The only person arrested for helping Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold arm themselves in preparation for the shootings at
Columbine High School is the son of a Handgun Control Inc. activist.
Mark Manes, 22, was arrested last week on charges of selling a semi-automatic TEC-DC9 pistol to the teen gunmen the month
before the massacre at the Littleton public school. On three occasions leading up to the April 20 attack, Manes went shooting
in the hills with Klebold and Harris.
Bob Ransome, attorney for Manes, says both parents — Michael and Diann — are anti-gun and never had firearms in their
home while their son was growing up. Mrs. Manes belongs to the Washington-based HCI, chaired by Sarah Brady.
“She has been against guns forever,” said Ransome. “Mark grew up in a house where no weapons were present.”
Ransome says despite the anti-gun activism of the Maneses, young Mark “was always interested in guns. My client suddenly
does realize Mom was really right all along.”
Well, I’ve got to tell you, that’s a bit of a stretch. If Mom was right, why didn’t she spend a little less time worrying
about legislation in Washington and a little more time worrying about her wayward son?
While Manes doesn’t appear to be a career criminal or an assassin, he certainly has had more than a few brushes with the
law. Between 1993 and 1997, Manes was cited four times for underage drinking. He was stopped five times for traffic
violations. In November 1994, while he was still presumably sharing a roof with his Mom, he was cited for attempting to elude
a police officer after midnight. The day before, he got a ticket for failing to have his lights on while driving his car at
Of course, you don’t have to belong to HCI to believe Manes is a nut. He’s an irresponsible punk for selling guns to
teen-agers — especially some as wacky as Harris and Klebold. He’s even nuttier and more irresponsible for suggesting that
those of us who are responsible should be deprived of our firearms because of his criminal act.
That’s how twisted is the logic of the gun-grabbers in this country. Even when their own social control experiments fail,
they blame their opposition. The debate, after all, over guns in this country is not between HCI and criminals. It’s between
Sarah Brady and people who revere the Constitution, freedom and our revolutionary heritage.
The arrest of Mark Manes is a perfect, practical illustration of what’s wrong with the argument of the HCI crowd. They say
tougher laws will prevent criminals from getting their hands on guns. Sarah Brady got her wish. The Brady law was in effect
when Mark Manes bought his pistol. It was in effect when he sold it illegally to Klebold and Harris. It was in effect April 20
when Klebold and Harris used it to kill 12 students and a teacher and wound 21 others before killing themselves.
Those students violated dozens of other laws in the commission of that atrocity. The point is: Laws don’t prevent criminals
and evil people from doing bad things. Weapons bans don’t stop criminals from getting their hands on them, either. In fact, as
study after study has shown, the more armed good guys a society encourages, the less violent crime there is. Switzerland is a
good example of that. On the other hand, England, which has some of the world’s most stringent gun controls in place, is
experiencing a skyrocketing rise in violent crime.
Just watch, though. I’ll bet the gun grabbers try to make a poster boy out of Mark Manes. Here’s a kid who has seen the
light! He has discovered that his Mom was right all along in her extremist views. The Constitution be damned. The evidence be
damned. The opinion of an irresponsible 22-year-old who played a role in the Littleton massacre will take center stage in the
debate. He’ll become a victim of the gun culture — this miscreant raised by gun-grabbing parents.
And that’s the agony and the irony of standing up for freedom in America today. No matter how things break, the enemies of
freedom are masterful at spinning the web of deceit and deception. They turn their own personal failures into triumphs of
their utopian cause.