Can you demonstrate just one time, one place, throughout all human history, where restricting the access of handheld weapons to the average person made them safer?
I think the key word in the question is "average". I'm not advocating the possesion or use of weapons by criminals or the mentally unsound or emotionally unstable. And the answer to the "violence" problem in this country is NOT stricter gun laws. We have had enough gun laws to solve the violence problem since 1965.
What we need is better enforcement of those laws.
And I need to go off on a tangent. We also do NOT need "Zero Tolerance" in our schools for violence or weapons. If a parent can't walk into a child's classroom with a Swiss Army knife on their person without committing a FELONY, something is seriously wrong with the law! If a High School student comes to school with a knife in their vehicle or, Gods forbid, loose ammunition left over from a weekend hunting trip they should not face criminal charges and expulson from school for the rest of the year.
For the sake of all that is just and sane, People, let's us show just a tiny bit of REASON! For instance, I raised my children to be neither bullies nor victims. They both knew that if they started a fight, anywhere, not just at school, they would face sanctions at home that would make anything the school or other authorities did to them seem like mollycoddling. And I'm not referring to physical abuse. I'm talking no TV, no phone, no friends, no video games; cleaning toilets, picking up dog poop, picking up the neighbor's dog's poop, going to the park and picking up trash, going to the Nursing Home and reading to the Old Folks every Saturday and those were going to be the FUN activities! OTOH, if some other kid threw the 1st ounch, they were allowed to defend themselves up to the point where the aggressor was no longer a threat. I had to go up to school ONE time.
My XY offspring had gotten stabbed in the hand by a kid with a #2 lead pencil. The Vice Principal SHOULD have recognized his last name! This was the same guy who had talked to me when the Angel Baby Girl wore the "Dont Let Affection Lead to Infection..." Tee Shirt. But he didn't and so I got a call that my son had been a fight and I needed to come pick him up.
Can y'all see it coming?
I get to the office and the VP, my son and I sit down and VP starts telling me what happened. I keeping lookin' at Son and he keeps nodding his head, confirming the facts of the story. VP finishes his recitation and has a stern look on his face.
Holly: So you're telling me that my Son, a student who has NEVER been in trouble before, EVER, at this school or any other school, is being expelled because he defended himself after being assaulted with a WEAPON by a student who stole the weapon from him? The other student was angry because Son wouldn't give Angry Student the only pencil he had, so Angry Student grabbed the pencil and stabbed Son with it, do I have this right, so far?
VP: Well... yes, Mrs. D...
Holly: Nah, Nah... we went through this 2 years ago when I was in this very office with my daughter, M----D----, remember? You may address me as Ms.Uppity Bi+ch.
VP: Yes, Ms.UB. You have it correct so far.
Holly: So, now I am going to take Son to the Emergency Room. I mean, after all. He HAS suffered a puncture wound with a foreign object to his hand. Since he makes nothing but "As" in Band as a Percussionist, I'd hate to endanger that performance or his HEALTH by leaving LEAD in his hand.
At this point I turn to Son and ask him if it hurts very much.
Son: Yes, Ma'am. It's startin' to really throb a LOT.
VP: well, Ms.UB I won't keep you any longer, I know you're anxious to get that hand taken care of. You seem to have a grasp of the seriousness of the situation, so I'll just...
Holly: Hold on there, Cowboy! I ain't even half through!
At this point VP, who had started to rise from his chair, re-seats himself, and heaves a sigh.
Holly: When will the Police be here?
VP: Pardon me?
Holly: When will the Police be here to take the report?
VP: What report?
Now I sigh. I feel like I'm explaining things to a dull-witted child.
Holly: The report about the Aggravated Assault, of course.
VP: WHAT Aggravated Assault?
Holly: Mr. VP are you being deliberately obtuse, or do you truly not recognize an aggravted assault when one occurs in your school?
VP: Ms.UB there's no reason to be insulting. No aggravated assault occured here.
