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Blowing up gun myths (Maroon Alert)
Madison.com ^ | November 29, 2004 | An editorial

Posted on 11/29/2004 9:00:30 AM PST by TERMINATTOR

At the risk of noting the obvious, Sunday's deadly confrontation between a semiautomatic weapon-wielding Minnesotan and a group of hunters in northern Wisconsin can and should be factored into debates about the availability of semiautomatic and automatic weapons.

When hunters in Sawyer County confronted the Minnesotan - a 36-year-old Hmong immigrant named Chai Vang who was in a deer stand on private property and told him that he would have to leave - several of the greatest myths that are peddled by opponents of gun control exploded.

To wit:

• Myth One: A semiautomatic weapon is just another kind of gun.

When he was told to leave, in what may or may not have been a racially charged incident, Vang is reported to have responded by opening fire with a high-powered semiautomatic SKS carbine. By the time he was done, six hunters - five men and a woman - were dead or dying. Two others were badly wounded. Several had been shot more than once. Though advocates for no-holds-barred gun policies will claim that just as much havoc could have been wreaked with a standard hunting rifle, that claim is nonsense.

Semiautomatic weapons are increasingly popular among hunters of a not particularly sporting ilk. But it is comic to suggest that they are needed for hunting, unless the targets are people. In northern Wisconsin on Sunday, the toll was higher because the shooter had a semiautomatic weapon.

Does this mean that we need a blanket ban on semiautomatic and automatic assault weapons from here on out? Not necessarily. There are subtleties in this debate - especially when guns are modified. But the debate ought to be more realistic than it has been up to this point, and what happened in northern Wisconsin on Sunday ought to be factored into the debate.

• Myth Two: When people are well armed and trained to use their weapons, they can protect themselves against gun violence.

The victims in Sawyer County had access to guns and knew how to use them. Most of the dead had long experience with their weapons. But they were not prepared for a confrontation with a man who was ready to kill and was carrying a semiautomatic weapon.

The notion that more guns will ever translate into less violence has always been absurd. But the incident on Sunday should remind everyone of the extent to which this fantasy can be deadly.

The point here is not to advocate for sweeping gun controls. This newspaper has always recognized the right to bear arms and we respect the hunting traditions that are so ingrained in Wisconsin.

The group of hunters who were attacked in the woods on Sunday had a right to bear arms. Initial reports suggested that most of them were exercising that right responsibly, although Vang's statement raised concerns about whether that was really the case. The Minnesotan claims that at least one of the Wisconsin hunters shouted a racial epithet at him and then shot at him.

The details of what really happened will have to be sorted out.

But the fact that volatile situations are made dramatically more dangerous when semiautomatic weapons are present should be beyond debate.

Sensible gun controls - perhaps in the form of a ban on hunting with semiautomatic and automatic weapons; perhaps in the form of a more sweeping restriction on the purchase of some guns - place some restrictions on the absolute right to bear arms. But such controls might well have saved at least some of the lives of those hunters.

The proper response to this deadly incident is a balanced one. Wisconsinites have a right to bear arms and to hunt, and that right ought to be protected. But they also have a right to be protected from weapons that are better designed for hunting people than deer.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: Wisconsin; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: absoluteright; absurd; banglist; deadly; factoredinto; fantasy; guncontrol; gunviolence; highpowered; hmongimmigrant; huntingpeople; huntingtraditions; maroon; moredangerous; needed; raciallycharged; semiautomaticweapon; sensibleguncontrols; sportingilk; thaivang
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What a maroon!
1 posted on 11/29/2004 9:00:31 AM PST by TERMINATTOR
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To: TERMINATTOR

Moron?


2 posted on 11/29/2004 9:00:45 AM PST by RushCrush (I Heart Halliburton)
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To: TERMINATTOR

classic case of using the exception to prove the rule.


3 posted on 11/29/2004 9:02:16 AM PST by camle (keep your mind open and somebody will fill it with something for you))
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To: RushCrush

Moran?


