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John Pawlak: Shooting my mouth off

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Gun control issue raising its explosive head

By John Pawlak

A recent news story heading read “Man in wheelchair shot to death by Phoenix police.”
Personally, I found it surprising that getting killed by the Phoenix police would merit the cost of printing ink.  
“Phoenix police investigated for being nice to visiting stranger” would have been a more news worthy item.
But still, one might wonder why the journalist chose to use those particular words.
After reading the story, I had to question that perhaps a better heading would have been “Police shoot and kill a man who while sitting in a wheelchair pulled a gun out from his waistband, refused to drop the gun after several warnings, pointed the gun at the police, and was then shot and killed by officers acting in self-defense preventing innocent bystanders from being shot by a lunatic.”
I suppose that would have taken up too much ink. The original shorter, albeit misleading heading, was clearly more professional.
The issue of gun control is again raising its explosive head on the political scene (ah, an election year must be coming up!)  What better way to gather votes than to exercise the political good sense to stand up in front of a crowd of 30-30 lovin’ tobacco spittin’ rednecks and equate gun control to “using both hands?”  
 Yet another intellectual gem shared by Gov.  Rick Perry, Master of Deep Thoughts of the 13th century.
Or to draw gun sight targets over the faces of political adversaries, as did left-brain Palin on her kill ‘em all, let God sort them out website.  (Okay, I realize that’s a very inaccurate statement. Palin is more the no-brain type.)
Some people blame guns for the murder rate.  
Others make the argument that guns don’t kill people, but rather that people kill people.  
Actually, they’re both wrong.  
Usually, it’s something like a 180 grain .308 Winchester hunk of lead traveling at 2,600 feet per second that kills people.
People who want all firearms banned, throw out statistics of there being more than 20,000 gun laws on the books in the country. People who oppose gun control argue back that there are in fact only 300 or 400 gun laws on the books.  
Why even argue numbers? I mean, how many gun laws does it take to say that you’re not supposed to buy a gun and use it to murder someone?  
How many gun laws do we need to say that it’s not a good idea to sell guns to hockey-mask wearing chainsaw wielding psychopaths?
Gun control. All this talk and all those laws and there’s not really much one can do to control a gun.  
The real trick is controlling the finger of the guy holding the gun.
I think it’s wrong to sell guns to a drooling flesh eating zombie who recently escaped a mental institution.
I think it’s wrong to prevent citizens from purchasing firearms for target practice, hunting and self defense.
I think it’s wrong to run for political office and make jokes about gun control meaning “hitting who you’re shooting at.”  
I think it’s wrong to brand law abiding gun owners as criminals.
 Am I for or against gun control? To tell the truth, I’m not sure what the question even means.
To me, the whole issue has been muddled to such a degree of insanity that the only profit one can make from discussing guns is to get elected and then do nothing to address any of the problems.
It is true that tens of thousands of people die each year in this country from guns.  
It’s also true that the constructors of the constitution viewed the right to own firearms as absolutely necessary to secure civil liberties.
But what does truth have to do with the politics of gun control?
I’ll close with a great quote by Jeff Snyder — “Don’t think of it as ‘gun control,’ think of it as ‘victim disarmament.’ If we make enough laws, we can all be criminals.”
I have no idea what that means, but it seems to hit the target, don’t you think?
 
John Pawlak
Los Alamos columnist