The arguments posed by gun rights advocates are on display in the February 11 letter written by Robert Ziaja ("A weapon is defined by intent"). Mr. Ziaja writes ". . . a gun is a firearm, unless used to assault another person, in which case it can then be called an assault weapon." Aside from killing animals, the only purpose of a firearm is to kill people; lots of people; quickly and easily and at a distance. All guns are assault weapons.
Mr. Ziaja continues: "The same applies to knives, hammers, bats, golf clubs, etc. Any of these items can be used for good or bad . . . " Let’s see . . . would I want someone entering a classroom with a golf club or a semi-automatic weapon? Can I get back to you on that?
Mr. Ziaja is also typical in blaming the madness of assaulting people ". . . on a person’s mental stability." So how would you classify George Zimmerman? Gun advocates think he’s a pretty righteous guy. He was emboldened by having carried a gun, and what would have been limited to an exchange of heated words, and posturing, and an eventual standing down (if a gun had not been present) turned instead into murder. States that allow concealed weapons experience an unusually higher number of similar incidents, where the presence of a gun allows arguments to reach deadly conclusions. No, this isn’t just about "mental stability." It’s about living in a gun culture.
I have a great idea.
Or so gun advocates would like us to believe. JEFFREY REEL