Editor’s Page – February 2023

Guest Editorial By Fred Mittag

“In Defense of Guns”

A man who killed ten people in a Boulder, Colorado, grocery has been declared mentally incompetent to stand trial. You see? It was not the gun’s fault because it was not the cause of the killings – it was mental illness. 

Texas Governor Gregg Abbott is also aware that mental illness is the cause of gun deaths – not the guns themselves. After the Uvalde elementary school shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers, Abbott promised increased treatment of mental illness in Texas. Before the shooting, mental illness was unimportant because Abbott had cut $210 million from the department overseeing those cases. That department is the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Mental health was cut to help finance Abbott’s Operation Lone Star to better guard the Mexican border.

Texas ranks at the bottom of the fifty states in access to mental health care. But the Uvalde shooter had no history of mental illness. Nonetheless, Abbott rushed to blame mental illness for the 42 massacres in Texas in 2022, not Texas’s relaxed gun laws. But Abbott, being a politician, didn’t follow through. ABC News reported, “Texas governor’s much touted mental health care expansion falls short of local, state need.” 

President Donald Trump warned us in his 2016 campaign that Mexican rapists and criminals were pouring across the border. All thinking people can agree that the governor needed mental health money to transport those criminals to the doorstep of the Vice-Presidential Mansion in Washington, D.C.

Governor Abbott’s position on mental health may have changed because Texas Senator Ted Cruz convinced Abbott that the problem was not guns but that schools don’t lock enough of their doors. Abbott may have been persuaded by Cruz that only one school door should be open, and it should be guarded by security. That would solve the problem of kids dying in their schools.

It’s hard to know which argument could better lower gun deaths – better care for the mentally ill or more locked doors in our schools. Another possibility is that “thoughts and prayers” are misdirected. Instead of praying for the relief of grief, prayers could be more proactive and beseech God for an end to gun violence.

Thanks to Bobby Major of Jalisco, Mexico, for the article about panic and terror in an Atlanta supermarket. In summary:

A delivery truck driver alerted a store employee after he saw Rico Marley in the restroom. He wore body armor, four handguns in his jacket pockets, a 12-gauge shotgun, and an AR-15-style assault rifle. He carried his weaponry into the store in a guitar case. The shoppers in the store went into “panic, terror, and evacuated the store.” 

Marley was arrested, but his lawyer noted that Marley had not threatened or fired any shots and had legally purchased the guns. Marley had not violated Georgia law. The lawyer said Marley was “just being a person, doing what he had the right to do.” 

Constitutional lawyers cite the doctrine of prior restraint regarding the First Amendment. Courts have generally ruled that the government cannot review and censor material before publication. The Nixon administration’s attempt to prevent the New York Times from publishing the Pentagon Papers is an example. 

What is analogous in the Rico Marley case is that he should not have been arrested until he actually began shooting people. Otherwise, the police used prior restraint before he even started to massacre people. That arrest violated his precious Second Amendment right to bear arms.

In Virginia, a six-year-old boy shot his 25-year-old teacher and sent her to the hospital with life-threatening injury. She is now stable and will survive. School board members, school administrators, and even janitors spoke of what a great teacher she is, very dedicated to her pupils. The city’s police chief offered his “thoughts and prayers,” which is always helpful to both victims and survivors by wiping away their pain.

But what about the boy? The teacher must take responsibility for denying the little boy his Second Amendment rights. She violated those rights when she tried to confiscate his gun when he pulled it from his backpack. When the boy pulled the trigger, he was only defending himself against a fevered teacher zealous in her opposition to America’s sacred Second Amendment rights. This was in a reading class that was getting ready to change to art class. 

Anyway, what’s important is that the little boy was armed and could have saved many of his classmates’ lives had a Sandy Hook or Uvalde-style shooter entered the school to shoot children and teachers. Then the little boy would have been declared a hero.

The boy’s mother bought the gun and, we may assume, responsibly trained her son in its use. The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is for a first-grader to have a gun.

For more information about Lake Chapala visit: chapala.com

Fred Mittag
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1 thought on “Editor’s Page – February 2023”

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    Katina Pontikes

    Your article is “dead on” about the stupid way shootings are addressed. When will these politicians truly get tough and stop pandering to the NRA? I’m beyond disgusted and fed up.

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