Skip to comments.Blowing up gun myths (Maroon Alert)
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.
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.
classic case of using the exception to prove the rule.
Bugs Bunny reference...
The details of what really happened will have to be sorted out.
But no matter what details emerge, the events invariably support my position.
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.
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.
The message written between the lines is this: "The totalitarian socialist state won't be fully realized until the masses are unarmed and defenseless."
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.
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.
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.
These gun-grabbing lunatics haven't a clue what they ask for.
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.
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. :)
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.
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