4 posted on 11/29/2004 9:02:24 AM PST by TBarnett34 ("Unnngh!" -John F'n Kerry, 11/2/04)
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To: RushCrush

Bugs Bunny reference...


5 posted on 11/29/2004 9:03:06 AM PST by misterrob
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To: TERMINATTOR
The details of what really happened will have to be sorted out.

But no matter what details emerge, the events invariably support my position.

6 posted on 11/29/2004 9:03:21 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: TERMINATTOR
The notion that more no guns will ever translate into less violence has always been absurd.
7 posted on 11/29/2004 9:06:16 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Protectionists give me the Willies!!!)
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To: TERMINATTOR
The notion that more guns will ever translate into less violence has always been absurd.

There are approximately two million defensive gun uses per year by law abiding US citizens.

8 posted on 11/29/2004 9:07:25 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: TERMINATTOR
This is typical of the gun control argument. They take a single isolated incident and use it to support their position. How often has this type of thing happened? Not very often or the press wouldn't be on it like ants at a picnic.

What he doesn't mention is that only ONE of the victims was armed. The others were unarmed. The killer could have done the same thing with a bow and arrow or a club.

The weapon didn't kill these people, the nut holding it did.

9 posted on 11/29/2004 9:10:27 AM PST by mbynack
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To: TERMINATTOR

bump


10 posted on 11/29/2004 9:11:18 AM PST by blackeagle
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To: TERMINATTOR
I saw this editorial the other day in the Madison, Wisconsin State Journal. To be honest, I found it so outrageous I couldn't finish reading it. I still can't read it.

The message written between the lines is this: "The totalitarian socialist state won't be fully realized until the masses are unarmed and defenseless."

11 posted on 11/29/2004 9:12:33 AM PST by Senator_Blutarski (No good deed goes unpunished.)
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To: TERMINATTOR

To address this twit's second point, having access to and knowing how to use guns didn't do squat for the dead hunters because THEY WEREN"T CARRYING THEIR GUNS (except one guy). If the hunters had all been armed, Vang would have had a very short and exciting life once he started shooting.


12 posted on 11/29/2004 9:13:22 AM PST by Little Pig (Is it time for "Cowboys and Muslims" yet?)
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: TERMINATTOR
The victims in Sawyer County had access to guns and knew how to use them.

Idiots. Having "access" is very different from having a firearm in your immediate possession when threatened. The hunters murdered by Vang did not have their weapons in their immediate possession. None had any expectation of engaging in close quarters combat with an armed assailant. Deer don't shoot back.

There isn't anything special about an SKS. It's just another magazine fed semi-auto rifle. It probably was not even an SKS, but actually a Saiga Sporter AK-47 variant with a magazine well that fits only Saiga supplied 10-round magazines. Vang did reload according to reports.

14 posted on 11/29/2004 9:14:52 AM PST by Myrddin
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To: TERMINATTOR
The victims in Sawyer County had access to guns and knew how to use them. Most of the dead had long experience with their weapons. But they were not prepared for a confrontation with a man who was ready to kill and was carrying a semiautomatic weapon.

The hunters that were shot were probably used to a lifetime of collegiality among hunters, who sometimes accidentally cross property lines, but leave gladly and willingly when their trespass is discovered. They were not prepared to be shot on their own property for asking someone to leave. They were not prepared to deal with a crazed SE Asian who obviously has learned to play the race card just like the good little liberal social engineering thrall that he is.

There was only one gun among the hunters that were shot, a detail that seems to have escaped the writer of this 'opinion'. And I guarantee that if the Hmong shooter had been killed by a 'white' hunter before he could have done the damage he did, this same liberal snot-nosed writer would be calling this a hate crime.

15 posted on 11/29/2004 9:15:50 AM PST by spodefly (I've posted nothing but BTTT over 1000 times!!!)
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To: TERMINATTOR

These gun-grabbing lunatics haven't a clue what they ask for.


