It's not about the gun - it's about the gun owner

In yesterday's Pierre Capital Journal, it was reported that Governor Rounds had some comments to a group about how South Dakotans need to retain their pro-gun attitude in the face of a madman shooting up a campus:
Gov. Mike Rounds said that despite tragedies like the recent shooting at Virginia Tech, South Dakotans will continue to recognize the importance of gun rights.

and...

He said his heart goes out to all the victims, but added after the speech that people in this state understand that it was not the gun that was responsible for the incident.

"In this particular case I'm sure that there will be some individuals that will use this and say we should do something about the second amendment," he said. "I think in South Dakota people understand that the gun is not the issue here. In this case, it's the individual that perpetrated the crime."
Read it all here. It's not on-line yet, but in today's Capital Journal, the associated press is reporting that Governor Rounds has also asked state employees to wear maroon and orange today in honor of the Virginia Tech shooting.

Comments

Anonymous said…
The guy had a documented mental health issue through the courts. That should be something that would put up a red flag in the federal screening to buy a gun. If it is not then it should be added. Someone retained for mental evaluation should not be allowed to get a gun until they can prove with some substantial evidence and time that they are not a risk.

Getting all heavy handed about gun laws won't solve anything but keeping them out of the hand of someone mentally unstable would.
Anonymous said…
Then someone needs to explain this to Rosie O'Donnel (sp) and the rest of those who don't understand.
I also think someone and a big group needs to let them know they do not speak for the American people!
All the anti-gun people will do is put the guns in the hands of those who anti-social and crimminals.
I DO NOT watch the show "The View" but she has got to go!
Anonymous said…
If a law abiding citizen would have been carrying a concealed weapon this tragedy might have ended after the first round.

This is another example when the wolf has the gun, the sheep will be harmed.
DakotaDemocrat said…
If you want to chip away at abortion rights in pieces: 24-hour cooling off period, permission, reading of all sorts of babble...

...why don't the pro-life people want to do the same about guns?
scimitar said…
Part of the solution to gun violence and also homeland security - which would have been the entire solution in this matter - is to prohibit non-citizens from having guns.

This shooter was here legally with a green card, but he was not a US citizen. Why would we want millions of non-citizens having gun rights? Congress should get on this.

By the way, I agree with Rounds on this. It is the shooter, not the gun.
Anonymous said…
dakotademocrat,

I'm pro-life and I'd love to see gun proliferation scaled back as much as I'd like to see abortion scaled back.
lexrex said…
well said, gov. rounds.
Anonymous said…
It is about the gun user AND about the guns whose only real utility is killing people.

This is typical Rounds - we'll let the problem fester but we'll wear school colors. Rah.
lexrex said…
9:31 said, "It is about the gun user AND about the guns whose only real utility is killing people."

any gun may be used to kill people. i would add, though, that it's also about guns whose utility is to stop others from killing people:

pearl, mississippi high school, 1997. a kid kills 2, injures 7 others before a vice-principal stops him. how did he stop him? with a colt .45, which he unfortunately had to run a 1/4 mile to get — and a 1/4 mile back — from his car that was parked just outside the government-mandated gun-free zone around the school. (the law, in this case, harmed the law-abiding and aided the killer.)

the funny thing is that in about 90% of the news stories on that shooting spree, you will read nothing about what that vice-principal did, even though he was a hero.
Anonymous said…
Yeah, yeah lexrex, saw your MS story elsewhere.

But, I think at the end of the day, more killing machines out there means more killing.

Most gun deaths happen too quickly to be stopped by someone else with a gun. Further, about 2 in 3 gun deaths are suicieds. Are there other ways to commit suicide? Yeah. But typically gun suicide attempts end as gun suicides. Not so much with other methods of suicide.
scimitar said…
So LEXREX, do you believe we should arm foreigners here in the US?

