By Alan Sorensen
A little boy shot a little girl to death at school Tuesday morning. They were both 6.
Within three hours of receiving the first wire story of the incident, The Daily News received its first protest from a gun owner. It came from the Gun Owners of America which claims to have 200,000 members. As if the first e-mail weren't enough, they sent us a second on Thursday.
(It did not come from the National Rifle Association, a group whose praises Chuck Nottingham sang on these pages last week. I enjoyed the article and agree that the NRA does a lot of good with its education programs and stuff. I don't hunt, but I am pro hunter.)
Here's what John Velleco of the Gun Owners of America (gun fetishists of America) had to say about the tragic incident in the first e-mail we got:
Gun Control Laws Fail Again
Today's tragic killing of a youngster by another youngster underscores the ineffectiveness of gun control laws.
Rather than ask about the gun, we should be asking what got into a child to want to kill another child?
The President and the others in the civilian disarmament lobby have taken this opportunity to call for more gun control on top of the already failed gun control laws on the books.
The President's call for trigger lock legislation would be more accurately called a Lock-Up-Your-Safety law. The main beneficiaries of trigger locks on guns will not be children or homeowners, but home invaders.
Guns and children actually go well together, and they have over the years of our country's history.
Had President Clinton's Home Invader Protection Act been on the books in the past, the following people would have been dead because a child would not have been able to get a gun:
Dennis Smith, 12 years old, in Compton, CA killed an armed robber in his mother's convenience store in March, 1999.
Tracy Templeton's 15-year-old son shot and killed a man in Elko, NV in 1997 who had been beating his mom and screaming that he was going to kill her.
Jarrod Barnes, 13, of Tulsa OK, saved his life and that of his three brothers (all home alone in 1994) when a man broke into their home and chased him into a bedroom where he got a pistol and killed the attacker.
In 1985 a Bethel, OK mother's life was saved by her six-year-old son who used a rifle to kill the man trying to kill his mom.
The question for President Clinton, Sarah Brady of Handgun Control,
Inc. and others is do you want to tell the parents of these
children that their kids should not have had access to a gun?
Is it true, as Clinton said this week, that 13 kids are shot to death each day in the United States? Now Velleco comes along and shows us how easy it is to make our children into killers. What do you suppose his little heroes dream about at night for the rest of their lives?
Here's Velleco's second message of the week:
Clinton Lies Again
President Clinton today, speaking from the White House, said "That child would be alive today if that gun had had a child trigger lock on it."
"That is a lie," said Larry Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners
of America. "The President would have us believe that a trigger lock would have been used in a crack house full of dope and stolen guns. This is the lie the President and those who advocate civilian disarmament want to put over on the country. In the real world, criminals do not obey laws not even gun laws.
"The problem in America is not how to keep guns out of the wrong hands. Guns will get into the wrong hands no matter what laws are passed. England licensed and registered gun owners, then confiscated their guns. Now gun crimes are rising in England. Why? Because English criminals have an estimated 3,000,000 guns at their disposal. And their victims have none.
"Americans should reject the call for unilateral civilian disarmament. It will be as deadly here as it has been every place else it has been imposed," said Pratt.
Did Pratt hear something I didn't? What have gun locks to do with unilateral civilian disarmament?
I watch the news. Something I've noticed over the years is that in almost every case, mass murderers weren't criminals until they took their arsenals onto the streets and conducted their deadly rampages.
Should we trust Pratt and Velleco with their arsenals? I'd say their comments this week are some of the best arguments to swing people in favor of tougher gun laws.
Velleco can be reached (for further information) at (703) 321-8585.