Last Updated:November 25 @ 04:16 pm

Patton: 100 Million Gun Owners Didn't Kill Anyone Last Week

By Doug Patton

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes." - Thomas Jefferson

For my tenth birthday, I wanted a BB gun. Like the mother in "A Christmas story," mom simply said, "You'll shoot your eye out." Dad had a wiser response. He gave me a choice. I could have the BB gun or a pair of Roy Rogers cap pistols I had been admiring. He made it clear to me that once I owned a weapon that actually fired real projectiles — even if they were only BBs — my toy gun days were over. I chose the pistols, and he knew I wasn't ready for the real thing.

Two years later, at age twelve, with my toy gun days behind me, Dad bought me a bolt-action .22-caliber rifle and taught me how to use it — safely. I still remember the three simple rules he taught me: this is not a toy, never point it at anyone, and always assume that it is loaded.

As I grew into a teenager, I always knew where Dad kept our guns — mine and his. They were not locked up. They were standing in their cases in the closet in my parents' bedroom, with the ammunition on the shelf above. Yet never once did it occur to me to take those guns to school and shoot my classmates. Nor did I ever contemplate walking into a packed movie theater or a crowded mall and begin firing.

None of us has any way of knowing whether James Holmes, the shooter in Aurora, Colorado, is simply an evil genius putting on an act in court or if he is a loon who really believes he is Batman's nemesis, the Joker. We don't know if his father ever taught him how to use firearms, or if he got his knowledge from watching TV and movies, and playing violent video games.

What we do know is that a society that once lived in reality has evolved into a culture wallowing in fantasy violence, ruled by people whose goal is to disarm the good guys, leaving us all at the mercy of the bad guys.

We know that, like so many communities today, Aurora, Colorado, did not allow law-abiding gun owners to carry their weapons into the theater that night. Perhaps if they had, someone might have been able to stop Holmes before he killed a dozen innocent people and wounded scores of others.

Even in states that allow concealed carry of firearms, politically correct business owners can forbid the possession of such weapons in their establishments. A sign on the door of the Von Maur department store in Omaha, Nebraska, announces that guns are not allowed. On December 5, 2007, 19-year-old Robert Hawkins read that sign as follows: "Even our security guards are unarmed! Come on in and shoot us!" So he did, killing eight people and wounding five others.

Shortly after my dad bought me those cap pistols instead of that BB gun, a teenage punk named Charles Starkweather went on a rampage across Nebraska, killing eleven people. The entire Midwest was terrified. As the debate again heats up over banning certain sized magazines for particular weapons, limiting the quantities and calibers of ammo, as well as other new forms of gun control, it is instructive to note that Starkweather's weapons of choice on that spree were a pistol, a knife, a .22 rifle, similar to mine, and a .410 shotgun like one I almost bought a few years later.

Charles Starkweather proved in 1958 that he could kill just as many people with a .22 rifle and a small caliber shotgun as Robert Hawkins or James Holmes could a half-century later with a so-called assault rifle. Evil finds a way. As Bruce Wayne's butler tells him in a previous Batman movie, "Some men just want to watch the world burn."

In the wake of these latest murders, as you hear our politicians blather on about more gun control, remember that 100 million gun owners didn't kill anyone last week. They are the good guys. They are on our side.

---

© 2012 by Doug Patton, Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself much more often than not. Astute supporters and inane detractors alike are encouraged to e-mail him with their pithy comments at dpatton@cagle.com. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns are syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For info on using his column at your publication or website, please email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com.

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35 Comments

  1. ponysparkleComment by ponysparkle
    July 26, 2012 @ 9:27 am

    A very nicely written article.

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  2. midwestbillComment by midwestbill
    July 26, 2012 @ 9:46 am

    I am 60 years old. This too is my story almost word for word. We were taught to respect life and taught the responsibility of gun handling, care and ownership. Yes 12 people were killed and 50 plus were wounded. That is horrible! I now turn to automobiles. How many people were killed by crazy drivers that same Friday? I don’t see the outrage to ban automobiles. Just my thoughts.

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  3. The way it isComment by The way it is
    July 26, 2012 @ 10:06 am

    At 62 years of age, I have owned guns since I was 8 years old I have never killed or wounded anyone before or after my time in VietNam. If it came to protecting my family or myself I will take action that many would disaprove of.
    People with guns are citizens, people without weapons are slaves.

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      July 26, 2012 @ 11:37 am

      “Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not…” – Thomas Jefferson.

