The Wild West or Dayton? Is shooting back the answer?

I have mixed feelings about guns. I believe in the right to own guns, but I don’t believe it’s a right that is automatic. I also don’t believe that anyone needs an M-16, or a howitzer or a nuclear weapon. That stops me from being a Libertarian, but when I read stories like this, I wonder if Arizona isn’t totally nuts (where you can pack heat in a bar- legally).

Eddie Stovall, who was grazed by a bullet that broke his front window four doors down, was fine according to his wife, Alice. She said her 71-year-old husband went to work Saturday.

“We’ve lived here 18 years, and things have changed in this neighborhood, but to witness something that violent … with the little kids right outside next door,” Alice Stovall said. “You could hear pop-pop-pop. It was constant. We slammed the door, and I was in the den, down low. … It could have been so much worse.”

According to police reports, at about 8:10 p.m. Friday, a man aimed an automatic rifle at people on the porch at 44 Fountain Ave.

Alphonso Hughes, 32, who said he was on the porch with his mother, grandmother and brother, drew his licensed handgun, and a gun battle began, with 20 to 30 shots fired, according to Lt. Johns. The suspect and two men who drove up with him then fled the scene.

via Police have suspect in shootout.

I’m going to reserve judgment on Alphoso Hughes actions, since I don’t know all the facts, but, shooting back does have a way of changing the outcome of shootings. Most of the time, my response to bullying is to be a pacifist and try to take the morally high ground, but when shot at, shooting back is justified and can make the difference between life and death.

But, here lies the catch. I’ve received at least a million dollars’ worth of training with weapons, warfare and the proper use of such. The average gun owner in America is lucky to have taken a basic safety course. Guns in the hands of untrained people scare me. Guns in the hands of convicted felons- which I can almost guarantee the suspect in this shooting will be, is inexcusable. I’m fully OK with instant frontier-style justice with any convicted violent felon caught with a weapon- shoot them there, on the spot, with their own weapon. At no time should any person convicted of a violent felony be permitted to bear arms ever again- without a judge’s permission and a damn good reason.

Should everybody who lives within earshot of this shooting own a gun? Absolutely not. Should people who have had military training, an honorable discharge, or taken a proper weapons training course- it wouldn’t be a bad idea. Is this a radical idea? Was the idea of a “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” a bad idea- absolutely not- although times have changed. (full disclosure, yes, I own a gun, yes it stays locked- separate from the ammunition)

If it takes, as part of an effort to retake our neighborhoods, an organization of well trained people, organized in an orderly way, to shoot back, so be it. However, any organization should be working in conjunction with the police department, and should be assisted and trained by professionals.

Is it time to march with rifles on the town square? It may just be. Unfortunately, one of the first people I would have liked to turn to as a leader and trainer, recently was a victim of the very violence that makes me think about these things.

I am at heart a peaceful man, however, when it comes to the matters of protecting the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of my community- I’ll be the last one to recommend bringing a knife to a gun fight. I’d prefer we put away all of the guns and play chess to settle our differences.

I expect a lot of comments on this post. Please try to be respectful of each other.

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18 Responses

  1. truddick August 30, 2009 / 5:22 pm
    David, you and I are on the same page. Weapons for legal purposes–including self-defense, hunting, target sports, or collecting–ought to be limited and should not include anti-personnel weapons; otherwise we wind up with our worthy police officers out-gunned by the dope runners.

    And if we’re going to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from obtaining firearms, then we are going to have to regulate their sale and ownership similarly to the way we currently limit and regulate automobile ownership. Nothing’s perfect and criminals will still get guns–but something would be better than the nothing we currently have.

    Maybe a system of graduated training and firearms certification–complete a full police firearms course and you get to own a Glock, while those who finish only a basic course are limited to small-caliber rifles.

    We might recall the murder of grocery owner Robert Covault and his employer Robert Harris on Wayne Avenue a couple of years ago; Robert Bragg, a fully trained airman, was armed with his 9 mm handgun and was able to detain one suspect–but was not able to prevent the killings. From accounts, if Covault had been armed he’d have still be taken by surprise.

    Holding a firearm is not perfect protection either, statistics show that you are nine times more likely to be shot by your own weapon than to fire it in self-defense. And amateurs who don’t check their line of fire and restrain themselves if innocent people are in range are in serious danger of doing what Dick Cheney did to his lawyer friend.

