Originally created 08/09/99

Urges expansion of gun ownership

More and more buildings have signs on them forbidding concealed firearms. If every workplace is a gun-free zone, it will be a safer place, right? A would-be killer knows the people inside are not armed. If there is an armed guard, all the killer has to do, particularly if the guard is familiar to him, is catch him off guard and kill him. Then the killer is free to shoot the inhabitants of the building like, as they used to say, "shooting fish in a barrel."

The direct cause of the recent shooting in Atlanta is this sick individual who chose to kill his family and those with whom he did business. But, as with most things in life, nothing is as simple as that. Many things have more than one cause. While the shootings were the result of an individual decision, the cause of the deaths in that building was the inability of the workers in the building to defend themselves.

The fact is, there will always be somebody who goes off the deep end into the destruct mode. ... To think that you will prevent any future incidents like this is to be in denial. You might as well try to prevent hurricanes from forming by passing a law prohibiting them.

What you can do, though, instead of whipping people into a frenzy of irrational fear of guns, is to convince them to start carrying them. If you feel threatened by the very presence of a gun, then you need to go to the firing range and get trained in its use. Then practice a while. You will see that there is nothing sinister about a gun. It does not have a mind of its own, it will not go off by itself, it will not do anything you don't want it to.

If more people had carried guns to work the day of this incident in Atlanta, it is likely that fewer people would have been killed, because the madman could have been killed in his tracks earlier, perhaps after the first office worker went down.

As with automobiles, knives, electricity and yes, hammers, guns can save lives as well as take lives. Go out and buy one, learn how to use it and keep it away from children.

Robert Roushar Jr., North Augusta


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