Debate Challenge Answered

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Editor:

Holli and Noble Collins proclaim “Rational debate on gun control elusive” (Aug. 7 Roundup). They present very questionable assertions for that debate, such as the theory that it is delusional to think that spree killers and massacre maniacs would be deterred by armed citizens.

OK, let’s have a rational debate: If that is delusional, perhaps the Collinses would enlighten us with their theory as to why not one spree killing or massacre has ever occurred in a police station, on a shooting range, or in a gun store. Perhaps the Collinses could point out why, in every case in which an armed citizen was present at an intended spree killing or massacre, the perpetrator was stopped very quickly, and the loss of life was minimal. In fact, at least one spree shooting was stopped quickly by unarmed high school students who were trained in arms and weren’t frightened by them.

I don’t know of anyone claiming the children of Columbine should have been armed to defend against the depredations of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. But the faculty could have been, and in a society raised to a rational view of firearms and a rational view of the right to self-defense, this would not have been strange or remarkable or even particularly dangerous. Indeed, if history is any guide, had the faculty been armed, the loss of life would most likely have been minimized. Had an adult theater-goer been armed with a major caliber handgun in Aurora, Thomas Holmes could have been stopped in his tracks — armor or no armor.

The Collinses conclude their challenge to debate with their conclusion: “Less guns may not solve the problem, but more guns definitely would not.” The first clause is clearly true; stricter gun control has been tried and has led to an increase in spree killings and massacres. The second, however, based on the factual history of such events, is clearly false. End of debate.

Donald L. Cline

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