    It’s another complex issue, like health care, where the status quo is entirely unacceptable but where extremists control the debate and refuse to compromise.

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  2. Ice Bandit August 30, 2009 / 6:36 pm
    Hey Dave. What in the phrase “shall not be infringed” is ambiguous? And to take issue with Truddick, the second amendment is not a complex issue.  In a mere 27 words, the framers forever provided the people (not the state, as the federalist papers make clear) a fightin’ chance against the tyranny they knew was inherent in government. What is complex is a society that allows its’ mentally ill to roam the streets unmedicated under the guise of civil rights, and conversely complains about homelessness. Or a penal system so overcrowded from the government’s failed war on drugs that violent criminals are released so the drug boys can serve their mandatory sentences. There is a mechanism to change the constitution if the people choose to do so, but the Old Bandito sees no legislator, Democrat or Republican, wanting to champion that cause. And one more thing Dave, quit denigrating the Old West by comparing it to present day Dayton. The Old West was comprised of self-reliant, self-directed and basically law-abiding folks who, when necessary, stepped up and made sure justice was served. If they could see what a century of rampant lawyerism and unimpeded government has done to the country they handed us, they would hang their heads in shame………

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  3. Joe McKibben August 30, 2009 / 6:54 pm
    “shooting back,” is “gun violence”.

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  4. David Lauri August 30, 2009 / 11:26 pm
    My favorite question to ask people who see the 2nd Amendment as inviolate is whether they consider nuclear weapons to be arms.  (For a hint, google “nuclear arms” and see the tons of hits you’ll get.) If so, our Constitution seems to say that we each have the right to own our own set of nuclear weapons.  There’s nothing in the 2nd Amendment specifying any particular type of arms.
     
    Constitutional literalists can be just as dangerous as Biblical ones.

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  5. Greg Hunter August 31, 2009 / 10:22 am
    My favorite question to ask people who see the 2nd Amendment as inviolate is whether they consider nuclear weapons to be arms.  (For a hint, google “nuclear arms” and see the tons of hits you’ll get.) If so, our Constitution seems to say that we each have the right to own our own set of nuclear weapons.  There’s nothing in the 2nd Amendment specifying any particular type of arms. Constitutional literalists can be just as dangerous as Biblical ones.

    David you hit the nail on the head.  That was the point of the 2nd amendment even though you make fun of the absurdity.  The point of the founders was to make the government fear the people and the right to keep and bear ARMS is the way to do it.  The 2nd amendment was lost along time ago.  Just think for a minute about the nuclear arms question…  If every American had the right to have a nuclear weapon, do you think that America would have developed and maintained them?  I think not.  That was the point of the 2nd amendment,  mutually assured destruction.  I know the point is lost know as Supreme Court allowed the 2nd amendment to be ruined over prohibition.  The Founders knew what they were doing, but you do not.

    But I am willing to make a deal.  I will give up all of my weapons if the government agrees to give up it’s nuclear arsenal.

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  6. David Lauri August 31, 2009 / 10:34 am
    According to the 2nd Amendment, as you see it, everyone does have the right to bear any kind of arms, including nuclear ones.  So much for your Homeland Security, at least until you amend the Constitution to specify just what types of arms people may bear.  Not my rules, but yours.

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  7. David Lauri August 31, 2009 / 10:36 am
    And are you thinking that whatever interpretation Americans have of America’s Constitution would really have kept other nations from developing nuclear arms?  Perhaps you’re correct that a strict and absolutely literal interpretation would have kept our government from developing nuclear arms, but it wouldn’t have stopped the Soviet Union.

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  8. Greg Hunter August 31, 2009 / 11:07 am
    Mr. Lauri,
     
    I am unconcerned with what other nations would have done, only what this country has done.  The founders had it figured out correctly and were of the opinion that “entangling alliances” were a none starter.  So widening the argument is not on the table with this particular amendment.  The 2nd amendment was beautifully crafted and in spite of what the Supreme Court may say, any “infringement” is a violation of my right to “keep and bear arms”.
     
    Examples of Infringement – Paperwork, Licensing, Registration, Taxation and limiting what “ARMS” I may keep and bear.
     
