From His Cold Dead Fingers

If you wanted to take away Charlton Heston’s gun, that’s exactly what he said you’d have to pry it from, his cold, dead, fingers.

That’s a pretty strong sentiment.

Detective James Allen, 50, was neither cold nor dead when his gun was taken from him, and then used to shoot him to death.

Now, gun rights proponents have lots of nifty little slogans. “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” True. To my knowledge, a gun has never gotten really pissed off at anyone and decided to discharge itself into a living person all on its own. However, a more truthful statement would be, “guns don’t kill people, it just makes it a lot easier.”

Or, the more pertinent one, at least in relation to this story, “why are we making it harder for law abiding citizens to get guns, while criminals are still able to easily get them?” But this makes the second gun shooting in recent history when a criminal got his gun not from the black market, or even from a decent law abiding citizen, but instead from an enforcer of the law.

Before this incident, there was the incident in Atlanta where the defendent gaffled a nearby security officer’s gun, and used it to go postal in the court room.

Now, for me this is a touchy situation. I don’t like guns. They make killing someone else too easy. They’re incredibly dangerous. And yes, you can take safety courses, and be well instructed in the proper care and usage of a fire arm, but a lot of people don’t do that. At the same time, I recognize that it is a right to own guns, and I couldn’t rightly call myself a liberal if I was actively seeking to revoke someone’s constitutional right.

But what worries me is that this won’t be seen for what it should be. What was Ann Coulter’s argument during the Atlanta incident? Don’t put a hundred pound grandma in charge of a young athletic felon? What about this time? Don’t put a fifty year old man in with a young athletic would be felon?

It’s the “common sense” argument, except it doesn’t actually meet the standards of common sense. You could put a well trained officer in the same situations as these two law enforcers, and there’s a good shot that the same thing would happen.

Remember Rodney King? Well, let me tell you one of the reasons why the police officers involved were found not guilty. It’s pretty common police procedure to try and beat someone from a distance, and as many protesters had shreaked, “try and wrestle him down.” The reason? Because it makes it too probable that the suspect can retrieve your gun. (Note: I am in no way endorsing the jury’s verdict, nor am I expressing opinion on the King case, but instead simply using it to make a point.)

The point I’m trying to get at is that yes, owning a gun is a right, however; to what extent are we willing to allow our society to suffer at the cost of this right?

I know this is a little different, considering it’s law enforcement guns doing the dirty work here, but Good Morning America had run a segment in the days following the Atlanta incident regarding non lethal means of subduing a suspect. Maybe, if we were using them, we wouldn’t have to worry about more of our law enforcement members having their cold dead fingers getting tagged at the morgue.


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