THE 300 – WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE

A 71-year-old Angola man with medical problems was arrested Saturday after he threatened tree trimmers with an unloaded shotgun. The tree trimmers worked for a company with which NIPSCO had contracted to remove trees in NIPSCO’s right of way. What a decision to make – which one of 300 weapons to be chosen to strike the fear of God into tree trimmers trying to do their job.

After arriving at the jail, police and prosecutors determined that the man’s health problems required immediate medical attention, and he was taken to a hospital in Fort Wayne. Officers remaining at the man’s house went inside the home to make sure no one else was inside and found about 300 guns and more than a million rounds of ammunition.

The weapons were legal, and police got a search warrant to allow them to take the weapons from the home and store them safely until the man’s family can get them. Wonder what the family will do with 300 guns and a million rounds of ammunition?

No one has any business with 300 weapons and a million rounds of ammunition. Apparently, the man is sick – probably both mentally and physically. But how does one go about collecting that many weapons? But not surprisingly, nearly 40 percent of all the world’s civilian firearms are owned by U.S. citizens.

According to Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, U.S. citizens own 270 million firearms making it the world’s most heavily armed society – 90 guns for every 100 U.S. residents.

Proponents of the right to bear arms constantly harp about gun control. What gun control? Obviously, if the United States is the most heavily armed society in the world, gun control sure hasn’t been an issue. And, gun ownership sure hasn’t protected U.S. citizens.

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About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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20 Responses to THE 300 – WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE

  1. J. Q. Taxpayer says:

    I was a little surprised that someone this “unstable” had them. My guess his problems deal mostly with mental issues because of the statement that the chances of no charges being filed.

    Then again if he or his legal guardian do not get rid of the weapons they will file charges and part of the judgement the PA will want is the loss of the weapons.

    I am not sure on Indiana law but many states have that if someone has metal issues, that come before doctors or the courts, that any firearms they have are removed. Also under some laws these people are not allowed to purchase guns.

    You would be surprised the number of “gun collectors” here in Allen County who own hundreds of weapons. All the way from small hand guns up to the well known AK47 assult rifles. They have permits to own some of the weapons with “collector permits.”

    I have no way of knowing if the Angola guy had been dealing with mental issues that where known to family and friends or not. If they did then shame on them for not either having him turn them over to them or having the PA seek removal based on doctor’s belief.

    We saw the same thing last week where the Kid got the AK47 from his Mother’s & Step Fathers house. Now he no longer lived there but visted there.

    He was suffering from bipolar and some other mental issues one has to wonder what effert did they take to keep him away from such. I do not blame them for his actions.

    The NRA should be promoting that gun owners need to be on a high level of locking up weapons so family and friends can not get to weapons who may be suffering from mental issues. If the NRA does not there is going to be a call from the public to make a law.

    Then again I think we will see more of these types of crimes from people who are unstable. The states have closed most hospitals to treat such and our prison system does not address mental health issues worth a darn.

    What people miss about bipolar people they will go off and do something so far from their norm. Yet, when caught they will remember doing it but can not explain why they did it. So we toss them in jail for a period of time. Then turn them loose and they are no better then when they went in.

    However, under proper medication daily they can fully function, hold down good jobs, and have values just like the rest of us. But our prison system does not address the issue.

    Well, I have used up way to much space but it all goes hand in hand. Take care

  2. Parson says:

    Guns aren’t exactly cheap, so to collect 300 he spent some serious money over the years I bet.

  3. J. Q. Taxpayer says:

    Parson, I agree with you. I saw some video of weapons being carried out and they where not junk guns.

    My guess he was a collector at one time. It is also not uncommon for a collector to also have a zillion rounds of ammo. There is one well known person in Fort Wayne who is a collector of sorts and he has a ton of ammo also.

    I am just happy this man is getting treatment and the guns have been removed from his control. It would have been so sad to see him do something that in a normal mental state he would not have done. I am sure the guys working on the tree cutting are thrilled also.