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  4. cxComment by genesal
    July 26, 2012 @ 10:10 am

    Now why are gun owners being picked on. Why is a God given right and a Declaration of Independent right and a Constitutional right being questioned? It’s about power and control. Without guns we are but slaves, without guns the States are at the mercy of the Federal government, something our Fore Fathers knew something about and were apprehensive and cautious enough to prevent it from ever happening again.

    Real Time Estimate Top 7 Causes of Death
    Since 1 Jan, 2012

    Cause……………….Annually……To Date
    Tobacco: ………….529,000…….300,345
    Medical Errors:……195,000…… 110,713
    Alcohol Abuse:…….107,400….. 60,977
    Vehicle Accidents:..42,000…… 23,846
    Suicide: …………..29,350……. 16,664
    Drug Abuse:…….25,500……… 14,478
    Firearm Homicide:.10,828……. 6,148

    Now, what needs banning?

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      July 26, 2012 @ 11:39 am

      As far as Gun Control Goes,,,When it comes to paying the human price of freedom it’s pay me a little now with isolated deaths caused by a few distorted minds, or pay me a lot later when the distorted minds reside in the leaders, like Hitler and Stalin and 30-40 million people disappear from the face of the planet. The innocent few often have to pay the price to secure the liberty of the many. Unfortunately we are a government of Men not Angels.

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    • Mort_fComment by Mort_f
      July 26, 2012 @ 11:51 am

      While in the main your list is of ‘immediate’ causes of death. I rather wonder how tobacco fits that list. Might as well list obesity as well. Stay away from ice cream and bacon as well, they cause clogged arteries, which result in heart attacks and strokes. I believe that ‘heart failure’ is the absolute top of the list, whether due to medical reasons or criminal assault.

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    • thedoveComment by thedove
      July 26, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

      “Now, what needs banning?”

      Using cell ‘phones while driving.

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    • cxComment by genesal
      July 27, 2012 @ 11:07 am

      NO, Abortion needs banning!

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  5. TomPFComment by TomPF
    July 26, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    The press is quick to get everyone all riled up over firearms-related deaths, but they aren’t anywhere NEAR common or frequent. They manipulate people’s thinking by fanning the flames and making it a much bigger issue than it is for political purposes, and that means power and control over the people who AREN’T criminals. Doug is RIGHT ON as usual!

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  6. cjmconsultingComment by cjmconsulting
    July 26, 2012 @ 11:05 am

    Don’t agree with any of the previous comments. They all sound like they were paid for by the NRA Lobbyists. I am a supporter of freedom and the Constitution but I do not support ownership of any kind of assault weapon by any civilian in this country. All the statistics and rationalizations that are quoted in defense of gun ownership (usually after massacres like Aurora) don’t do anything to prevent the next one. Politcians need to stop worrying about NRA dollars and do something to protect innocent Americans from assault rifle mayhem. Tighten the laws. Civilians should not be able to buy thousands of rounds of ammunition over the internet. That’s just stupid.

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    • mrbobComment by mrbob
      July 26, 2012 @ 11:47 am

      This issue like any has many opinions and CJMconsulting you have every right to yours. The weapons chosen by this individual are not assault weapons they are all legitimate self defense weapons put to an outrageous use by an evil person. In your comment you indicate that someone purchasing 6000 rounds of ammunition over the internet is just stupid, while I find it extreme stupid would not be the term that I would use.

      I for one train with my self defense weapons quite often so it is not uncommon for me to purchase ammunition 1000 rounds at a time as the pricing is significantly better.

      What amount of ammunition should a law abiding person be able to purchase? Remember that this evil person probably fired only about 150 rounds in this terrible tragedy?

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    • SuncoastComment by Suncoast
      July 26, 2012 @ 11:51 am

      You seem to like to throw the term “assault weapon” around, so please do us the favor of defining an assault weapon. By the way, 44,000 people, many of them innocent children, were killed in vehicle wrecks last year(note I did not call them accidents) many caused by drunk drivers who are still alive. Therefore, if you are so hell bent on having government control assault rifles, as you call them, then this same government of yours should ban all vehicles since vehicles are not covered in the Constitution and are killing innocent Americans. So now you, as a consultant, can say “But it was the drunk driver who caused the deaths.” I will retort that it is the nut holding the weapon that did the killing, not the gun.

      Also remember, once the government gets to ban assault weapons, they will define everything, all the way down to cap pistols, as assault weapons so that they can control your actions. This was shown to be fact when the first grader was expelled from school two years ago because he brought his GI-Joe toy rifle to school. TSA has also taken a plastic 2 inch toy soldier from a kid because the soldier was carrying a rifle molded into his hands.