16 posted on 11/29/2004 9:16:54 AM PST by shellshocked
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To: TERMINATTOR

It's possible that "Myth" 2 was upheld rather than nullified. The killer was apparently a US Army veteran and probably felt like his life was in danger so used his training and a medium powered semiautomatic weapon to defend his life. I'm not saying he made the correct decision in hunting without authorization on private land or carrying more than 5 rounds for hunting, but that doesn't mean he didn't use a firearm in self defense.


17 posted on 11/29/2004 9:18:56 AM PST by garandag (Guns don't save lives, people with guns save lives.)
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To: mbynack
The killer could have done the same thing with a bow and arrow or a club.

Hyperbolic. It is highly unlikely the same damage could have been done with these weapons.

Your heart is in the right place, but your analogy blows. :)

18 posted on 11/29/2004 9:20:54 AM PST by Restorer (Europe is heavily armed, but only with envy.)
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To: TERMINATTOR

Moral: do not confront without backup. Or do not confront.

Hunters do not kill each other. Hunters scout before the season and always obtain permission from the landowner. Hunters know where they are and who's land they are hunting on.

The thing I hate most about this (after loss of life) is that millions of responsible hunters will take the heat for this. When will we learn not to throw the baby out with the bathwater? One just cannot be protected from the criminally insane or stupid. It is not possible. What possible new law could be necessary that would have prevented this debacle? Perhaps a bounty on trespassers... I don't think that will fly.


19 posted on 11/29/2004 9:21:33 AM PST by papadoc1945
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To: TERMINATTOR
Of course the libs will use an isolated incident like this to push for more gun control, but when someone uses it to point out the folly of our immigration policy, they'll irritably scream, "It's just an isolated incident!"
20 posted on 11/29/2004 9:23:21 AM PST by inquest (Now is the time to remove the leftist influence from the GOP. "Unity" can wait.)
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To: TERMINATTOR

21 posted on 11/29/2004 9:25:28 AM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: TERMINATTOR

"The Boston Strangler", a smooth-talking sadist who savagely murdered thirteen women during an eighteen-month reign of sheer terror.

Andrei Chikatilo, Soviet cops finally nabbed him in 1990. He was charged with fifty-three murders, though the true total may have been much higher.

Richard Ramirez, --"The Night Stalker" He was convicted of thirteen murders and sentenced to death. According to his own estimate, Richie was responsible for even more killing than he was credited for. "I've killed twenty men, man", he told a fellow inmate.

Jane Toppan, She was eventually nabbed in Amherst, NH, October, 1901, but not before she managed to kill her own foster sister. She finally confessed to poisoning not only the Davis clan, but eleven other victims as well. Later, she would tell her lawyer that the true total was thirty-one.


Get the picture about "blaming" guns for atrocities...


22 posted on 11/29/2004 9:25:29 AM PST by Time is now (We'll live to see it......or something like it....)
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To: TERMINATTOR
Blowing up gun myths
November 29, 2004
An editorial

Dear Editor:
Typical Democrats!
Click the Pic

23 posted on 11/29/2004 9:26:41 AM PST by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: Senator_Blutarski; Mulder; coloradan; Joe Brower; archy; Eaker; Squantos; Jeff Head; ...
All progressive societies have learned that the people are safer when only well-trained government soldiers and police have access to these weapons of war.


24 posted on 11/29/2004 9:29:23 AM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: TERMINATTOR

You mean a gun killed the hunters. I thought it was a crazed SUV.


25 posted on 11/29/2004 9:41:42 AM PST by River_Wrangler (Gun powder for me and a beer for my horse!)
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To: TERMINATTOR
"responded by opening fire with a high-powered semiautomatic SKS carbine

The SKS is NOT particularly high powered - it is about the same as a 30-30 (a common deer rifle).

26 posted on 11/29/2004 9:53:32 AM PST by sd-joe
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To: TERMINATTOR

NO evidence that the single weapon carried or used by the victims was not a semiautomatic, as well. Most folks today get one by default.
Nor any proof that the shooter could not have done the same in the same circumstances (deerstand, unarmed targets) with a bolt action. History is full of similar feats, against armed targets.


