This is in response to the March 22 Bloomberg News editorial “Fla. teen’s death shows peril of lax gun laws.” I could not help but see an anti-gun bias. The writer makes it abundantly clear that only law enforcement and military should be entrusted with firearms.
The shooting that spurred the editorial is tragic. However, I will not speculate on the facts and circumstances of the shooting as the writer did, as the investigation is far from concluded and the facts still not publicly known. I will say that on first glance it does not look legally promising for the shooter.
This piece rants on how Castle Doctrine and self-defense laws make America more dangerous. I beg to differ, as I have held a concealed carry (CCW) permit and carried a concealed, loaded firearm daily when stateside for more than six years. Some in my family and most of my friends also have CCW permits and carry concealed loaded firearms daily. I have never drawn my firearm and have never used lethal force outside of my military duties. It is merely there in case I need to lawfully defend myself or another against violent attack. Neither have my family members or friends; the same is true for hundreds of thousands of citizens who lawfully carry concealed firearms. This is because we are lawful, balanced citizens.
The Constitution of the United States, which I am sworn to uphold and defend from all enemies, foreign and domestic, safeguards the right to keep and bear arms. Webster’s Dictionary defines bear as, “to move while holding up and supporting.” Hence, we have an inherent right to carry firearms.
As usual, the media seem to blame laws and firearms for violence. They miss the point of personal responsibility completely.
Staff Sgt. Mike Lewis
Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan
Shootings like Fla. case rare
The March 22 Bloomberg News editorial “Fla. teen’s death shows peril of lax gun laws” was a little over the top, even in the opinion section. The editorial was poorly written and offered nothing to support the flawed logic.
The author’s attitude toward gun ownership was displayed most prominently in the last sentence: “Guns ever at the ready will be used, with tragic results.” The question to ask is: Tragic for whom? If you are going to use an example of things that rarely happen, I guess you could say that the innocent always suffer. As unfortunate as it is, that is still the exception with gun ownership and not the rule.
People who own guns do sometimes make mistakes, I would like to submit a quote from John R. Lott Jr.’s book “More Guns Less Crime” (Third Edition, 2011), Page 2: “In another case a Japanese student was shot on his way to a Halloween party in Louisiana in 1992. It made international headlines and showed how defensive gun use can go tragically wrong. However, this incident was a rare event: In the entire United States during a year, only about 30 people are accidentally killed by private citizens who mistakenly believe the victim to be an intruder. By comparison, police accidentally kill as many as 330 innocent individuals annually.”
Where is the outrage over that? Where do you hear about those innocent lives being taken? Do we hear people clamoring for law enforcement officer’s guns to be taken away? Do we hear people clamoring for guns to be restricted so that doesn’t happen in the future? No, the newspapers are silent on the matter.
This country has gotten off track in taking responsibility and placing responsibility in the proper places. It is not Florida’s gun laws that caused the death of a 17-year-old boy. It was a man who killed him. The man pulled the trigger; the gun did not go out there and confront the 17-year-old as he was walking by the man’s house.
It would be good to know how many people in Florida own guns, how many people have permits to carry concealed and how many times this kind of thing happens in a year. I would be willing to say that these kinds of deaths make up a very small percentage of deaths in Florida.
People get worked up about it because they hear about it in the news and don’t stop to think of how many people own guns and how infrequently things like this happen.
Sgt. Elijah Hansen