The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Robin L. Quillon

January 16, 2011

Tucson tragedy triggers beefed-up assault on gun ownership

— The attempted assassination of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, slaying of six others and wounding of several more at a Tucson political rally was a horrific tragedy. I hope and pray for the victims and their families.

However, several politicians are taking a page right out of the Obama administration playbook and not letting a “good tragedy” go to waste.

It didn’t take long for the antigun buzzards to start circling and squawking for tighter gun controls on law-abiding citizens.

* Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and  Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) are pursuing parallel efforts to bar high-capacity magazines, those holding more than 10 rounds.

* Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said he would offer a bill to outlaw carrying firearms within 1,000 feet of U.S. lawmakers and federal judges.

* Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) called for federal regulations on concealed-weapons permits.

* New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced their support for strengthening national gun-control laws.  

You would think it was harvest time, with all the haymaking going on.

Let’s please keep this unfortunate event in proper perspective by remembering this: Crazy people will find ways, without regard to the laws of the land.

Why?

It’s simple – they’re nuts!

Crazy people should not own guns.

Deranged people intent on harming others will achieve their violent acts one way or another.

This Tucson lunatic could have detonated a bomb or careened his vehicle into the crowd, killing many, many more.

Who knows why people do what they choose to do?

What’s important is that he is locked up. And, hopefully, very soon he will be meeting his maker – right after the executioner pushes the plunger. Then his earthly punishment will be over and his eternal punishment will be just beginning. 

Imagine having to account for taking the lives of six innocent people.

Calling for tighter gun controls on law-abiding citizens, in light of this senseless attack, is nothing more than emotions running high and political blathering.

It also provides a platform for obscure politicians to step into the limelight.

I suggest they get to work on more pressing matters facing our country, such as 9.7 percent unemployment and a stagnant economy.

Tighter gun controls never result in fewer acts of gun violence. Just ask the states of California, Maryland and New York.

In those “surrender states,” the only ones benefiting from stricter guns laws are the thugs and thieves.

Trying to lower the crime rate by applying stricter gun controls on law-abiding citizens is like closing all McDonald’s in hopes of lower obesity rates among Americans. Fat people will find another place to eat.

Why?

Because they like to eat and don’t care what the “food Nazis” think.

Sociologists will blame a political party, the media, certain personalities or economic disadvantages for manipulating crazy people into doing insane things.

That line of thinking is the same as believing late comedian Flip Wilson, who, after doing something wrong, would say: “The devil made me do it!”

Folks, wouldn’t it be easy to blame the devil for all of the wrong that happens in our society?

* I was speeding … the devil made me do it.

* I cheated on my wife … the devil made me do it.

* I stole money from a poor, elderly person … the devil made me do it.

Maybe “Old Scratch” deserves it, but he sure gets blamed for a lot of stuff.

Since when did individual responsibility and accountability stop mattering?

This tragedy was the result of one deranged person. We may never know why it happened.

Let’s not compound the problem by politicizing this tragedy.

Robin L. Quillon is the publisher of The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at rquillon@tribdem.com.

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