Chatting with my pops


November 22, 2010, 12:21 PM
Hi all!

I have a situation that I'd like some help with. I know that this has been discussed before, and I've searched and read relevant threads.

A few weeks ago, a woman I grew up with was murdered by her husband. They had happily dated for about seven years, had a truly loving, stable committed relationship, and had just been married three weeks prior.

Police found him naked in the park across the street at 4:30 AM and upon going to their house, found her dead of multiple gunshots. His cousin, who was an eyewitness, said that there was no conflict, no drama, no nothing, that the perp walked out of the room, came back with a gun and shot her. The working hypothesis is that he unintentionally drank spiked punch at a Halloween party. Just out of his mind. He's a wreck and has ruined his life, as well as her's obviously. It's a really tragic situation all around.

So my dad, who generally believes in more restrictive gun laws, but who also generally respects my views on the matter, has said that the episode has heightened his feelings about access to guns and his feeling that episodes like this would happen less often if there was less access. To some extent, I agree: I think that's a logical argument. But I am also trying to figure out ways to make the counter argument.

I've pointed out several things: The couple lived in a relatively rough part of town, a part where (even he agreed) it seems reasonable for a young couple to keep a gun in the house for protection. There is no evidence that there was ever any other incidents or reasons to believe that it might be inappropriate for this individual to have a gun. I pointed out that the finger of blame should be pointed towards whoever spiked the punch with drugs strong enough to put a man out of his mind. I reemphasized that, regardless of who's at fault, its illogical to assign blame to an inanimate object. I've also pointed out that, generally speaking, the big argument against gun control is that it restricts the freedoms of many because of the actions of a few.

It's a touchy, emotional subject in this case. It hit really close to our family and community. If anyone has any thoughts or insights that I should share with my dad, I would appreciate it.


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November 22, 2010, 12:30 PM
All I can think of is:
Where there's a will, theres a way.

Had the whacked out husband not had access to the gun?
He could have just as easily have stabbed her to death with a steak knife, drowned her in the toilet bowl, beat her to death with a chair leg, or strangled her with his bare hands.

And had she had her own gun, she might still be alive.


General Geoff
November 22, 2010, 12:38 PM
The working hypothesis is that he unintentionally drank spiked punch at a Halloween party.

Methinks it was spiked with something heavier than alcohol to invoke that level of radical craziness.

That said, if this theory is true, then whomever spiked the punch is directly responsible, with the husband partially responsible but less so.

November 22, 2010, 12:42 PM
Gun, knife, club, it wouldn't have mattered. He would have attacked her with a lethal weapon.

November 22, 2010, 12:49 PM
Clearly no one knows the full story.

Seems to me that this has a lot more to do with possible drug usage under questionable circumstances than anything having to do with access to guns.

Regardless, ask your Dad this:

Why should millions of law-abiding gun owners like yourself or me be forced, by the state, to abide by invasive storage rules just to head off the possibility that somebody somewhere might lose their mind and commit a tragedy?

What are his beliefs about "restricting access"?

November 22, 2010, 12:56 PM
"the episode has heightened his feelings about access to guns and his feeling that episodes like this would happen less often if there was less access"

This is possibly true. Incidents like THIS might occur less frequently.

HOWEVER - the problem is in what he has overlooked. Which is the classic banner's error.

What has he overlooked? The positive uses of firearms for defense, and the comparative rarity of such incidents above. The former are a stupendously larger number than the latter. In order to avoid incidents like the one you describe one cuts off access to lawfully owned firearms to almost all. One then sacrifices 1-2 million defensive firearms uses a year. (I'm going from memory - you can run the exact figure down yourself.) This leads to a corresponding (and far larger) increase in other kinds of terrible incidents. And remember that a successful use of a firearm does not mean that anyone was shot.

It is (sometimes deliberately) ill-informed reactions to such incidents that drive the gun control agenda. It is incidents like that one in Scotland that led to the virtual elimination of firearms ownership in Britain - with a resulting skyrocketing crime rate.

November 22, 2010, 01:54 PM
I don't recall ever having been drunk enough to want to shoot my wife. I'm gonna have to call BS on this one - you lose inhibitions when drunk, not emotion.

