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When Gun Safety Locks Kill
GOA ^ | Erich Pratt

Posted on 11/24/2001 4:32:38 AM PST by pocat

It has been said that if you don't study history, you are doomed to repeat it.

That's why Americans should take note of a horrible tragedy that occurred just over one year ago in Merced, California. It is a tragedy that could have been prevented.

On the morning of August 23, 2000, Jonathon David Bruce was high on drugs. He slipped inside a home when the parents were away and began attacking the children inside.

Armed only with a pitchfork, and without a stitch of clothing on his body, Bruce proceeded to chase the children through the house -- stabbing them repeatedly.

The oldest of the children, Jessica Carpenter (14), was babysitting at the time. Having been trained by her father, Jessica knew how to use a firearm. There was just one problem: the household gun was locked up in compliance with California state law.

Because of California's "lock up your safety" law, Jessica had few options. She could not call 911 because the intruder had cut the phone lines to the house. She could not protect herself, for state officials had effectively removed that possibility.

Her only option was to flee the house and leave her siblings behind.

Thankfully, Mr. Bruce's murderous rampage was finally cut short when police officers arrived at the house. They shot and killed Bruce, but not before two children had already been murdered.

Now, notice when the attack ended. It screeched to a halt when the good guys -- carrying guns -- showed up on the scene.

Which has made many wonder: could Jessica have protected her brother and sister if the state law had not prevented her from doing so?

Well, the family seems to think so. After the murders, Jessica's uncle, Rev. John Hilton, blasted California legislators for having scared the father into hiding the gun where Jessica, who was trained in the use of firearms, could not get it.

"If only [Jessica] had a gun available to her," said Rev. Hilton, "she could have stopped the whole thing. If she had been properly armed, she could have stopped him in his tracks."

Of course, that kind of talk sends gun haters into orbit. "Hold on," they say. "Kids shouldn't have access to guns. And you can't expect a 14-year-old to handle a weapon in a responsible fashion during a high-pressure encounter like that."

Oh really? Tell that to the 12-year-old Mississippi girl who used a gun to save her mother's life this past April.

The girl's mother was being choked in her own apartment by Anthony Fox, a 25-year-old man who had forced his way into the apartment. The cries for help woke up the daughter who grabbed her mother's handgun and shot Fox in the chest.

One shot. One dead killer. A 12-year-old saves the day.

Prosecutors ruled the shooting a case of justifiable self-defense.

Which brings us back to Jessica. She could very well have saved the lives of her two siblings. If she had access to her father's gun to save those children's lives, would that have been wrong?

For that matter, was it wrong for the 12-year-old girl in Mississippi to have access to her mother's handgun in order to prevent a murder?

In California, the answer to these questions is: "Yes, it is always wrong for anyone to have immediate access to a firearm, even when it's to save the life of a family member."

Governor Gray Davis just signed a bill last month putting more "teeth" into California's original gun storage law. Under the new legislation, parents face additional criminal penalties if they refuse to lock up their best means of self-defense.

Many legislators -- both at the state level and in Washington, D.C. -- seem to think they know what's best for each family in every situation.

Parents are told they need to put trigger locks on their guns. Or that they must store their ammunition separately from their firearms. Or that they must store the weapons in a safe.

But many times, locking up your safety in any of those ways can be deadly. Americans use guns almost 50,000 times every week to defend themselves or others. And in most of those situations, a trigger lock would give criminals the advantage.

Consider a case from March of this year, where a trigger lock would have cost the life of homeowner, Chuck Harris.

After being repeatedly stabbed by three young men in his Colorado home, Harris managed to grab the .44-Magnum pistol he kept in a desk drawer. Thankfully, Harris didn't have to remember a combination or fiddle with a trigger lock -- he just pointed the gun and fired.

That quick thinking saved his life, and has caused Harris to later reflect upon what was, perhaps, the obvious. "If I'd had a trigger lock, I'd be dead," he said. "If my pistol had been in a gun safe, I'd be dead. If the bullets were stored separate, I'd be dead. They were going to kill me."

Which raises a very important question: when it comes to life or death issues, who is best suited to make choices for you? You, or some faceless bureaucrat who is hundreds of miles away, impotent to rush to your aid? You, or the politicians in the U.S. Congress?

It would, perhaps, help to know how those bureaucrats and politicians answer that question for themselves. They are not left unprotected. They have security officers nearby who are carrying guns.

And no, those guns don't have trigger locks on them.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: banglist
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1 posted on 11/24/2001 4:32:38 AM PST by pocat
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To: SLB; Squantos; Travis McGee; sit-rep; Lion Den Dan
2 posted on 11/24/2001 4:33:47 AM PST by pocat
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To: pocat
3 posted on 11/24/2001 4:38:18 AM PST by caseyblane
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To: pocat; *bang_list
Great Post!