      Therefore as one consultant to another, I would recommend that you move to England where the government has removed all weapons from law abiding citizens. You, as a consultant, should look at the crime statistics of Kennesaw, Georgia who passed a law way back in the 80s that requires everyone, who is mentally capable and not a felon, to possess a gun. Crime plummeted because most criminals do not have a death wish.

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    • allfor1and1forallComment by allfor1and1forall
      July 26, 2012 @ 11:56 am

      CJMconsulting, with all due respect, I suggest that you do a bit more homework on this issue.

      First of all, no assault weapon was used in Aurora. An assault weapon is a FULLY-automatic weapon. What Holmes had was a SEMI-automatic weapon. Just because a rifle “looks like” an assault weapon does not make it so. You have been duped by the MSM, which constantly tries to confuse the two, either deviously or ignorantly. AND,fully-automatic weapons CANNOT be purchased or owned without a special, hard-to-get BATF permit.

      Second, you say that you “do not support ownership of any kind of assault weapon by any civilian in this country.” Your preferences do not alter the Constitution. Period. Besides, the very first Supreme Court decision regarding the 2nd Amendment held that the Amendment specifically was intended to include military weapons.

      Third, all available information demonstrates that the best societal defense against mass killings is actually MORE firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens. Example? Aurora’s own gun control laws that made the theater a free-fire zone for that slimeball.

      While I don’t doubt the intent behind your comments, please be more informed.

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      July 26, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

      We were given our second amendment rights not to protect us from the occasional mentally deranged individual. We were given our gun rights to protect us from a potential government of collective oppression who collectively would steal our personal property which represents the limited life time and life blood spent upon this earth. I can buy thousands of rounds of ammunition at Wal-Mart so what is the big deal of over the internet. They only difference in your mind is that the purchases made which secure my individual freedom get in the way of a government’s ability into intimidatingly attack me and my personal property in a collective manner. I reiterate, we were given 2nd amendment rights for a reason by men who broke free of government oppression and believed in securing that freedom for generations to come through force of arms if necessary. You are only a supporter of the Constitution in words, but it is the willingness to follow in deeds that keeps the potential government oppressors at bay.

      This nation never achieved greatness through offers of hope and change, but by proactive productive actions of self reliance, and nobody understands the relationship of individual achievement, strength and dignity than the American Armed forces who continually set the paradigm of sacrifice and success abroad which we as individuals should again learn to follow at home, and be willing to protect and defend our rights at home just as our military personnel do for us overseas.

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    • cxComment by genesal
      July 26, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

      How does thousands of rounds of ammo have anything to do with this case? In the four months of prep he could have bought in stores more rounds than he actually used.

      Part of the second amendment being necessary to the security of a free State (presumably from the Federal Government)
      How could you protect a free State when you’re protecting yourself from others who have assault weapons and you have none? The police ran into this problem not long ago when all they had was shotguns against automatic weapons, didn’t work did it? It only makes sense that you can only protect yourself and what you have with what they are coming at you with. Otherwise it’s like bringing only a knife to a gun fight.

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    • spindizzyComment by spindizzy
      July 26, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

      Assault rifle mayhem. What poppycock! Holmes used a Remington 870 shotgun, probably the most popular hunting shotgun of all time. He had a S&W m&p-15, a semi-automatic .223 cal. fast becoming the sporting rifle of all time. CJM, what do you even know about firearms. Not much, as indicated by your blather. Here is what you, the media, and all the rest of you lib-tards fail to realize…Holmes was a coward looking for the softest target he could find. He was scared to be hurt while he was doing this, so he armored up. He picked a target that he KNEW would be defenseless and easy for him to kill as many people as he could. You dumb dips, if that slimey little coward thought that everyone in the place was going to have a weapon, he would never have gone in there, he would have picked an easier place to murder innocent, defenseless people. CJM, you are the threat to America. And Bill O’Rielly too. How many times did I hear him say 60,000 rounds of ammo bought over the internet. It was only 6000 rounds, which would last regular shooters, what, a week or two. CJM, you’re clueless, but want to tell everyone else what they should or should not do.

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    • thedoveComment by thedove
      July 26, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

      ” I do not support ownership of any kind of assault weapon by any civilian in this country.”

      Neither does the NRA.