As for access to guns - other posters have nailed it. If not a gun, he could have used a letter opener to the same end.

November 22, 2010, 02:04 PM
When a gun isn't present, other things are used - look at the mass assaults/killings in China for instance.

November 22, 2010, 02:14 PM
I don't recall ever having been drunk enough to want to shoot my wife. I'm gonna have to call BS on this one - you lose inhibitions when drunk, not emotion.
You're assuming the punch was spiked only with alcohol.

That said, it's a sad situation but it has little or no bearing on the fact that millions of gun owners went about their daily lives without committing any crimes.

November 22, 2010, 02:45 PM
There is no evidence that there was ever any other incidents or reasons to believe that it might be inappropriate for this individual to have a gun.

Ask your father how he would recommend effectively restricting guns in a case where the man who committed the act has previously shown no signs that would merit the restricting of anything, including guns. It just can't be done. I'm not aware of any law anywhere that has effectively restricted people from obtaining anything. If anyone can point to one please do so.

Lessening gun crime is an admirable end, but gun control is not the means by which it can be achieved.

November 22, 2010, 02:50 PM
your father is absolutely right......if there is restricted access to guns.....there will be less gun related incidents.......

HOWEVER..........the total number of incidents will remain the same, or like in some countries, go up.

if the guy was so out of his mind to out of the blue shoot his wife......then im willing to bet that had he not had a gun......he probably would have stabbed her or simply beat her to death.........

people need to realize that just because you own a gun, doesnt mean you are going to commit a crime..........but if your going to commit a crime, your going to still commit a crime regardless of what weapon you have.

November 22, 2010, 02:59 PM
I would rather be shot in the head than stabbed or bludgeoned to death.

Sorry for the remaining family members and friends.

November 22, 2010, 03:01 PM
What drug turns a normal, stable, loving man into a murderer?

If such a drug exists, clearly the gun had nothing to do with it.
If such a drug doesn't exist and the man was wacko, the gun had nothing to do with that either.

[My suspicions:
1. The man was wacko to begin with.
2. It had nothing to do with spiked punch.
3. Absence of a gun wouldn't change the outcome. Blunt objects are plenty effective and used more often than guns.]

November 22, 2010, 03:07 PM
It's a human fundamental:

Fear of lightning strike, of being instantly struck dead without warning, rhyme, reason or purpose.

Attempts to ban lightning have been heretofore unsuccessful.

You will also find the mythology that mild mannered Dr. Jekyl can suddenly and uncontrollably turn into Mr. Hyde to be deeply entrenched in the object banners list of rationales, and they will cling desperately to any real world example that resembles it.

November 22, 2010, 04:04 PM
If indeed it was a spiked punch bowl there should be more than just one person going off the deep end. There has got to be more to the story. Prayers and thoughts go out to her family

November 22, 2010, 04:45 PM
If your dad wants to focus on restricting something, then why look at the end of the chain (the firearm)? It's pretty glaring that he doesn't want to restrict access to the likely cause of the behavior (i.e. alcohol). Obviously restricting alcohol (which even violent felons can purchase without a background check) wouldn't prevent many crimes, and prohibition CAUSED more crime, but the argument can be reasonably made that some more alcohol controls could have prevented this tragedy (such as only allowing it to be drunk at a drinking club).

November 22, 2010, 05:03 PM
Or, one could say the alcohol in the punch bowl story is total BS, and look for another reason he went crazy.

If a non-drinker, and he got that drunk by accident on alcohol spiked punch, I doubt he would just come home and kill his wife.

More likely, he would have passed out with his head in the stool pucking and drowned himself.


November 22, 2010, 05:07 PM
Very tragic, but how often does this stuff happen? Every mass shooting is widely televised nationally (alabama teacher gone insane, dc gunman, etc), but the numbers don't become even significant compared to rape and other crime. Wackos with weapons will always exist - we've tried banning them already but they just don't obey the law...