27 posted on 11/29/2004 9:54:14 AM PST by Apogee
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To: TERMINATTOR

You mean a gun killed the hunters. I thought it was a crazed SUV.


28 posted on 11/29/2004 9:56:20 AM PST by River_Wrangler (Gun powder for me and a beer for my horse!)
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To: TERMINATTOR

This dirtbag could have done the same thing with a semi-automatic shotgun - or a pump even. Some will hold up to seven shells and a decent shot can spit those out just about as quickly as with a rifle -- and with a shotgun, you don't need to be nearly as accurate!


29 posted on 11/29/2004 10:10:43 AM PST by Don Simmons (Annoy a liberal: Work hard; Prosper; Be Happy.)
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To: TERMINATTOR

The only thing blowing up here is the writer's credibility (if he had any to start with).


30 posted on 11/29/2004 10:16:36 AM PST by Disambiguator
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To: TERMINATTOR

One other thing that is never mentioned when the issue of Semi-autos and hunting comes up is that most (if not all) states here in the US prescribe a 5-round magazine limit in a hunting rifle. If our friend here had larger magazines, not only was he a murderer, but he *gasp* violated state game regulations!


31 posted on 11/29/2004 10:20:37 AM PST by Disambiguator
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To: mbynack
What he doesn't mention is that only ONE of the victims was armed.

Of the several reports I've read on the Internet and the newspaper, this is the first I've heard that there was only one firearm to defend against the guy with the SKS.

32 posted on 11/29/2004 10:23:20 AM PST by Marauder (How do the elk know they're supposed to cross at the Elk Crossing signs?)
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To: TERMINATTOR
Well, heck, if there isn't that much difference between semiautos and fully automatic weapons, then the government wouldn't object if I converted a few of mine, right?

Idiot alert.

33 posted on 11/29/2004 10:24:54 AM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Little Pig
...having access to and knowing how to use guns didn't do squat for the dead hunters because THEY WEREN"T CARRYING THEIR GUNS (except one guy).

Point 2A:

And, if the hunters had been armed, it still is problimatical how it would turn out, as beeing experienced at HUNTING usage is no guarantee one is prepped and trained for self defensive firearms usage.
It seems all were shot either standing, sitting on an ATV, or running away. In any case, all were presenting good targets. NOT a criticism of the victims, just an observation of circumstances.

As to the twit's dreaded "high powered semi-auto", for the first six AIMED rounds, my much higher powered, short-throw lever action is just as quick (and more immediately deadly) as a civilian semi. I do take longer to reload.

34 posted on 11/29/2004 10:31:58 AM PST by ApplegateRanch (The world needs more horses, and fewer Jackasses!)
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To: Travis McGee

Wonder why they haven't reported that the one (1), only one "armed" hunter who went to the aid of the others, who left their firearms in their deer camp ,was carrying a remington 7400 semi-auto ?

Just doesn't fit their agenda I guess......


35 posted on 11/29/2004 10:33:13 AM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. ©)
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To: papadoc1945

Repeal the 5 round mag "limit" for hunters. Repeal the no loaded guns in vehicles and ATV's. Those who came to render assistance on ATV's, may have been unarmed due to "regs" against having a loaded weapon in/on a vehicle. Repeal the 30,000 other unconstitutional infringements of the Second Amendment. An armed society is a polite society.

The founding fathers gave us the formula for preserving freedom AND security - the Second Amendment.


36 posted on 11/29/2004 10:35:22 AM PST by TERMINATTOR ("I believe in background checks at gun shows or anywhere" - GWB)
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To: Squantos

He was? Didn't know that.


37 posted on 11/29/2004 10:39:14 AM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: Squantos

There are so called "laws" against carrying loaded firearms in or on a vehicle. This stupid and illegal legislation may be one reason that those on ATV's, responding to the call for help, were unarmed.