Holly: Let's just call the Police and let THEM decide that. You see, before I was a Community Health Educator, I was a Parole Officer. I have a fairly good understanding of the criminal code. What happened to my child sounds like Aggravated Assault to me. What Son did, on the other hand, sounds an awful lot like something the police and the courts like to term "Self-Defense".
VP: But, But, you don't understand, Ms. UB, what Son did was in violation of our "Zero Tolerance" policy!
Holly: Was it now? So he was just supposed to sit there, or stand there and let Angry Student stab him again and again until a teacher could subdue the Angry Student?
VP: Well, Son could have run away from Angry Student.
Holly: And then he could just have me take a Sharpie and draw a great big target on ALL his shirts. Oh Wait, that wouldn't be necessary. As soon as every boy in this school heard that he RAN AWAY, he instantly becomes a target just by coming to school!
Couple of things I learned working with professional victimizers, Mr.VP is that they all started YOUNG, just like Angry Student, and ain't nobody can protect you from victimizers but yourownself!
VP: Well, that is your opinion, Ms. UB...
Holly: That is my INFORMED opinion. From working with CRIMINALS, Mr. VP.
VP sighs mightily, like a man who knows he's lost an arguement.
VP: So, Ms. UB, how do you want to proceed?
Holly: well, from where I sit. [I stop here and turn to Son] Now Son you have a say in this too, so you let me know if you don't like what I propose to Mr.VP. We can take one of several courses of action. YOU can pick up the phone and call the Police and report this incident. When an officer arrives, Son will give his statement to the officer and I will inform the officer that after having his hand treated we will come to the station or the District Attorney's Office to file a complaint against Angry Student. You will of course still be free to implement the School District's policy of expelling Son for violating the "Zero Tolerance" policy. You can stick to your position that NO aggravated assault occured and I can take my son to receive medical attention and THEN we will go to the police station on our own. You will of course be free to proceed with the expulsion of my son. I, of course, will begin attorney shopping. There are a LOT of under-employed Lawyers in this County. I know a bunch of them. Since Son won't be goin' to school, I'll be parading this sweet face in every law office I can get an appointment with. SOMEBODY will take this case. I see the puzzled look on your face. You're thinking "What case?" Let me explain...First we'll be suing the District for failing to protect Son from a vicious and dangerous student. Since you ARE the Vice Principal for disciplinary matters, you will of course be named as will the teacher. Of Course this "Zero Tolerance" policy will HAVE to be challenged in cases of self defense, such as this. I mean, after all, Son had been viciously attacked by a student with PRIOR violent disciplinary problems. I am right about that, aren't I?
At that point, the VP started to get a bit green around the gills.
Holly: OR... Son can get an excused absence for today and tomorrow to recover from his assault, he will be allowed an extra day to make up any work or quizzes or tests he misses due to his absence, and he will return to school after that. Are you readin me 5x5?
VP: Well, I, I, I don't really have the authority...
Holly: Come on Son, let's go. We need to get you to the ER.
And I get up and Son starts getting up.
VP: Now, PLease Ms. UB, just wait, PLease, just wait a minute.
VP: PLease, would you mind waiting out in the ...
Holly: Hell, Yes, I'd mind! We'll wait right here, or we'll leave. You need to call someone? You've got 5 minutes.
And I look at my watch.
He hustles out and is back in exactly five minutes. While he's gone, Son allows as to how his hand really is hurtin'. I reassure him we'll go straight to the Doc's office just as soon as VP comes back and caves in to my terms.
VP: I've talked to the Principal and we called the Superintendant. We discussed the situation. Since Angry Student HAS been in trouble before and since Son was only defending himself, we are going to waive the expulsion and allow him an extra make-up day IF you agree not to pursue filing any charges against Angry Student or any lawsuits against the District.
Holly: Has Angry Student been expelled?
VP: Yes ma'am.
Holly: For how long?
VP: for the rest of the school year.
Holly: Can you live with this agreement, Son?
Son: Yes, Ma'am.
Holly: Then I can live with it. Pleasure seeing you again, Mr. VP.
VP: Pleasure see you again, Ms UB.
And that's how I taught Son the fine art of negotiation.