Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, July 28, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 14



 Mountain Views News Saturday July 28, 2012 

HOWARD Hays As I See It


It is truly saddening to see how the mainstream media turns every 
tragedy into a talking point for the left’s political world view and in 
support of their desire to exert more and more control over our lives. 
So it’s not surprising that the alleged shooter, whose name will not be 
mentioned lest he derive some satisfaction from the publicity, hadn’t 
even made his first court appearance before a media talking head 
told us that A) he was a member of the Tea Party, and B) stricter 
gun control laws would have prevented this. We all know now that 
the press was wrong on the first part, but the press is still spinning 
the second part, so let’s consider some real world facts about gun 

Gun control advocates point to the fact that Colorado is a concealed-carry state so therefore, 
in their view, had guns been banned, this tragedy would have been prevented. I wish there 
were more sophistication to their argument, but there’s not. But the facts in this case, as 
in so many others, clearly support the opposite conclusion. More guns in a society usually 
means there will be less crime.

Yes, Colorado is a concealed-carry state, meaning that citizens can carry a gun and may 
actually conceal it. This doesn’t mean, however, that all locations in the state allow guns. 
Private homeowners and private business owners are allowed to dictate what happens on 
their property. In the case of the Aurora theatre, where the killings occurred, the theatre 
company has a strict “gun-free zone” policy. No weapons are allowed in the theatre. As a 
result, law abiding citizens checked their guns before entering the theatre, but clearly the 
shooter did not. Thus, the gun-free zone became a target rich environment for the gunmen, 
and a little slice of hell for those who gave up their weapons.

It is not a coincidence that the shooter chose such a location to perpetrate this evil. Most 
killers are pretty practical and realistic about their choice of location. We may want to 
argue that there’s something “wrong” with a person that wants to commit mass murder, but 
that’s different than saying the person is not rationale. Being evil, immoral or angry is not 
the same as being irrational. This gunmen, like so many others, was in fact very rational. 
He wore bullet proof armor and chose a location where his victims were unarmed. Even if 
he desired to martyr himself, he clearly wanted to live as long as possible in order to kill as 
many as possible. The fact that the shooter didn’t go unprotected into a gun club to do his 
killing is proof of the deterrent affect of gun ownership.

The Aurora shooter chose the place where victims couldn’t fight back, where their right to 
protect themselves had been compromised. Had anyone else in that theatre been allowed 
to take their gun into the theatre, this tragedy would have been largely avoided. If there 
is blood on anyone’s hands, it’s not the Tea Party, but it is on those people who insist that 
victims be unarmed.

Consider some other examples of how gun possession has actually helped protect innocent 
lives. In April of this year, another shooter went into a church, in Aurora Colorado of all 
things, and shot the mother of one of the pastors. But that’s all the killing he was able to 
do. A congregant, who was carrying his gun, killed this shooter before more innocent lives 
were taken. In late 1997, a lone shooter went to a Pearl Mississippi high school and started 
indiscriminantly shooting. Two people died, but more would have died had the assistant 
principal not retrieved his gun from his car and shot the shooter. A similar situation 
occurred at a law school in Virginia where two law students used their weapons to stop a 
shooter on their campus.

Unfortunately, we also have plenty of examples on the other side. Virginia Tech was a “gun-
free” zone. Ironically, a Virginia Tech student, who had a permit to carry a weapon, was 
disciplined in 2006 for having his gun on campus and violating this rule. Less than a year 
later, thanks to the diligent enforcement of this gun-free zone policy, nobody was able to 
shoot back when a crazed gunman shot 32 people to death on that campus. 

These are only a few of the examples evidencing what a mountain of studies have proven 
conclusively: gun control laws not only fail to control guns, but they also increase the rate 
of violent crimes. For those who really want to dig into the data, I highly recommend John 
Lott’s book, “More Guns, Less Crime”. Professor Lott painstakingly lays out the wealth of 
data which clearly shows that when potential victims are allowed to arm themselves (the 
criminals already have arms), violent crime rates go down. The greater the number of 
potential victims who are potential gun owners, the lower will be the number of victims. 
All things considered, most criminals want to live long lives, or at least long enough to kill 
more people. They choose their sites carefully where the odds of them being challenged 
and stopped are low. 

If we really want to stop tragedies like Aurora or Columbine from happening again, we need 
to disabuse ourselves of the folly of believing that it’s possible to create a gun free zone. In 
fact, it would be more honest to simply call them victim zones. As study, after study, after 
study has shown, the safest place to be is actually the place where more good guys have guns 
than bad guys have guns. 

About the author: Gregory J. Welborn is a freelance writer and has spoken to several civic and 
religious organizations on cultural and moral issues. He lives in the Los Angeles area with 
his wife and 3 children and is active in the community. He can be reached at gregwelborn@

“We offer our sympathies, we mourn, we shrug our shoulders – and that’s 
it. We don’t do anything. We don’t hold our elected leaders accountable for 
the decisions they make that allow someone to walk in and buy a military 
weapon and put a hundred rounds in it . . . and blast it off in a movie theater 
. . . Something is going to change . . . when the American people get outraged, 
because it’s not going to come from elected leaders who are in the pockets of 
the NRA – it’s going to come from a lot of pissed-off Americans.”

