Friday, February 15, 2013

Oscar Pistorius - Another Gun Tragedy

With the news that paraolympic hero Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girl friend, I immediately wondered if the tragedy would have occurred with our current gun laws and those proposed.

My conclusion is a resounding yes.  Why?  Because no one would be looking at him as unfit to won a gun.  What makes him so very different than Chris Dorner?  No one was paying him much mind either because until the madness began no one was expecting it.

By all accounts Mr. Pistorius was a wonderful young man.  He had certainly overcome tremendous odds.  He liked guns.  He was a hunter.  He spent time at a local shooting range.  Just like so many others.

He had a temper too and neighbors talked of a domestic disturbance the night of the shooting.  How many people would fit his profile and how many of them own guns?  More than I can count on one hand.  The question is what made him so angry that he pumped four bullets through a bathroom door and into his lady?

He claims it was a tragic accident.  The police are charging him with murder.  Chris Dorner said he was  unjustly dismissed from the police department.  The police said it was justified.  Something inside was asunder, however, with both men.  Something acquaintances, even close ones, did not see.

Granted, Mr. Pistorius was in South Africa and Mr. Dorner here.  If nothing more it shows gun violence has no borders.  It also shows that registration and background checks may do no more good than searching every living soul passing through our airports.

The problem it seems is that a potential killer may be an everyman until an unknown stress point is passed.  How is that to be detected?  There is no way.  Had either man not had access to guns would their inner rage have manifested itself in some other way?  Probably.  Unless one is just plain evil, something triggers the rage beyond control.

I don't know that kind of anger and hope I never do.  I've know men who have abused their spouses yet had been nothing but warm and friendly with me.  Had I not known the spouse I'd have never known or even imagined.  Is it so much different with a shooter?

It's just confounding.  I don't know that universal carry permits are a grand idea.  It just puts weapons more readily in the hands of anyone likely to snap. Should I too have a weapon, would my reflexes be fast enough to protect myself against an unsuspected attack?  I doubt it. Even with training. And Mr. Pistorius didn't need but four bullets to do unmitigated damage to his friend, purposely or not.

After the rhetoric dies down, I don't expect much to happen in the way of meaningful new legislation.  Congress may legislate something, but it won't be meaningful because we don't know what that would be.

The guns are out there.  The people who own there are out there.  Those who have yet to snap are also out there.  It's no wonder I don't particularly like crowds and watch my back at the ATM when someone comes up behind me. It's not a comfortable way to live, but the circumstances causing it have long been in place.

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