What Kind of People We Are
bobsheridan at earthlink.net
Wed Apr 18 08:09:57 PDT 2007
I'm willing to approach the matter of preventing massacres by loners
from a different approach, whether they use guns or bombs.
Here's the deal. The (dead) suspect in the VT case was sold a Glock
9 mm for $571 by a Roanoke gun dealer who appeared in a film clip on
TV last evening saying that the young man looked normal and that no
red flags appeared to the dealer. But the student's English
professor had become so alarmed over his writings that she called the
school counseling department, the police, and someone else, but that
they could not intervene because he hadn't threatened anyone in
particular, or specifically.
Suppose we had a federally supported uniform mandatory reporting law,
the way we do for professionals who deal with suspicions of child
sexual abuse, requiring the reporting of people who under no
circumstances, while upset, depressed, or deranged, should,
temporarily at least, be permitted to possess firearms (or bombs or
other WMD). Immediately a notice goes out to gun dealers.
Immediately the local gendarmes perform a home visit, request consent
to search, and interview the subject concerning suicidal ideation,
homicidal ideation, and mass-homicidal ideation. No self-respecting
farmer, guy who wants to defend his wife, the wife, and anyone else
who likes guns, has anything to fear, at least unless and until they
go nuts too, not that they ever could, of course.
On Apr 18, 2007, at 12:22 AM, Volokh, Eugene wrote:
> I don't know who exactly is evading the point here -- but I am
> having a hard time grasping Prof. Sheridan's point. He thinks it's OK
> for farmers to have guns, because they aren't committing
> massacres. Is
> that really going to be the law? "If you make a living farming,
> you may
> have a gun, but not otherwise"? "If you are going to college, you may
> not own a gun"? If someone can clarify this for me, I'd be much
> One could have a law banning possession of guns in college
> dorms, or on college property altogether. In fact, that is Virginia
> law. It didn't work in this instance.
> To return to what I see as the point, which I indeed don't want
> evaded: If people are allowed to have guns "as long as they keep them
> on the farm" or as long as they keep them off campus, or what have
> *mass murderers will not abide by this restriction*.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Robert Sheridan [mailto:bobsheridan at earthlink.net]
>> Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 11:41 PM
>> To: Volokh, Eugene
>> Cc: ConLaw Prof
>> Subject: Re: What Kind of People We Are
>> I give up on farmers having guns. So far as I know, the
>> people committing massacres aren't farmers. They're high
>> school and college boys and people taking anti-depressants
>> (supposedly). People want to protect themselves with guns?
>> Fine. Against whom? Known people who are threatening or
>> potential assailants? College dorm students want or need
>> guns? Since when?
>> I still say there's a lot of evading the point going on here.
>> On Apr 17, 2007, at 10:59 PM, Volokh, Eugene wrote:
>>> I don't get this. If farmers are allowed to have guns
>> "as long as
>>> they keep them on the farm," then the farmer who wants to
>> embark on a
>>> mass murder spree can just take the gun with him off the
>> farm and to
>>> his chosen scene of the crime. I say again: Prohibiting something
>>> doesn't mean stopping it, especially when the target of the
>>> prohibition is willing to violate prohibitions against murder.
>>> The only way to keep the farmer from taking the gun
>> with him to the
>>> scene of the crime is to prohibit guns altogether, confiscating the
>>> 200+ million weapons that are out there. And that would mean that
>>> and his family wouldn't be able to defend themselves, on
>> the farm or
>>> Robert Sheridan writes:
>>>> Well, Scott, I don't see too many farmers going on rampages in
>>>> colleges, high schools, post offices, or against
>> presidents and rock
>>>> stars, so you're off the hook there.
>>>> They can have all the anti- varmint weapons that they need, in my
>>>> view, as long as they keep them on the farm or out in the woods or
>>>> the range. Fair enough? Oh, yes, and a personal
>> protection firearm
>>>> for the wife and kids to keep around the farmhouse and over the
>>>> mantle, sorta like Daniel Boone
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