Yet another op-ed writer fantasizes gun control could prevent massacre

By Chad D. Baus

In the wake of Toledo Blade editorial board member Dan Simpson's tirade against the Constitution, and a recent Springfield (OH) News Sun editorial entitled "More guns not the answer to violence", yet another anti-gun writer has taken a stab at his dream list of gun control that he believe would stop incidents like last month's massacre on the "no guns" Virginia Tech campus.

In "Guns and Masculinity", Xenia Gazette Guest Columnist Jack LeMoult got it wrong when he opened with the following:

A gun is like a pair of elevator shoes. It confers artificial stature. Despite the strong silent image that men would like to project, the truth is that most men are emotionally frail aggregations of self-doubt and vulnerability. The possession of a gun is like a tonic, adding an exhilarating sense of power to a sagging ego.

Following the bloody massacre at Virginia Tech University, there were predictable calls for further restrictions on guns. It seems that Seung-Hui Cho, a student with a history of serious mental problems, just walked into a Virginia gun shop on Feb. 9 and picked up a Walther .22 caliber handgun which he had ordered online. On March 16, without submitting to any waiting period, Cho went into another gun shop and purchased a 9 mm semi-automatic Glock 19 and a box of 50 cartridges by showing some identification and undergoing an instant background check.

I don't even want to speculate on what types of insulting things Mr. LeMoult would say about the hundreds of thousands of women in this country who choose to exercise their right to bear arms for self-defense. But the truth, which he was either uninterested in or too lazy to find, is that Virginia did enforce a waiting period on Cho.

The reason Cho waited more than a month between purchasing his handguns is that Virginia enforces a one-gun-a-month law, something that was no doubt sold as a 'sensible' gun law that would prevent a psychopath like Cho from 'going postal'. It did no such thing.

LeMoult goes on to list a series of gun control laws he believes would prevent future such massacres:

    I would require written applications for licenses by all persons seeking to buy handguns. I would require a two-week waiting period. The purchasers would have to show compelling reasons for needing handguns, such as occupations as private detectives or security guards. They would have to recite their medical and psychiatric histories. They would have to list references. Gun licenses, like drivers licenses, should be subject to renewal every four years with the same background checks as the original licenses.

I've already shown how a waiting period failed to stop Cho. As for his desire for handgun licenses - LeMoult again reveals his ignorance. Licenses to buy a handgun have been required in cities like Chicago, Dayton, and Toledo (to name a few) for years, with no effect on criminals' ability to obtain handguns.

In reading his entire op-ed, it is clear that if anyone should have to "recite their medical and psychiatric histories" before being allowed a Constitutional right, it should be Jack LeMoult.

The Buckeye Firearms Association's Larry S. Moore submitted a letter to the Xenia Gazette editor in reponse to LeMoult's op-ed, and it was published on May 21.

May 21, 2007
Gun control Act of 1968 has failed

I don't believe I've ever agreed with Jack LeMoult. I've never disagreed with him more than the column, "Guns and Masculinity". He puts forth more of the same arguments that have been made time and again. "Blood will run in the streets" or "Dodge City all over again" is the rallying cry. It is always the gun control movement's answer. It is always wrong. It was heard in the 1980s when Florida first passed concealed carry. It was heard in every state that followed including Ohio in 2004. And in every instance it has been a lie.

Mr. LeMoult puts forth his version of the perfect society. None of which would have stopped Cho's murderous execution or, for that matter Columbine, Red Lake High School, the Oklahoma City bombing or any other nut-case in our society. Some possible considerations for thought:

Overwhelmingly, the multiple victim mass murders in the United States occur in places where guns are banned. So does banning more guns from more places make us safer or increase the number of possible targets? It seems those like Cho pick locations where they can most easily gain dominance with little risk to themselves.

Since the Gun Control Act of 1968 we have seen an explosion of gun control laws in the United States. With each atrocity, there were increased laws to make us feel safe. So are we safe? What makes us safe? Do signs on the doors proclaiming "no guns" make us safe? I wish that were true but it is not. Life has never been safe. It appears that increased gun bans in the last almost 40-years, have only made us less safe.

Ironically, 1968 was the year I graduated from Xenia High School. In those days, I could take a shotgun or .22 rifle to school in the trunk of my car for hunting or target shooting after school. I could present a hunting license and a note from my parents for an excused absence on the first day of hunting season. My parents felt school took priority over hunting and would not provide a note for me. School shootings were unheard of in 1968.

We are not the same society today as in 1968 for many reasons. Much is better and some is not. Mr. LeMoult, the United States has had a grand experiment with gun control since 1968. It is a failure and the VT shooting is only the latest incident to proclaim it a failure. It is time to try a different path. Try to imagine that.

Larry S. Moore

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