Arm foreigners just in case they need to protect us against Americans?
lexrex said…
scimitar, my beligerent friend, i haven't given it much thought, but i'm open to persuasion about whether non-citizens should be allowed to purchase firearms. you make a good initial argument, i must say.
Anonymous said…
The number 1 response from a state governor to an extreme tragedy such as VPI should be the expression of sorrow and wishes for recovery to the victims and their families. That's it. Say nothing more.

This idiot exploits it as an opportunity to shill for the NRA. This is totally classless and tasteless, no matter where you stand on gun ownership issues. This is no time to whore for the NRA, Mikey.
lexrex said…
10:42, you have a valid point, though i think alleging that he is classless by calling him names is hardly the best strategy.

and "vpi"? nobody calls it that anymore, do they?
Anonymous said…
soul brother lex,

you do if you're from virginia, despite the branding campaign to the contrary. calling mikey names might work if they'd crack through the thick shell of his creepy ego.
lexrex said…
dude, i lived in virginia for several years. have friends who attended there. nobody but old-schoolers call it vpi

good luck with that name-calling campaign. let me know if it works.
Charley House said…
Here's an interesting note -

http://house.typepad.com/house/2007/04/more_guns_more_.html

Hmm, it appears more guns DO equal more death. Evidently it is about the gun.
Charley House said…
I screwed up that link. Let's try again:

http://house.typepad.com/house/2007/04/more_guns_more_.html

CH
Charley House said…
Oh, sorry for junking this up. Just click on my name. The note and link are the top item at house blog.

Thanks,

CH
nonnie said…
Guns sole purpose is not to kill people. Then you could say the same thing about knives or swords or even cars and motorcycles or alcohol or cigarettes. Gun owners on the whole do not go about killing people, and everyone here knows that. Allowing only criminals to have guns, which would be the case if private ownership of guns ever comes about, would result in many more deaths and injuries than we have now.

Should we ban alcohol because some idiots drink and get behind the wheel and kill innocent people? That was tried once and didn't work, remember? Should we outlaw cigarettes because they cause death, even second hand death? You know that will never fly.

Guns, knives, cars, motorcycles, alcohol, cigarettes are all items that can be used or misused; i.e. it's the person and how he/she uses such items that results in destruction, not the items themselves.

I agree that someone with a mental health history should not be able to simply walk in and buy a gun. But with all the HIPPA laws and right to privacy etc etc, how is that going to be accomplished? If a person's mental illness is able to be accessed via computer, can you imagine the stink that the ACLU would raise about protecting the rights of the mentally ill?
Anonymous said…
8:39 AM - there is an explicit provision in the Constitution guaranteeing a right to bear arms. It is far more clear cut than the right to an abortion.
Anonymous said…
1:06 As slavery showed us, the Consitution (and the Supreme Court) doesn't always get it right.

While 8:36's goal appears mean-spirited, his point is well taken: Reasonably, "pro-life" should mean anti-gun, anti-abortion, anti-death penalty, anti-war, etc.
Anonymous said…
1:17 and 8:36: Pro-life does not make one anti-gun. Anti-using guns to kill people maybe. False analogies only show that you are not a very critical thinker. Should a pro-life person also be anti-ax and anti-knife? We certainly aren't anti-medical procedure, but using a medical procedure to kill someone? i.e. abortion? Darn right.

Before you bring it up, let's just cover it now. Death penalty? They chose to do something for which they knew the possible effect would be death. Unlike an innocent child.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous 1:51, if critical thinking was important to liberals, they would become conservatives.
Anonymous said…
So 1:51, explain away the fact that states with higher rates of household firearm ownership have significantly higher rates of suicide by children, women and men.

In fact, it is true that an anti-gun position is a pro-life position.

Nice try though, with the high school logic lesson. You get an "A" for effort.
Anonymous said…
Is there really anyone any seriously willing to debate this statement:

Guns were invented to help us kill.

