"Let your gun therefore be your constant companion on your walks."
The title of this article is a quote from Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States of America. No one needed a gun more as her "constant companion" than Clara Riddles when on April 4th, while walking in the CNN Complex in Atlanta she was dragged down an escalator by her hair and shot three times by Arthur Mann, killing her and her five month-old unborn child. Mann was then shot and wounded by one of the building’s armed guards. How many innocent lives were saved by having one armed person confront the murderer?
Cynthia Tucker, a nationally syndicated columnist, wrote an article in the Atlanta Constitution Journal containing just about every dishonest liberal myth extant about guns and gun control.
In her liberal, disingenuous rant on the evils of guns Ms. Tucker conveniently forgot to mention that Mr. Mann was a convicted murderer, a twice-convicted felon who had served eight years in prison and was a registered sex offender. Amazingly, Tucker did not write how a convicted killer murdered an innocent woman and her unborn child. Instead she said criminals are not the problem, guns are. This was not only journalistically dishonest, but a disservice to her readers, to Clara Riddles and every crime victim in the country.
That was the worst, but not the only falsehood and half-truth in Tucker’s article:
She begins by asserting, "Gun assaults are rising." While this is marginally true for the time period 2004 to 2005, from 1990 to 2005 murders are down by over 40% and without any new gun control laws. Enforcing the 22,000 gun-control laws already on the books seems to be working.
Mann was therefore breaking a gun-control law when he murdered Clara Riddles.
So, Tucker purposely fails to tell us Mann was a murderer, that he was a twice-convicted felon, that he spent eight years in prison, that he was a registered sex offender and that he was breaking a gun-control law when he committed his horrific crime. Why does Tucker still have a job?
Tucker continues her liberal smugness by stating she does not understand the "perplexing cultural ethos that worships individual gun ownership." Perplexing to Ms. Tucker and other out-of-touch liberals perhaps, but understood by most other humans going back to the cave man. Imagine a cave man being told, "You can keep that club in your cave, but you cannot carry it with you." As with a club, knife or sword, a gun is just the latest version of "arms' as in 'the right to bear arms". Perplexing indeed are people who do not understand this historic right to self-defense.
Unable to help herself, Tucker then felt compelled to bring up the prototypical gun bogeyman...the "irrational gun lobby." In her own words, Ms. Tucker quotes police authorities, saying gun violence has increased because of "an epidemic of methamphetamine". The FBI states the rise was the effect of escalating gang violence. So is it irrational to want to defend yourself against meth crazies and gang members and in Clara Riddles' case a convicted murderer? Or is it irrational to suggest, as Tucker does, those criminals are not a threat and therefore law-abiding citizens should be defenseless against them?
Finally, she bemoans the loss of the liberal solution to all problems they can’t tolerate: sue 'em. "In 2005, Congress handed firearms manufacturers a huge gift when it passed a law that shields the industry from virtually all liability lawsuits." Tucker’s logic goes like this: gun manufacturers are responsible for gun deaths, but car manufacturers are not responsible for car deaths. Why not blame Toyota for car bombings in Iraq? Neither a gun nor a car will kill anyone without a reckless operator.
If newspapers want to stop the decline in their circulation they could start by eliminating dishonest one-sided writers like Tucker. It seems as if newspaper editors are more interested in writing to impress their fellow journalists and others in the mainstream media than their customers, the readers. But customers are saying, "We do not like your product, it is not relevant to our lives, therefore we are not going to buy it." Newspapers better start listening to their customers--rather than their employees--if they want to stay in business.
The fact of the matter is: if just one more gun had been available in Atlanta on April 4th, the "constant companion" (in the words of Thomas Jefferson ) of Clara Riddles, perhaps Clara Riddles and her unborn child would be alive and Arthur Mann would be dead. And the world would be a safer place.
Copyright 2007 Bill Zettler
Since this article was written, we have witnessed a horrible tragedy of 32 unarmed, defenseless people who were killed by a sick, deranged individual at Virginia Tech. If just one more gun had been available at Virginia Tech on April 16th, the "constant companion" of a professor or student, dozens of innocent lives might have been saved.