November 22, 2010, 05:21 PM
about a dozen times in the last 5 years IN Charlotte we have had people driving the wrong way down I-85 or I-77. These incidents have resulted in a mess of horrific casualties including one young couple a few weeks from their wedding day. Nobody ever called that we ban cars or further restrict their access. 3 weeks ago in gastonia a man got drunk, grabbed a bottle of lysol and doused his wife, causing severe eye damage. no move to ban cleaning agents yet.

It is not the object but the person. In this case it sounds like he had some type of breakdown or something insane was put int that punch. I would say the cause of his apparent insanity should be looked at as the cause not a gun.

November 22, 2010, 05:28 PM
Dang it Gouranga, you beat me to it! That was going to be my point.

But how about this. What do the drunk driving accidents, the shootings, the stabbings, etc. all have in common? The human behind the car, the gun, the knife, etc. Maybe the problem is the human race?

You can't save every person from other humans. Instead, let me have my gun in the hopes that I can defend myself against that human who wants to do me harm. It's the human that is the problem, not the tool that they decide to use.

Instead of asking the question about how it would have turned out if the man did not have the gun, why not ask what would happen if the woman did?

November 22, 2010, 05:39 PM
If someone is hell bent on killing someone then not having access to a fiream is not going to stop them.

If this woman would have been beaten by a baseball bat should we enact restrictive baseball bat legislation?

I am in no way slighting the murder of this poor woman, it is a tragedy. My thing is you cannot control what you believe is a sane person.

November 22, 2010, 05:41 PM
sad story, pains me to hear it. Sounds like he would have killed her with some other item if he had no access to a gun. My dad (lifelong LE) said near zero crimes are commited with AR15's yet they sure put a restriction on those years ago. He claimed this as proof that gun control is not truly intended to prevent crime.

Shadow 7D
November 22, 2010, 06:19 PM
Guns are a convenient red herring to avoid looking at the real issue
humans are capable of grotesque actions
what the person uses is immaterial, and if they doubt it. point out that now you drink out of fragile plastic cups in Brittan....

November 22, 2010, 08:05 PM
Men have over twice the upper body strength of women. This man didn't need a gun to kill this woman. On the other hand a handgun could have been an equalizer if she could have gotten to one.

November 22, 2010, 08:23 PM
So your dad believes in "gun violence" being different than "steel pipe violence" or "teddy-bear smothering violence"?

Because you're not going to get over that logical disconnect, don't bother.

November 22, 2010, 08:40 PM
Something was very wrong with this guy.

Not the gun.

Not the "punch".


November 22, 2010, 08:54 PM
To clarify: The punch may have been spiked with a drug like acid, not just with alcohol.

I wholeheartedly agree with all the advice that you all have thrown back my way. I think that the arguments that I initially put forward were sound and there are now several more that I can introduce into the discussion.

Thanks for your help.


November 22, 2010, 09:13 PM
Acid doesn't make you want to kill people. (Charles Manson movies and lore notwithstanding). It makes you stay up all night and laugh a lot, or stay up all night and get very introspective, but not violent. Something happened that is about this individual, and little or nothing to do with "spiked punch".


November 22, 2010, 09:21 PM
I don't know what it was spiked with. It isn't necessarily important to the general topic of the thread, which is about talking with my anti-gun father about a situation like this and convincing him that the gun was not the issue and that gun control is not the answer.

Shadow 7D
November 23, 2010, 01:43 AM

now listen, you TELL HIM THE GUN isn't the issue, the
MAN who committed the crime is, period,

tell him you are going to take a baseball bat to his car, and he can then spend the next while blaming baseball bats for making dents, he can hate them for what they did to his car

Still doesn't change the fact that you beat the snot out of his car, bat hammer car wrecking ball

doesn't change what happened.

November 23, 2010, 01:50 AM
while not trying to sound too insensitive, this is just one of those stories where there is no good answer. Yes it is tragic, but what are we supposed to do about it? Politicians would have me lock up all my guns and restrict my access to certain models just because one man murdered his wife? Why should the liberties of many be stripped due to the foolish action of one?

This is just one of those cases where you just think, "what a shame" and leave it a that.

November 23, 2010, 02:24 AM
The working hypothesis is that he unintentionally drank spiked punch at a Halloween party.