- Colin Goddard, survivor (shot four times) of the Virginia Tech massacre

“This is really not a time to be talking about the politics associated with what 
happened in Aurora.” - Mitt Romney 


 Maybe Mitt’s right. After all, here in my normal spot in the pages of the MVN last week, 
Susan already addressed the subject, with a moving account of the death of her father at the 
hands of a deranged individual who managed to have a gun. She listed other mass shootings 
of the past few months which, for whatever reason, failed to garner the headlines of the 
“Dark Knight Rises” incident.

 (She left out the more mundane statistics of an average 230 people being wounded, 
with 87 dying, from gun violence in our country – the equivalent of seven Aurora Cinema 
massacres – every day.)

 I could respond to Greg Welborn’s mentioning Romney’s management of the 2002 
Olympics in Salt Lake City in his column last week, by reminding that Romney approached 
that task like his buddies on Wall Street approach theirs – by relying on government bailouts 
($410 million from the federal government for those Olympics).

 I can’t let the opportunity go by, though, without commenting on a fact I was most struck 
by: that the entire arsenal acquired by James Holmes – two Glock 40 cal. pistols, shotgun, 
body armor, 6,000 rounds of ammo, AR-15 assault rifle modified with 100-round clip – was 
acquired legally. This was thanks to the lobbying organization working to block any attempt 
to inconvenience psychos, gang-bangers, would-be terrorists and street thugs seeking lethal 
firepower - the National Rifle Association.

 The NRA is not an organization for gun owners, but for the arms industry – those who see 
the Aurora massacre not as a tragedy, but as an opportunity to stoke fears that can spike gun 
sales. MidwayUSA, Barrett Firearms Manufacturing and Brownells, Inc. are among major 
manufacturers of military-style assault weapons and/or high-capacity magazines that have 
executives on the NRA board – raising a quarter-billion dollars a year to buy Congress and 
state legislatures.

 One such high-capacity magazine used by Holmes at the Aurora Cinema jammed, 
preventing the carnage from becoming even greater. That magazine, along with the AR-
15, was outlawed under the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, which was allowed to expire in 
2004 under an NRA-controlled Republican Congress. Those who’d defend an employer’s 
control over a woman’s reproductive choices, and restrict whom an individual can marry, 
will characterize availability of 100-round magazines as a “basic freedom”, as did Sen. Ron 
Johnson (R-WI) on Fox News.

 In a Salon article, Alan Berlow, who describes the NRA as “the nation’s de facto lobby 
for street criminals, criminal gun dealers and an industry that reaps a sizable percentage of 
its income from criminal gun use”, quotes a Pittsburgh police detective as saying the group 
“takes every chance it gets to stymie even reasonable efforts to combat gun violence.” 

 In 2003, the NRA pushed through legislation banning the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco 
and Firearms from requiring dealers to conduct periodic inventories to detect lost or stolen 
firearms. It also required that records of Brady background checks be destroyed within 
24 hours – despite the FBI warning Congress that such a requirement would allow 97% of 
criminal gun buyers to get away with it.

 In the wake of the Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) shooting, NYC Mayor Michael 
Bloomberg sent undercover agents out to gun stores, and found 25% of the dealers had no 
problem selling weapons to someone saying flat-out they were an illegal straw purchaser 
who couldn’t pass a background check on their own. At gun shows, they were able to buy 
from 94% of licensed dealers. Thanks to the NRA.

 Being on the FBI’s Terrorist Watch List can prevent you from boarding a plane, but not 
from purchasing an assault rifle. Legislation to grant the U.S. Attorney General “authority 
to stop the sale of guns or explosives to terrorists” was killed by the NRA. The NRA fought 
against closing the “gun show loophole”, allowing buyers to arm themselves without a 
background check. The NRA fought to overturn local ordinances requiring the reporting 
of lost or stolen firearms. The NRA fought efforts to encourage the sharing of criminal and 
mental health records among government agencies to make it harder for crooks and crazies 
to get guns.

 All the above measures, according to Republican pollster Frank Luntz, enjoy clear majority 
support among NRA members. But the NRA has other concerns – like working to make it 
easier for felons to have their gun rights restored.

 The L.A. Times ran an article about the reluctance to name the Aurora, Colorado shooter 
– so as not to give him publicity. As I see it, it’s time we name names and give publicity to 
those in Washington and Sacramento whoring out their offices to the NRA.

 Despite the outrage from “a lot of pissed-off Americans”, Colorado State Sen. John Morse 
(D) warns we’re up against those who’d defend the availability of AR-15s and high-capacity 
magazines by rationalizing periodic massacres as some kind of trade-off; “The NRA has 
managed to convince the country that this has to happen to protect our Second Amendment 
rights . . . As long as we let people buy these guns, we will bury our children.”