Vail Daily letter: Wrong again
June 18, 2014
Rohn Robbins produced a gun control column on June 4, prompted by the incident at Isla Vista, near the University of California's Santa Barbara campus.
First, his statement of facts is incomplete. He relates that four were killed by the shooter's handguns and several others were injured when run down by the perpetrator's car.
The news accounts I read say that three victims were stabbed to death, three were shot to death, and a number injured by the perp's car. In addition, he ended his own life. Robbins' indignation did not induce him to cover what to do about the stabbings and vehicular assault.
Robbins eschewed the idea that armed bystanders could be effective: "Some might answer that had anyone in Isla Vista been armed, the shooter would have been cut off from his killing spree. Oh, nonsense. How can one predict, draw and fire in defense of an ambush? If a bullet is twisting toward you, it's simply too late."
The invalidity this scenario is clear when we consider how bystanders have been able to interfere with a shooter's activities. The latest example happened at Seattle Pacific University on June 5. A school employee managed to stop the carnage by use of pepper spray, followed up by tackling the shooter. This helps one to understand that shooting incidents can often be thwarted or diminished by prompt reaction of those at the scene.
Robbins also claims that citizens with small arms cannot offer effective resistance to an adversary equipped with modern weapons like "a drone, a Stinger missile or a MAARS." Look at places like Afghanistan, where the Taliban with limited resources are able to give a good account of themselves against sophisticated weaponry.
Robbins repeats his disdain for the US Supreme Court's holdings that there is an individual right to keep and bear arms. He insists Second Amendment rights should be limited to involvement in a militia. I covered this in my prior letters, cited below. And again, Robbins fails to mention — much less deal with — Article 2, Section 13 of the Colorado Constitution, which provides:
"The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called into question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons."
Robbins previously submitted a column about gun control Dec. 18, 2012. I had letters published on Nov. 14, 2012, and Dec. 23, 2012, that covered the same subject. They deal with constitutional provisions about gun rights, what is a militia and practical issues about firearms. A review of those would supplement this commentary. They can be found in the Vail Daily's archives. Go to the bottom of the main page and under Reader Tools, click on Archives. Insert the term Rohn Robbins and/or Terry Quinn. Specify the custom date range of Nov. 13, 2012, to Jan. 31, 2013.