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A defeat for (gun) prohibition

Reading about the arrest of what appears to have been an extremist planning an attack on Ft Hood, Texas, I was struck by the contrast with the Oslo attack last weekend.

Private First Class Naser Jason Abdo, was arrested Wednesday after making a purchase at Guns Galore in Killeen, Texas, the same ammunition store where Maj. Nidal Hasan purchased the weapons he allegedly used to gun down 13 people and wound 32 others on Nov. 5, 2009.

The point being that a legal gun shop owner is more likely to call the police than a black market arms supplier would. Now if we could only get all the gun rights people in America to realise the advantages of legal outlets for drugs as well…

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18 comments to A defeat for (gun) prohibition

  • PersonFromPorlock

    …the same ammunition store where Maj. Nidal Hasan purchased the weapons he allegedly used to gun down 13 people and wound 32 others on Nov. 5, 2009.

    Not, perhaps, the wisest possible choice of venue on Pfc Abdo’s part. Thank God for the Achmed factor!

  • JT

    Although note it was the easy and open availabity of guns for sale that arguably facilitated the first massacre…can you be certain that that event would still have happened if legal availabity of weapons and ammo was much, much more tightly controlled?

  • newrouter

    “can you be certain that that event would still have happened if legal availabity of weapons and ammo was much, much more tightly controlled?”

    well no you can’t. but it would have ended differently had the army allowed it’s troops to be armed on a military base.

  • Plamus

    It is probably worth noting the Hassan’s massacre was greatly facilitated by the fact that due to the wise government’s regulations, US bases are by and large gun-free zones, much like schools and universities. It was a civilian cop that disabled Hassan – on a freaking military base…

  • Also fortunate that the shop owner called the local police instead of the ATF.

  • Jobrag

    It should be noted that Anders Behring Breivik had obtained all his firearms legally.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Jobrag, indeed.

  • Breivik did apparently make one trip to the Balkans to attempt to buy weapons illegally. (He had his heart set on an AK-47, apparently). He failed to obtain what he wanted, so then bought his guns by the legal route in Norway.

    I can just imaging the reaction of the Serbian underworld figures to him. “Oh, ho… Nutter… Get him out of here”.

  • the other rob

    This report has a marvellous quote from the store clerk. (Link)

    “(We) felt uncomfortable with his overall demeanor and the fact he didn’t know what the hell he was buying,” Ebert said. “I thought it prudent to contact the local authorities, which I did.”

  • Breivik may have obtained his firearms legally, but I have not yet seen any indication that his victims had the lawful right to carry similar firearms for self protection.

    The norwegian tragedy remains an issue of overly restrictive gun laws combined with a culture severly lacking in personal responsibility for self protection and the protection of innocents.

  • Antoine Clarke

    Thanks for all the comments.

    I agree with people noting that on other occasions, gunshops have supplied people who then carried out dreadful attacks.

    However, as with Oslo, the “crazy” gunmen have a remarkable knack of picking locations where the law-abiding citizens, for one reason or another, are not allowed to carry loaded weapons. This includes Ft Hood where troops are not allowed to carry loaded weapons most of the time.

    One conclusion is that the “crazies” are in fact very alert to the incentives of the law. I’m convinced that the death penalty, not gun control or more guns, would certainly have prevented this attack. 21 years maximum is a laugh, especially in a Norwegian prison. Not sure I’d bother claiming insanity if I were charged with anything there.

    Final note, I do not criticize the Norwegian government or police for their handling of the shootings. They were fooled by a decoy attack on the Prime Minster’s building. If the FBI ever got fooled that an attack on the White House is in fact cover for a raid on some Young Democrats’ gathering in Maryland, they will have my sympathy. Evil genius and let’s face it, this sort of attack was outside the parameters of the Oslo police force’s experience. Until now.

  • Vinegar Joe

    @Antoine Clarke “Now if we could only get all the gun rights people in America to realise the advantages of legal outlets for drugs as well…”

    Once upon a time, the British and Dutch sold opium legally in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and China. How did that work out for the locals?

  • Antoine Clarke

    Vinegar Joe.

    “How did that work out for the locals?”

    Somewhat better than the “Great Leap Forward” or the Cultural Revolution, I should think.

  • PeterT

    Vinegar Joe.

    “How did that work out for the locals?”

    How about none of your damn business.

  • Kim du Toit

    …and no real note is made that Naser Jason Abdo is a Muslim who refused to go to Afghanistan as a “conscientious objector”, then went AWOL to avoid his court-martial.

    Wonder why that’s being downplayed?

  • Kim du Toit

    “Now if we could only get all the gun rights people in America to realise the advantages of legal outlets for drugs as well…”

    Antoine, if you could defend yourself against an attacker with a marijuana joint (is that Monty Python I hear in the background?), your question might be a propos.

  • John K

    Although note it was the easy and open availabity of guns for sale that arguably facilitated the first massacre…can you be certain that that event would still have happened if legal availabity of weapons and ammo was much, much more tightly controlled?

    Breivik was an outwardly law abiding person who had a farm. Ther is no country in Europe, even Britain, where he would not have been able legally to acquire at least a rifle and shotgun. Likewise, Hassan was an army officer, apparently of good character. I can’t think of many countries where he would have been unable to legally own a gun. Trying to stop these masscares by further restrictions on legal gun ownership must lead inexorably towards outright gun prohibition. We have seen this in Britain, where after Hungerford and Dunblane the government banned the types of guns to killers used, as if the gun made them do it. This fetishistic approach to an inanimate object is one recurring symptom of the madness of our governing classes. I await the response of the Norwegian government with dread.

  • Paul Marks

    The thing about Major Hassan was that (thanks to Clinton Administration regulations) military people are not allowed to carry fire arms on military bases (unless on guard or in active training).

    So he was basically shooting helpless targets.

    Breivik was the same – hundreds of young people on an island and not one of them (thanks to the gun laws of Norway – which actually exclude owning a firearm for reasons of self defence) had a gun.

    He was like a fox who had got into a chicken coop – his victims were helpless.

    Some “Knight’s Templar” – killing the unarmed and defenceless.

    But then, of course, he believed in useful myths – rather than objective truth (and objective honour).