I propose a ban on Halloween festivities. It makes as much sense as thinking banning guns will put a halt to murder...

The world was such a great place before the invention of firearms... and in turn murder.

November 23, 2010, 05:41 AM
This sin't about guns....its about picking your friends, knowing who you associate with, and personal responsibility. #1.- The guy shouldn't have associated with the sort of person who would spike the punch wiith drugs without the klnowledge of the other party goers. Its not my place to state drug use in and of itself is wrong, but unknowingly drugging the masses? Not cool no matter HOW you look at it. If the eventual shooter KNEW the punch was spiked or that he would voluntarily become intoxicated at some point during the festivites, it would have been smart to lock up and unload any and all guns in the house. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize intoxicated people and firearms rarely make good bedfellows, and no couirt of law in the US is going to accept voluntary intoxication as a defense to a criminal act. Long story short....If the guy wasn't partying with the sort of people that would spike punch with mind altering drugs, and had the common sense to eliminate the presence of uncased, unlocked, loaded guns in an evironment of potentially (and at what party is the potential for drunken idiots not basically a given?) drunken/drugged fools, none of this would have ever happened. You can make this about many things, but gun control isn't one of them. Gun ownership is a responsibility, and this person failed to live up to that responsibility and unfortuantely, someone died. It would bne no differnt if he killed them drtiving drunk. If he did, no one would argue for car control, so why is gun control central to this conversation?

November 23, 2010, 10:57 AM
had just been married three weeks prior.
ban marriage !!!

November 23, 2010, 11:08 AM
In a situation like this does your dad also want to restrict access to knives, hammers, screwdrivers, baseball bats, lamps and heavy dictionaries? If not, his thinking is severely flawed.

It's the individual. How many others that drank the punch that night killed their wives/husbands?

November 23, 2010, 11:11 AM


Why didn't anyone think of that before?

That's what all crime and tragedy has in common.


It's time to ban them.

Mr. & Mrs. America, turn them all in.

November 23, 2010, 12:18 PM
Right about thirty years ago, Thanksgiving Day of 1980, a woman named Priscilla Ford was driving her blue 1979 Lincoln Contenential up Virginia Street in Reno, Nevada. At one point, she jumped the curb and roared down the sidewalk for several blocks, mowing down as many people as she could.

This happened about two in the afternoon. Alcohol WAS involved (she had a BAC of .162). Seven people were killed and twenty-three were injured.

In spite of the carnage and outrage, there was NEVER a move to ban drinking, cars in general, V-8 motors (they're too powerful for civillians), or six-passenger vehicles (they're too big, most civillians don't have a requirement for a car with all that space and, therefore, bulk and mass). They didn't even ban driving in the downtown corridor!:what:

What the authorities did was recognize a deranged individual using whatever was at hand to maim and kill. She could have caused virtually the same effect by walking through a crowded casino with a couple of steak knives, stabbing as she went.

The point here is that the vehicle, the knives, or the gun is NOT to blame. On another forum, a thread about Saturday Night Specials is running. Someone cited the old scene:

Sally Struthers (as Archie Bunker's Daughter): "Did you know that over XX## of people were killed with guns last year?"

Carroll O'Connor (as Archie Bunker): "Would you feel better, Little Girl, if they was pushed outta windows?"

Madness will ALWAYS out. Guns just happen to be one form of deadly force in a convenient, portable package.


November 23, 2010, 12:51 PM
"...the episode has heightened his feelings about access to guns and his feeling that episodes like this would happen less often if there was less access."

My gun wasn't involved. Nor was I.

I would not ban your father's car because a neighbor misused one and killed an innocent person. Nor is it fair or responsible to punish me because someone else did something I would never do.

If the husband had used a letter opener to do his wife in, would your father be expressing an emotional desire to reduce access to letter openers? Of course not.

This means his emotions are directed not at the murder but rather at the implement used to commit the crime.

Take your dad shooting. Hoplophobes can't demonize firearms when they break the emotional hold firearms have on their logic and reason. And nothing does that better than a fun day at the range.

If I had a buck for every gun-banner who's been converted into at least neutrality by one good day at the range, why... I could go buy a few more guns! :D

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