4 posted on 11/24/2001 4:41:15 AM PST by Fiddlstix
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To: *bang_list
Gunlocks are evil bump
5 posted on 11/24/2001 4:45:15 AM PST by Khepera
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To: Mercuria; AnnaZ; HangFire
6 posted on 11/24/2001 4:50:48 AM PST by lowbridge
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To: pocat
Just ignore the law. Keep your gun handy in your home. No jury would convict a person
who broke the Trigger-lock law in defending his/her life, or a member of his/her family's life.

The people of the country aren't stupid, only their lawmakers.

7 posted on 11/24/2001 5:02:06 AM PST by CharlieDarwin
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To: CharlieDarwin
"Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We *want* them broken....There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."

-- Ayn Rand, _Atlas Shrugged , Ch. III, "White Blackmail"

8 posted on 11/24/2001 5:12:50 AM PST by 07055
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To: 07055
Folks should go back and re-read their Ayn Rand every five or six years.
9 posted on 11/24/2001 5:22:42 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: CharlieDarwin
Charlie, you got it right. I live in California, and I have loaded pistols in the living room and the bedrooms. I don't give a hoot what lifelong political hack Davis says.I had a gun pulled on me in college,and I won't get caught empty handed again!!
10 posted on 11/24/2001 5:28:14 AM PST by 1 FELLOW FREEPER
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To: pocat

For every child that gets accidentally hurt by a firearm, how many have been saved?

How many more would have died if Joel Myrick, Principal of the Mississippi High School where Luke Woodham opened fire, hadn't stopped him with a firearm he had in his truck at school?

Joel Myrick is a criminal. He broke federal law by having a firearm in his vehicle at school. Now tell that to the parents of the children that he saved. Luke Woodham was on his way to the Pearl Mississippi Junior High when Mr. Myrick stopped him.

Tell the parent of every child at Pearl Junior High that Joel Myrick is a criminal, and see what kind of response you get!

Mr. Joel Myrick is a living Hero, Louis "Sandy" Javelle is not.

To read about Louis "Sandy" Javelle read my FreeRepublic Post: Blood on the Hands of Massachusetts Legislators

Massachusetts and California are only safe for criminals!

11 posted on 11/24/2001 5:36:58 AM PST by Bowana
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To: Bowana
And I moved from Massachusetts to California 26 years ago to get away from the lefties............ROTFLMAO!!
12 posted on 11/24/2001 5:46:55 AM PST by 1 FELLOW FREEPER
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To: pocat
I read the following on The Providence Journal Bulletin board in the Gun Control Category,

The post was Titled "I Bet This is True!":

Can I Get Some Help Here?

I was going to bed the other night when my wife told me that I had left the light on in the shed, she could see from the bedroom window. As I looked for myself, I saw that there were people in the shed taking things. I phoned the police, but they told me that no one was in the area to help at this time, but they would send someone over as soon as they were available.

I said OK, hung up, and waited one minute, then phoned the police back. "Hello. I just called you a minute ago because there were people in my shed. Well, you don't have to worry about them now cause I've shot them all." Within five minutes there were half a dozen police cars in the area, an Armed Response unit, the works. Of course, they caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the officers said: "I thought you said that you'd shot them!"

I replied with "I thought you said there was nobody available!"

13 posted on 11/24/2001 5:50:36 AM PST by Bowana
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To: pocat
Locked guns are like
locked fire extinguishers:

14 posted on 11/24/2001 5:51:09 AM PST by Standing Wolf
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To: pocat
Is Cal. still part of ths USA.
15 posted on 11/24/2001 5:58:12 AM PST by the catfish
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To: CharlieDarwin
No jury would convict a person who broke the Trigger-lock law in defending his/her life CharlieDarwin post #7

Don't bet on it.

16 posted on 11/24/2001 6:10:58 AM PST by StACase
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To: pocat
I was worried when I brought the first gun into my home four short years ago that my 8 year old would be curious and hurt himself or someone else, so we had a litle talk about that gun. To my pleasant surprise, he has shown a respect and healthy fear for our rifles and to this day, I have never found any reason to distrust him.

He always asks me when he wants to "hold" the guns, and of course, I always allow him too...after, of course, he demonstrates to me that he knows how to check the chamber to insure the gun is not loaded.

Gun Locks are a substitute for BAD PARENTING, just like abortion and Ritalin are substitutes for BAD PARENTING.

Teach your children and keep your means of protection readily available.

17 posted on 11/24/2001 6:12:02 AM PST by copycat
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To: pocat

Second Amendment Bump

18 posted on 11/24/2001 6:15:54 AM PST by AAABEST
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To: pocat
One of the main reasons I moved from Kalifornia. FWIW my 18 year old daughter has been shooting since she was 14 and (I kid you not) can put all six rounds from my Smith round butt (4" barrel) 357 into the 10 ring at 100 yards. Last time we were at the range she poed some guy off so bad he packed up and left the range! Also she shot her first deer last year at 150 yards right in the boiler room. Daddy's very proud.
19 posted on 11/24/2001 6:24:42 AM PST by mad_as_he$$
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To: pocat
Bang, bang, bang. . .Bump
20 posted on 11/24/2001 6:34:21 AM PST by Flyer
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