?
Anonymous said…
"creepy ego", nice one up there dude (sarcasm). Liberals need to learn (or please don't learn actually) that in order to persuade people, you DON'T try to offend them. Any Rounds supporter is going to be completely turned off (see ignore) your post based on your last words. What good does this do you? Is charisma off-limits for Dems? I think Kneip was the last Dem in this state that really had it (so I've heard).
Anonymous said…
Now, as far as gun control goes, I am a Republican Rounds supporter, a major hunter of pheasants, ducks, geese and deer, but I don't understand the current situation around guns. First, I know people like to shoot hand-guns on the range, but what else is the point for them. Considering I probably wouldn't try to stop hand-gun ownership, why do hand-guns need 10 or 19 rounds per clip. Are there truly important things that are resolved because of this (besides helping criminals like Cho). Hunters are limited to 3 or 5 shells in their gun(except for snow geese). Sometimes it would be nice to have 1 or 2 more in the field, but I realize that it is something I can live with. Is it such a hardship to reload a clip at the range that hand-gun owners MUST have 10 or 19 rounds at once?

I think a lot less people would have died if the VT killer was limited to 5 rounds per clip (or less if people would actually consider it). Why not make a change?
Ralph said…
8:58 - Gun owners need large clips because sometimes they just need to make sure their assailant is really, really dead.

Seriously, Nonnie has made the best point here. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is most likely what allowed Cho to get the guns he used. Anytime anyone is treated for mental illness, it should be logged as a red flag in a national database to block gun sales to that individual. The reason wouldn't be disclosed to the gun seller, so the would-be mentally ill purchaser's precious privacy would be protected. And if the individual has been cured, there should be no problem getting a doctor's blessing on the gun purchase.

What would Charlton Heston say?
Anonymous said…
Poster 9:31a

Sorry, but you seem to be off the wall. Guns are not "just" (as you put it) for killing people.

There is hunting for game to feed the family and those who can't feed themselves...people donate game meat from hunts.

There is defending the rights and safety of American Citizens.

Do i need to go on? I don't really think so.

Would you like to try again?

Let's face it, the guy should have been kicked out of school and sent back to his homeland. It seems obvious that he was in need of family support and medical care.

Did I speak wrong, someone correct me if I am wrong but he was not an American citizens right? But his family does live in America right?
Anonymous said…
nonnie wrote:
"Should we ban alcohol because some idiots drink and get behind the wheel and kill innocent people? That was tried once and didn't work, remember?"

We're doing the same thing with a substantially less harmful substance, marijuana. And the results are about the same: it's not working.

So should we legalize marijuana too, nonnie? And if not, why?
Anonymous said…
The difference between abortion and guns is that abortion is always bad, guns are usually good. As some one said earlier, all it would have taken was one honest citizen with a gun at that school and the tragedy would be mostly avoided. And what took so long for the cops to get there? This nut re-loaded 4 times and shot most victims multiple times. Didn't someone have a cell phone and called 911 ASAP? Of course, on these PC campuses, maybe cops and "security " guards can't carry guns?
Anonymous said…
10:57 - In my 9:31 comment I was referring not to all guns but only to "the guns whose only real utility is killing people." I was excluding guns designed for hunting.

And I see no one here can explain away the fact that states with higher rates of household firearm ownership have significantly higher rates of suicide by children, women and men.

More guns = more death. It's a fact.
Anonymous said…
Again, why not start with smaller clips than 10 and 19? That sounds pretty easy to me. Could someone please tell me why this would be bad (and again, this coming from a Republican)?
Anonymous said…
11:18 ANON. If there were a way to regulate marijuana so it could be prescribed as a controlled substance and used solely as a medicine (like narcotics for example), I would actually see nothing wrong with legal marijuana in this case. Evidently the law as tried to be passed this last year was much looser.

You find a way to guarantee that marijuana would only be able to be used as a medicine with a proper presription and would not be available to any pot smoker who wanted to get high. If you can do that, it just might get legalized as a medicine.
Anonymous said…
2:58am: What do we need to explain away? First, I love it when people quote facts but can't seem to find the reference. Can you tell me where that number comes from? Let me guess: The Brady people.