    I will interpret the Bible and the Constitution as they have been written, not the way they have been corrupted.
     
    Any action that I take upon my person or that occurs between consenting adults should not be illegal.

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  9. David Lauri August 31, 2009 / 7:00 pm
    So to sum up your position, you’d have been happy with the United States government not having nuclear weapons while other nations went on to develop them.  And if individual American citizens happened to get their hands on nuclear weapons, you’d also be fine with that.
     
    Brilliant.

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  10. Gene August 31, 2009 / 7:10 pm
    What person has a nuclear weapon………?

    Oh, Obama…….. got it now.

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  11. Ice Bandit August 31, 2009 / 11:30 pm
    A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position.[1] To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar proposition (the “straw man”), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position. (Wikipedia’s definition of the “strawman fallacy”)

    And David Lauri’s record against strawmen is unblemished.

    Constitutional literalists can be just as dangerous as Biblical ones. (David Lauri)

    That must be some neighborhood you live in Mr. Lauri. The fundamentalist Christians I know are a harmless, albeit somewhat sedate, bunch. And the most difficult thing about a meeting of big L Libertarians is staying awake. When the Libertarians held their national convention in Indy a few years back, the local joke was they came to the Hoosier State with a copy of the Constitution in one hand, a $20 bill in the other hand, and didn’t let go of either one the whole time they were there. Trust me, Libertarians are more interested in the freedom of other folks legally procuring reefer and hookers than getting them for themselves. I do, however, know of some dangerous literalist; they are Koranic and I guarantee they would love to get their hands on a low-yield nuclear device……..

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  12. Rick September 1, 2009 / 6:25 pm
    Shooting back and HITTING the criminal IS the answer!

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  13. David Lauri September 1, 2009 / 8:02 pm
    The fundamentalist Christians I know are a harmless, albeit somewhat sedate, bunch.
    Open your eyes and meet the ones who want to impose their religious beliefs on the entire country.  Meet the ones who don’t want to offer progressive Christians the same religious liberties they claim are being taken away from them.

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  14. Gene September 1, 2009 / 8:39 pm
    I don’t feel anyone “imposes” their beliefs on this country. Change the channel or switch churches. We live in the same city and I don’t ever see it….

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  15. Ice Bandit September 1, 2009 / 10:37 pm
    Open your eyes and meet the ones who want to impose their religious beliefs on the entire country. (David Lauri)

    Well Mr. Lauri, I’m just a little confused. East Dayton is the 40 thieves without Ali Baba and West Dayton is Sodom on the Miami. Spit out your car window driving down East Fifth and you’ll likely hit a hooker. The corner of Filth and Wine is overrun with drunks and and Hopeland St at Bohlander is your 24 hour crack superstore. And the only publication in this town that is prospering is the one that is nothing but mugshots, and that paper is one thick mofo. So if, indeed, you are correct and the Puritans are just waiting to impose their dicta on the Republic, I think we can all agree that they aren’t making much headway in this town. Please Mr. Lauri, enlighten the Old Bandito as to who these folks are and what horrors they seek to unleash since the evidence indicates a little Old Time Religion would do this town a world of good. And while you’re at it, convince me that constitutional literalists are a danger. While politicians of the left and right are always telling us what they are going to do, literalists are the only ones who tell the electorate what they are not going to do. I always thought their primary demand of the government was to be left alone. But my eyes are open, Mr. Lauri, and I am asking you to provide the light…………..

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  16. Gene September 2, 2009 / 10:47 am
    Geez, a bit sensitive.

    First, religious fundamentalists are not the same as The State of Ohio Legislature. Not the same. Just because the belief of one group is in agreement with the law does not mean the law was written by said group. Not every little last thing is a conspiracy.

    You hammer on the Christian Fundamentalist, but it is the law and the State of Ohio that needs to change. People will always be against gay marriage, but the law does not have to be. Yes, they have influence, just like you would have influence if the law changed. DL, I think you just picked up your ball and went home bc it is not going your way. You blaming the opponent rather than the government is a bit misguided and simply a waste of time. Keep your eye on the ball and hammer government and politicians, not the CF.

    Good for your health? If it is physical, you need help. If it is mental health then you need to be a bit tougher. These battles are won or lost by being mentally tough.

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