Friday, June 27, 2008

Stop or I'll shoot

Related to yesterday's post, a man walked into a popular YMCA in Montclair NJ & shot a woman to death in front of her daughter while they were watching a swimming class. Then he got into a car & drove away. Horrified, traumatized children in dripping bathing suits, & their parents, ran screaming from the Y. Reading the brief report last night my first thought was an ex-husband did it, & indeed a few hours later the police announced him as the prime suspect.

Today one commentator on the webpage used the tragedy to advocate that we weaken gun laws & all arm ourselves. Sure there are situations, like the mass murders at Virginia Tech, when one wishes someone had a gun handy. & the nerve to use it. & a line of sight to the target, which means exposing oneself. & is a good shot. Because you have to have all four of those conditions. Or there might be a dozen panicked, fumbling confused people shooting up the place in self-defense. Maybe shooting up a YMCA filled with children when the killer is already out of the building.

At O.K. Corral, the Earps supposedly said to the Clantons, "Throw up your hands. We have come to disarm you." The Clantons didn't throw up their hands, & we know only approximately what occurred then; every movie version depicts it differently. Crazed mass murderers do not throw up their hands. Enraged ex-husbands do not throw up their hands. Five Crips with semi-automatic weapons come to jack a Lexus at a stoplight or invade a suburban home will not throw up their hands. They wouldn't do it even for the police. By the time one has to shout "Stop or I'll shoot," the choice is with the person issuing the command.

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