Either way, even if your numbers are accurate, it doesn't change the argument. Obviously it is easier to kill people with guns. I accept that. It's also easier to kill people with medical science. Should we ban that too? Oh, medical science helps people you say?

Well, so do guns. If you want to look at a case example, look at DC. They banned handguns in 1973. Since then, the murder rate in DC has climbed at double the pace of the rest of the country. That's not the NRA's numbers. That's from the FBI's crime statistics. See, it's not that hard to cite a reference.

Again, it's all about choice. Someone committing suicide chooses to kill themself. It's sad every time, and I lost friends to that growing up, one to a shotgun and one to pills. Someone being shot to death by a criminal breaking into their home is not their choice. Had that person had the means to defend him/herself, maybe he/she could have chosen whether to take the life of a murderous criminal rather than dying.
Anonymous said…
7:19 The source is linked here: http://house.typepad.com/
Anonymous said…
Let's kick the logic up a notch and see how it plays, shall we?

Tsunamis don't kill people, God kills people.

Ok, maybe not.
Anonymous said…
I'm surprised there is not more discussion here about whether non-citizens should have the same right to buy semi-automatic weapons and bear arms as citizens do.
Anonymous said…
Again: DC handgun ban = more murders. Can anyone explain this phenomenon? I thought taking away guns would slow down murder? But in this case, it increased murder. Come on, you can do it!
Anonymous said…
This is the writer of the article in the Capital Journal.(Crystal Lindell) I'm sorry if it was not clear, but all the comments he made about Virginia Tech were after the speech. Although the speech included pro-gun segments, he did not tie any of it to Virginia Tech. His comments were a response to questions I asked after the speech. Sorry for the confusion.
scimitar said…
12:27, people on this blog don't want to think and debate. They just want to regurgitate their long-held beliefs, and maybe tie new facts to them to prove how correct those beliefs are.

A new idea? Well, "conservative" means there is no need for any new idea. Let's all good conservatives stay within the wagon ruts in our brains.
Anonymous said…
#2:58 - My take on the link cited is it didn’t give all the stats on the different methods of suicide that resulted in death.

The main comparison used was between drugs and guns.

The other methods of suicide that have high death results were conveniently omitted.
Anonymous said…
To me it seems when a debate gets going and someone speaks in logic the debate closes down and no one comes back to type!
I've seen it happen more than a few times.

I tend to feel non-citizens should NOT have as many rights as citizens.
Anonymous said…
Is Rounds an idiot?!? How thoughtless! This is not the time to preen and pander to the NRA. I'm a gun owner and avid hunter, but I've got kids in college and this is a monumental tragedy for our nation. It is interesting that within a couple hours of the shootings, the NRA had its Goon Squads working the spin. Their answer: Equip all college kids with pistols.

Sick, sick, sick! Not a dignified bone in their bodies ... and then there's the governor of South Dakota. Disgusting.
Anonymous said…
So, you finally figured it out. Republicans have a facist, gangster mindset. congratulations. Welcome to the REAL free world.
Anonymous said…
Get it right, those who are anti-gun. By removing guns will NOT do anything but PUT GUNs in the hands of those who are criminals!
You know the ones who do the deeds of ANTI-social behaviors.
We do not live in a country or world that is peaches and cream.
People can be ugly and cruel and they don't care who they hurt in the process.
Anonymous said…
Yeah, first let's make sure all diagnosed psychopaths have guns.

Then, let's make sure all those who are not yet so diagnosed have guns so they can shoot those who are when they act up.