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  7. fedupComment by davekeiper7
    July 26, 2012 @ 11:39 am

    The above comment is just the same old blather we hear from
    the left every day. Doug is right on. The numbers don’t
    lie, but people like you do. Just like the present government
    we have. The founders of this country knew what a power hungry government could do, and is why the 2nd amendment was
    needed. I have been around for a long time and I have never
    seen the dangers we face now from our own so called leaders.
    Even in WWll we knew who our enemy was. The one we have now keeps lying to the people and they have been duped, not to
    know the difference.

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  8. mershComment by mersh
    July 26, 2012 @ 11:50 am

    Like others commenter before me I’m older, 60, and grew up with guns in my home. I have been hunting and shooting for 45 yrs without incident. A question I would pose to anyone who thinks more gun control will help. Why should my liberties and freedoms be based on the actions of a criminal? Should I give up my Mercedes 500 because some kid in a hotrod Honda slams into a family of five in a minivan, killing all onboard? Laws are for people like us not criminals. They won’t help.

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  9. Mort_fComment by Mort_f
    July 26, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

    Slightly off the subject, but has anyone noticed the Federal purchase of 450 million rounds of .40 caliber hollow point rounds, an ammunition that is BANNED from militaty usage by all those international ‘treaties’. I have yet to see any ‘liberal’ even questioning the propriety of that purchase by Obama’s lackeys.

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    • spindizzyComment by spindizzy
      July 26, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

      Yeah, let’s get a conversation going on this….(crickets, crickets). Now mind you, not only a Federal purchase, as in “military”, but a Homeland Security purchase of 450 Million rounds of HOLLOW-POINT ammunition, which as stated above is illegal for any world military to use. WDF! What need does Napolitano see for 450,000,000 illegal bullets to be used here in the states against citizens? And why the 7734 don’t we hear a peep from CJM and the crowd? Okay, I’ll answer that…because CJM doesn’t have the slightest idea, because the MSM has not told him what to think yet.

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    • spindizzyComment by spindizzy
      July 26, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

      And I believe it was .223 ammo, not .40 cal.

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    • gekruckebergComment by gekruckeberg
      July 26, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

      To Spindizzy: No, it’s .40 caliber. The standard issue FBI sidarm is a .40 caliber Glock.

      gekruckeberg.com.

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    • b1cruzComment by b1cruz
      August 7, 2012 @ 9:05 am

      I will just say Special forces and people of this nature can be authorized used of said caliber depending on the mission.

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    • b1cruzComment by b1cruz
      August 7, 2012 @ 9:08 am

      Special foreces and groups like this can be given authorization to use this type of ammo if the mission requires it.

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  10. Mort_fComment by Mort_f
    July 26, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

    Just what is ‘assault’? Simply put, it is a synonym for offense.

    The military learned that the average soldier has a hard time hitting the side of a barn, especially in combat. In the muzzle loading days, the solution was masses of soldiers firing in salvo. In WWII, the submachine gun gained popularity. A short range, portable weapon, that could operate in a fully automatic mode. Examples were the ‘Tommy’ gun, the British Sten, the German Schmeisser, and the Russina ShKas. Later on we have the Israeli UZI, and the Russian AK-47. Many others also exist.

    In general, all are fairly crude, cheap to make, and of limited accuracy. Rarely the choice of target shooters, or hunters.

    But along with the development of fully automatic weapons there was the development of semi-automatic weapons. The differences are minor. The fully automatics can be modified so that they will only operate in semi-automatic mode. But it does not take a mechanical genius to restore that full automatic mode. Neither does it take a genius to enable full automatic operation of a semi-automatic weapon. Hence the very descriptor ‘assault’, has been abused like the word ‘liberal’.

    TSA further defines ‘assault’ weapons. Their list includes my penknife with a 1 inch blade, my waiter’s corkscrew, even my wife’s knitting needles. Heaven forbid, a manicure set? I guess the toothbrush will soon follow on the list of prohibited, dangerous, weapons.

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  11. JDZComment by JDZ
    July 26, 2012 @ 3:22 pm

    The design and manufacturing of firearms is a big business, and it is a global enterprise. Firearms have been a part of our country from day one and continues to be a part of our culture. In our early days as a country, personally owned firearms were necessary to survive in the pioneer days and during the expansion of our country. In much of our days leading to independence and beyond our government depended on the firearms owned by private citizens to supplement those provided by government. Owning a rifle was an accepted part of a boy’s right of passage to some extent. The Boy Scouts teach kids how to use firearms and other devices like bow and arrows and crossbows. Shooting is an Olympic sport. Etc.

