea, however, for the average bozo to be packing heat wherever the he!! he wants, and certainly not on college campuses.  Even in the heavily armed, "shoot-'em-up" days of the Old West, many towns did not allow citizens to carry arms in the town limits.  Even in infamous Tombstone.  

    Personally, I'm not worried about the cops (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 03:35:20 PM EST
    I'm more concerned that the guy in the restaurant sitting next to me, who may be good at shooting his gun in target practice, will try to take on someone who "looks shifty" in the restaurant and in the chaos and stress, whip out his gun and act like Rambo, killing other people.

    So am I (n/t) (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 04:33:37 PM EST
    Anybody can shoot at static targets (none / 0) (#22)
    by azureblue on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 03:26:34 PM EST
    Target shooting is one thing. Skeet shooting is something else. Shooting at an unpredictable moving target in a room full of people is something else entirely. Some gun owners also forget that bullets will go through a body part and hit whatever is on the other side.

    Yep (none / 0) (#23)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 02:08:01 PM EST
    Or could be taken off you by someone who had more firepower and is a better shot that you.

    Of course... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 03:37:53 PM EST
    the state has the individual outgunned, outmanned, out moneyed, outeverythinged...but its the difference between a fighting chance and no chance.

    I firmly believe we would be less than our current quasi-free if not for the 2nd amendment and gun ownership rights established by our founders...even if I decline to excercise it personally, guns give me the willys....if the sh*t hits the fan I'm running for the shelter of the Zorba clan's long guns:)


    It's not really (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 05:24:31 PM EST
    much of a "fighting chance," kdog, not if the government decides to take you out.  That's not why we have guns.  First of all, in his younger days, my husband was a hunter, and he brought guns into the marriage.  He taught me how to use them, too.  Secondly, where we live now, way in the boonies, the police response time is very, very long.  If we should have some kind of bad guys breaking into the house (slim chances up here, but we've had robberies and home invasions in this area before), I would have no hesitation abut shooting them.  They would have to actually be in the house (I certainly don't believe in shooting simple trespassers on our property), but I made up my mind long ago that I could shoot to kill if I had to, to protect my family or myself.  I wouldn't live way out here if I thought otherwise.

    Its on the fast track... (none / 0) (#21)
    by easilydistracted on Sun Mar 13, 2011 at 12:57:05 PM EST
    Austin Texas --
    A bill that would allow concealed handgun license holders to carry their weapons into college classrooms and buildings is set for a public hearing next week in the Texas House.
     The House bill has the backing of more than half of members in the GOP-leaning House and is set for a hearing Wednesady before the Homeland Security and Public Safety committee.
    But this bill is one of few that are apparently going through the state legislature.
    The Texas budget crisis appears to be holding down the number of new bills being introduced in the state legislature.
     Those who keep track of new bill filings say lawmakers are too busily focused on a budget shortfall that could reach $27 billion.