38 posted on 11/29/2004 10:46:05 AM PST by TERMINATTOR ("I believe in background checks at gun shows or anywhere" - GWB)
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To: garandag

• Myth Two: When people are well armed and trained to use their weapons, they can protect themselves against gun violence.

Vang in his own statement supports "myth two":

Vang stated that Vang observed 3 other subjects coming on an ATV. Vang stated that Vang then turned his reversible coat from orange to camo. Vang stated that he also reloaded his magazine with 5 or 6 bullets. Vang stated that Vang did not shoot at these men because they had guns with them.


39 posted on 11/29/2004 11:00:18 AM PST by Wake75
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To: bullseye876
Maybe the hunters fired upon by the suspect were drunk. I've heard tell some folks like to go hunting not for the sport but for the opportunity to get away from the old lady and screaming kids and tie one on. Mixing hooch with guns is about the most stupid thing you can do. Perhaps Vang's attack was preemptive if he sensed that these round eyes were armed and wasted.

You have no evidence that they were “wasted” and neither did Vang.

And only one of the “round eyes” was even armed.

40 posted on 11/29/2004 11:03:49 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: River_Wrangler
"You mean a gun killed the hunters? I thought it was a crazed sports utility vehicle."

I thought that the evil assault rifle had gotten out of its case on its own, run into the street and fired randomly at people (as it has happened so many times in the past).

41 posted on 11/29/2004 11:06:15 AM PST by 2nd_Amendment_Defender ("It is when people forget God that tyrants forge their chains." -- Patrick Henry)
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To: 2nd_Amendment_Defender

Could the crazed SUV have used an assault rifle to do the dirty deed?


42 posted on 11/29/2004 11:19:43 AM PST by River_Wrangler (Gun powder for me and a beer for my horse!)
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To: RushCrush

You're new here, I see.


43 posted on 11/29/2004 11:22:17 AM PST by Old Professer (The accidental trumps the purposeful in every endeavor attended by the incompetent.)
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To: bullseye876

You, Sir or Madam, are a blathering idiot, no insult intended.


44 posted on 11/29/2004 11:23:33 AM PST by Old Professer (The accidental trumps the purposeful in every endeavor attended by the incompetent.)
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To: dead

don't confuse us with facts.


45 posted on 11/29/2004 11:27:49 AM PST by Robert_Paulson2 (real republicans WIN.)
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To: sd-joe

the police in our news reports and antigunners in general these days, refer to bolt action 22's, lever action rifles and anything that holds more than ONE shot in a magazine, "semi" automatic.

it's disgusting... irritating AND clearly a rhetorical term used to try and stir up fear in the mothers of america.

and it works.


46 posted on 11/29/2004 11:34:45 AM PST by Robert_Paulson2 (real republicans WIN.)
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To: Old Professer

Guess so! i shouldn't be so quick to correct spelling.

So far, words I should not correct:

maroon
pees
stuned
hugh
series


47 posted on 11/29/2004 11:47:22 AM PST by RushCrush (I Heart Halliburton)
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To: RushCrush

Then there is the other series; Ceres.

48 posted on 11/29/2004 12:05:30 PM PST by oyez (¡Qué viva la revolución de Reagan!)
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To: RushCrush

Then there is the other series; Ceres.

49 posted on 11/29/2004 12:06:10 PM PST by oyez (¡Qué viva la revolución de Reagan!)
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To: Little Pig

"To address this twit's second point, having access to and knowing how to use guns didn't do squat for the dead hunters because THEY WEREN"T CARRYING THEIR GUNS (except one guy). If the hunters had all been armed, Vang would have had a very short and exciting life once he started shooting."

...what the twit is really arguing for without knowing it is
a nationwide carry permit to insure all the lawful folks can carry anwhere , any time.
A .22 in the pocket is better than a .45 in the drawer at home.


50 posted on 11/29/2004 1:21:53 PM PST by Rakkasan1 (Justice of the Piece: Hope IS on the way...)
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