“Don’t let my son’s death be in vain,” exclaimed Tom Mauser, father
of Columbine High School shooting victim Daniel Mauser, outside the
convention of the National Rifle Association last weekend in Denver.
My heart goes out to Tom Mauser, as it would to any parent of any
crime victim. But I’m afraid Mr. Mauser is thinking with his heart
instead of his head.
If Mauser thinks banning guns or severely limiting access to them
would have saved his son or anyone else, he is sadly mistaken. In fact,
as a new study reported in WorldNetDaily last week
shows, the conventional “fewer guns, less crime” wisdom is dead wrong.
In fact, John R. Lott Jr. and William M. Landes of the Chicago
University School of Law found that less restrictive concealed-carry
laws translate directly to fewer violent crimes.
But selling people on the idea that they are completely, 100 percent,
dead-wrong — that their preconceived notions stand the truth on its
head — is not easy. So let’s take this step by step. Let’s begin with
the case of Christopher Churchill.
While the mass murders in Columbine have seized center stage in the
consciousness of the nation, another teen-age mass murderer was
sentenced in Illinois last week to life in prison. You didn’t hear much
about him. Churchill is 17 and was 16 when he killed his half-brother,
Jonathan Lloyd, Lloyd’s 35-year-old girlfriend and her three young
children — ages 12, 10 and 6.
Maybe the reason the Churchill murders didn’t get much media is
because this teen-ager didn’t use any guns. His weapon of choice was a
Not surprisingly, no one in Illinois or anywhere else for that matter
has suggested that hammers should be registered — that certain kinds of
hammers should no longer be sold or even that children should not be
permitted to possess hammers.
Yet, a hammer was a very proficient killing tool for young
Christopher Churchill. Not only did he kill five victims, he even had
sex with one of the children as she lay dying.
Churchill’s reason for killing is quite familiar, too. He said he
“acted out a little anger” on the others on impulse because they teased
So, all you gun grabbers out there, this story and this story alone
should illustrate the absurdity of your position. Banning or restricting
the possession of firearms is not only unconstitutional, it is patently
absurd. It will not accomplish your stated objectives. It will not stop
violent crimes. So what’s the point?
Some people — Mauser and Clinton among them — believe it is better
to do something, even if it is a meaningless, symbolic,
counterproductive and unconstitutional action, than to calmly and
rationally look at the bigger picture.
There are reasons for the Columbine massacre. There are identifiable
root causes. Yes, the real accountability lies with the individual moral
agents who pulled the triggers and threw the bombs. But others bear some
responsibility. Gun manufacturers, dealers and users are not among them.
In fact, had such an attack taken place in an Israeli school or a
Swiss school, there is an excellent chance the perpetrators would have
been stopped much, much sooner. Or, more likely, they never would have
dreamed up their plan in the first place. Why? Because in Israel or
Switzerland, the odds are that some teachers and school administrators
would have been armed.
And that’s really the point. Guns are not the problem. In fact, they
are part of the solution. Who did unarmed school administrators call
when the shooting first began at Columbine? They called the cops —
armed good guys — for help. Just imagine if there were armed good guys
in all the schools — not security guards, necessarily, but trained
teachers and administrators who served the added purpose of protecting
students from intruders and other threats.
Would the schools and our streets be safer with more guns? You bet
Mr. Mauser, the only way your son’s murder will be in vain is if the
rights of law-abiding Americans are unduly infringed as part of an
emotional reaction to your tragedy. Don’t let that happen.