Limits on killing myself, but none on killing others: Aurora shooting thoughts 2

Despite supposed limits on gun buying by psych patients, James Holmes was able to buy more than a few guns and more than 6,000 rounds of ammo in a few months preceding his movie massacre. Not that he could buy a full auto weapon, but, as someone who has fired a lot of different machine guns, 6,000 rounds is a lot for a day of shooting. For instance, a Heckler & Koch MP5 has a cyclic rate of fire approaching 700 rounds per minute (although you have to take time switching magazines and worry about the barrel burning out if you were to fire that many rounds) so 6,000 rounds would give you almost 10 minutes of full auto spray and pray capability- if you could belt feed and cool the barrel- or, it’d be a really long day at the range.

I’m not suggesting that limits on ammo purchases are the answer, but, for comparison’s sake, my girlfriend has allergies that are best treated with the over-the-counter Zyrtec-D medicine. Thanks to the fact that people use them to make meth, the government has passed a law requiring her to use a photo ID, only buy 2 weeks’ worth at a time and pay a premium:

The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 has been incorporated into the Patriot Act signed by President Bush on March 9, 2006. The act bans over-the-counter sales of cold medicines that contain the ingredient pseudoephedrine, which is commonly used to make methamphetamine. The sale of cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine is limited to behind the counter. The amount of pseudoephedrine that an individual can purchase each month is limited and individuals are required to present photo identification to purchase products containing pseudoephedrine. In addition, stores are required to keep personal information about purchasers for at least two years.

via Information by Drug Class > Legal Requirements for the Sale and Purchase of Drug Products Containing Pseudoephedrine, Ephedrine, and Phenylpropanolamine.

So, we can buy guns and ammo to shoot a bunch of people easily, but, it’s a pain in the rear to get allergy medicine. And while the process for making meth is dangerous (and therefore profitable) and people on it do supremely stupid things, we don’t see near as many people getting dead by meth as we do by guns in this country.

Just last week, in Akron, a 66-year-old man shot his wife of 45 years in a hospital to put her out of her misery. It’s illegal to end your own life, but it’s legal to buy the means to kill a bunch of other people (simplified). The very first love of my life, Katie Jones, was diagnosed with MS at 28 and had to sneak around the laws to have an assisted suicide at 32 after being rendered totally bed-ridden and dependent on others.Dr. Death went to prison for helping people self-select their ending.

If it’s truly a free country, why do we worry so much about limiting drugs but not guns? Would drug dealers need guns if they were named Merck, Eli Lilly or Bayer?

I have fewer problems with you shooting up with heroin than with an AR-15. In fact, I consider it Darwin at work.

 

 

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4 Responses

  1. Roger August 8, 2012 / 11:56 am
    Darwin at work, yes. But sadly, they often reproduce before offing themselves….

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  2. david m August 9, 2012 / 12:21 pm
    David, your conclusion that we “can buy guns and ammo to shoot a bunch of people easily, but, it’s a pain in the rear to get allergy medicine” is flawed for a couple of reasons.

    When I purchased my firearm I had to go through a pretty exhaustive interview asking all kinds of personal questions followed by a background check.  During the background check the clerk calls into the national database and finds out of the government has any reason to deny you access to a firearm.  If you fail the background check, or disclose unfavorable information during the interview, you don’t get to buy the firearm.  The background check process added 30 minutes of Q&A and waiting to my purchase process.

    However, buying a gun is a different thing than buying ammo.  I can go to Walmart right now and buy ammo, no problem at all.    I can also go to Walmart right now and buy Tylenol, Advil, and a host of other OTC meds without hesitation, too.  So, ammo and most meds are easy to get.  Guns are not as easy.

    You focused on meds containing pseudoephedrine, and I get why you did: there are tight controls on the sale because it can be used to cook meth.  Still, in spite of it being BTC instead of OTC, I can get products containing pseudoephedrine easier than I can get a gun.  I just can’t get an extraordinary amount of it.

    The real question is whether the federal government, via the PATRIOT Act of all things, should be limiting the public’s access to pseudoephedrine at all.  Personally, I don’t think the federal government should be playing that role.  If state or local governments want to pass legislation that restricts access to these substances then the people who live there should decide and act on it.
     
    One final note.  The right to bears arms is a constitutionally protected right; the right to meds with pseudoephedrine is not.  The framers found the right to bear arms so important that they included it in the Bill of Rights as the second amendment, and put it immediately after the the first amendment giving us the right to speak and worship freely, assemble, and petition the government to redress grievances.  That is more than just mere coincidence.  If you stand by your position that times have changed and the federal government should now be allowed to infringe on citizen’s access to arms then you shouldn’t be surprised when that same federal government infringes on your right to obtain anything else.  

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  3. Dr. Funkenstein August 9, 2012 / 6:15 pm
    The drug war is not being fought correctly.  Al Qaeda killed 3,000 people on 9-11 so we killed the hell out of them.  Qudhafi had oil so we killed thousands there and had him lynched by rival tribes.  The heroin, coke and meth that flow from the Spanish speaking people to our south cause far more damage to our society.  Let’s wage a similar war on the people to our south until they stop waging their war of drug deaths on our country.  Let’s put a money value on how much damage their drugs have done to our people and get reparations from them.  Before you try and make the “we buy the drugs so it’s not their fault” argument remember making child porn because someone will buy it does not make it ok.

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  4. Hall August 9, 2012 / 8:06 pm
    You focused on meds containing pseudoephedrine, and I get why you did

    He also ignored the regulations in place regarding buying the gun, as you point out. Easy-to-buy ammo doesn’t do a bit of damn good without a gun to use it in !! 

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