It's enough to make someone go nuts just trying to follow your reasoning, 2:29.
Anonymous said…
The system failed us. Because the NRA and the conservatives are so paranoid that someone may not be able to buy a gun on a minute's notice, some wack job foreigner from Korea (for kriste's sake!) waltzes nto a Virginia gunshop and buys a rapid fire 9mm Glock and a few spare megaclips, no questions asked. Thats f*c*ed.
Anonymous said…
2:29
If someone wants a gun they will get it "criminals and those who want to do harm".
No, someone with psych problems should not have guns. Though this can pop up at different times in people lives. The list can be longer for those who should not have guns.
What I was trying to point out is people should be allowed to have guns with exceptions those with documented histories, which can be a problem within itself legally.
This kid should have never been able to have or get a gun with his history and other factors (that I have read in the media).
When I was making the statement to those who are Anti-gun, it delt with the fact that criminals will always get the guns.
I believe in the right to carry and own firearms!
I hope this makes more sense. Wish i had the time to go into it deeper.
Anonymous said…
poster 4:08 here again.
post4:08 is in response to poster 3:34 on post 2:29.

sorry had my times mixed up.
Anonymous said…
3:57 I think you may be wrong.
I am a conservative and I think the waiting period is needed.
It is a shame but it is a fact of life. So do NOT lump sum people together, please.
Anonymous said…
4:15 I'm sorry. Good thinking. I salute you.
Anonymous said…
I think part of the problem is that some people don’t seem to realize that there is a difference between rural and urban areas. Most of the people posting here live in South Dakota, and therefore are in rural areas. Yes, that even means the folks from Sioux Falls…this is not Urban America. A large portion of those sounding off from the Anti-Gun lobby are from actual urban areas like Chicago, Washington DC, and Los Angeles. Even the more anti-gun comments in this thread are things like “crazy people shouldn’t have guns” and “why do you need a pistol with a 19 round clip”, not “Let’s take away everyone’s guns.” There is a difference in mindsets, experiences, and environments that we (thank God) don’t have to deal with here.

The laws should be different because the environments are different. We don’t have the population to really understand the danger to innocent bystanders, the increased likelihood of people going on shooting sprees, or the increased dangers of having a million untrained vigilantes walking around packing heat. On the flipside, they don’t understand the basics of living in a rural area. I live on four acres outside of town. If I see a skunk poking around, I can’t just call animal control to have them deal with it. I also can’t let my kids play outside until I deal with it in case it’s rabid. So like a responsible parent, I have at least one gun and ammunition to deal with these problems.

We have seen groups like the NRA on one side and a variety of anti-gun groups on the other take extreme positions without a willingness to compromise at all. Both sides are full of it. We need to have sensible gun legislation, not the all or nothing that seems to be preached by both sides.
Anonymous said…
4:15 here again.
9:04 makes good points.
I will confess that I live in SD now, but I was born in Illinois and moved here in my twenties.
I have visited and stayed in very large cities in America and I lived in a Texas big city for a few years. Please rest assured that SD has not been like most states and i believe that it is on its way. Have to speak the truth. Though I do feel SD has had its share of gun problems we have not had the same amount as other states for various reasons... population, control, etc. and the fact that SD is known as rural and a hunting state.
With many other factors it seems to me over that last few years that people do not care for others and/or property as they have in the past. I am not talking about the 50's, and 60's here. Remember when there was the "me generation" as it was called? I think many social problems still are emerging due to this factor. Maybe I am wrong, but i do believe that it plays a roll in some of the behaviors and thinking patterns of some of todays people. Plus we do have some of the 60's people to contend with...was the saying "free love" and the other "make love not war" i don't remember. And, NO, I am not lumping people of the generations (eg: time frame) into one group.
I have held conversations with people in their early 20's and some of them felt that people can and should be able to do as they want no matter what if they are willing to pay the price if they get caught. Now please read that again and i hope that you are sitting down! I just about fell over and yes the conversation included some very interesting topics. I stated that i really had a hard time with what they thought was okay. Some of it was very anti-social behavior that I would think most of us would have gotten a good kick in the back-side for besides being grounded for a long time or being kicked out of the family! By the way these young adults were from everyday families, working class people, middle town...corn belt, public educated, America.
Sorry if this is a little off topic of gun rights were included in the conversation. Some were very good and some i think my mouth fell open and my jaw hit the ground! NO KIDDING!
Anonymous said…
9;29 that is crossing the line!
PP said…
9:29, care to identify yourself? (that comment is gone BTW)

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