    As long as firearms are manufactured and provided to the military and the various branches of law enforcement, a ban on firearms only takes them away from those of us that use them for sport and self defense. Just like probition of drinking alcohol failed to eliminate the manufacture and distribution of drinking alcohol, a ban on guns will just increase the business of gun sales on the black market by those that want them including criminals and nutcases like Holmes.

    Expecting any ban to be totally enforced by government is unrealistic as our governments cannot keep illegal guns from those that really want them as demonstrated in Chicago which has a law in place banning the ownership of guns but the murder rate is actually on the rise, and that is even after thousands of guns have been confiscated.

    The good part is that incidents like this shooting in Aurora is not that prevalent where some whack job goes out on a shooting spree. We will never be able to completely stop someone who is intelligent from trying something like this.

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  12. Mort_fComment by Mort_f
    July 26, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

    A point to pnder. Bloomberg’s NYC has the Sullivan Law, possibly the most restrictive gun law in the country. For a law-abiding citizen, unless he has the ‘right’ connections, to own a handgun is a near impossibility.

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  13. braines57Comment by braines57
    July 26, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

    I have been a member of the NRA for years even though I have yet to purchase a firearm for myself (although I am a good shot because family and friends have guns and I to go ranges to practice). However, recent events have made me decide that the time has come for me to purchase my own weapon and complete the necessary classes for a CCA permit. Best believe that I will carry it at all times – to the movies, to dinner, to wherever I go, regardless of what some sign on a door says, and if I or my family are threatened believe that I will use said weapon. Period. The time has come for the citizens of this country to stand up for their rights regardless of what the politicians have to say – otherwise, before too long, we won’t have any rights left.

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  14. moonshineComment by moonshine
    July 26, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

    Patton’s article is 100% on target. Please excuse the pun. The reason some people fear firearms is that they have not taken the time to learn about them, or they intend to subjugiate others, and guns prevent this from happening. History proves that the first step in the rise of a dictator is to confiscate personal firearms, so that their citizens are defenseless. Many politicians use the same logic to eliminate the possibility of opposition to their radical agendas. The elites (lawgivers, intellectuals and politicians) do not like to be challenged by the common man, who is inferior and needs to be controlled.
    If you lose your guns, you will eventually lose your freedom. While personal firearms cannot match the firepower of the military, the sheer number of guns in play is a serious deterrent to tyranny. The liberal argument that guns beget violence is absurd. The truer statement is that the lack of guns promotes violent crime, primarily against the innocent and defenseless. I stand with the NRA, on the side of liberty and freedom.
    God Bless America, and protect her from those who wish to destroy her.

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  15. justice4allComment by justice4all
    July 26, 2012 @ 4:55 pm

    He wanted to inflict the most pain he could. But, he protected himself for any eventuality.
    It has shown that he wanted attention, starting with the hair color.
    Neither gun control nor possesion of gun will fix the problem. It is the mentality of this
    kind of despicable human (if we can call it human).

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  16. greenteethComment by greenteeth
    July 26, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

    No one wants to admit it, especially liberals and progressives, we live in a sociaty where you better own a gun,all of the bad guys do, and they wont be turning them in, even if out lawed. Some say how would you tell who is the bad guy when the cops are called, easy the bad guy will be on the ground. Some say, sounds like the old west, The old west was not this violent. guns don’t make violence, drugs, money, booze, and competition for the sexes. This is the truth, everything ekse is politics.

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  17. geoinsdComment by geoinsd
    July 26, 2012 @ 5:44 pm

    In my second job out of college I worked with a Swiss national who was active in the Swiss army. He said Swiss citizens were required to keep a fully automatic rifle (i.e. machine gun) in their homes. Some even keep rocket launchers, if I remember him saying correctly. The Swiss aren’t killing each other.

    Concerning civilian ownership of AR and AK type semi-automatic weapons, I think it is a good thing. The 2nd Amendment isn’t about duck hunting or punching holes in paper. It is about having an armed citizenry to preserve liberty, like what Switzerland does. AR and AK type semis are very appropriate for that role, much better than a deer rifle.

    Where my father is from, murder is unheard of and most every family is heavily armed. Since my birth until my grandparents died of natural causes when I was 16, there was always a rifle and shotgun propped up in a corner of the dining room. I just did a quick web search which showed two years of crimes stats of that city with ZERO murders for both years. They are a peace loving people but they are not helpless sheep.

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    • greenteethComment by greenteeth
      July 26, 2012 @ 6:49 pm

      Every one has to do 2 years in military, when they get out they keep- there weapon. we should do tje same.

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