  4. Pete says:

    Charlotte, years ago I was shot by a would-be robber who got away with the shooting, though he did NOT get the $30 in my pocket. Afterwards I expected to be more passionate about banning handguns or stronger enforcement of controls, but it didn’t turn out that way. Then, in reading Joe Bageant’s rant about gun control in his book, Deer Hunting With Jesus,, I felt (keyword, “felt”) the correctness in his argument about how progressives & liberals shoot themselves in the foot with anti-gun planks.

    That’s not the only reason. Probably the passion would be there if I were sending a wife or a son or daughter out into the wild west every day. I think guns are just a symptom, as in the case of the man in the news story. Like the Virginia Tech shooter and so many others — people who are treated for mental illness and let loose again — I see this as something much more doable in a community, to establish a required follow-up exam for people who are treated with meds for mental illness.

    I’ve met so many people who take such meds (my best friend said, “Don’t you know any normal people?” I looked him straight in the eye and said, “no”) — When they share the information with me that they feel like flinging themselves out a window or killing somebody, I ask, “Did you tell your doctor?” Too many times they say, “You think I should call my doctor?” They’re being treated for a mental illness; why do we expect them to be sane enough to call their doctor when they’ve gone off the deep end?

  5. Pete says:

    oops, i didn’t do /i

  6. I know being a gun control advocate is not a popular stance. We have been raised with the “Old West” tales all our lives as well as the focus on the Second Amendment. But the Second Amendment has not been applied against the states, so the states are perfectly free to establish gun control laws.

    What I found most interesting though is that neither side is winning any arguments. The United States has one of the highest homicide rates in the world and violent crime seems to always be a concern. Yet, we are the most heavily armed nation in the world. Something is wrong with this picture.

    How can we be a nation with 90 guns for every 100 people and not be safer? Thus, I don’t think either side is making a valid argument for its position. But something should be done.

    I have never touched a gun yet. I hope to never be put in that situation.

    Pete:

    I agree many individuals who do these things are mentally ill. But every time someone tries to require regulations to follow up on those with a mental illness, the gun advocates start throwing out the “right to bear arms.” The man with the 300 guns probably just didn’t get “sick” overnight. I have friends who are suffering from mental illness. And, my mother was schizophrenic – at least that is what she was diagnosed with back in the ’40s when mental illness was a completely taboo subject and carried a tremendous stigma (and, it still does, to some degree).

    I haven’t looked at the FBI statistics for awhile, but the website had some really eye-opening information. And, if I remember right, aren’t most gun deaths caused by people you know rather than the random criminal on the street? I think that is what I had read.

  7. Pete says:

    Solid points. Yes — the news story today about the little girl in Detroit who took six bullets. Her mother’s ex-boyfriend.

  8. Phil Marx says:

    Charlotte,

    I never owned a gun until about ten years ago. One morning I looked out the window and saw one of my neighborhood drug-dealers arguing with his boss. The boss pointed directly at my house and said “f–k him, take him out.” Apparently my reluctance to allow these guys to conduct an open-air drug market was not acceptable to them. That was when I bought my first gun.

    Four years ago, my neighbors sixteen year-old son (and drug dealer) hid his semi-automatic gun in my front yard as he was running from the police.

    Three years ago, there was a cross street gun battle between two drug houses. One guy was shot in the butt, his sister was grazed on her head. This occurred only a half-block away from my house.

    Two years ago, two drug dealers got in an argument here. One walked away. The other went inside his house and came back out with a shotgun slung over his shoulder as he began searching for the other guy.

    All of these cases show that guns in the hands of criminals is a problem. Some gun control advocates seem to suggest the solution is to take away guns from law abiding citizens like myself. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable to expect that I be allowed to carry my own weapon as long as threats to my life exist.

    Something else to consider. Two years ago one drug dealer threw gasoline in the face of another drug dealer then lit him on fire. And last year, the drug dealers threw three molotov cocktails at my house because of the problems I was giving them (telling them to stay off my property and calling the police.) Neither of these life threatening actions involved a gun.

  9. Gunowner says:

    Charlotte,

    By your reasoning,that the Second Amendment has not been applied against the states therefore the states are perfectly free to establish gun control laws, also apply to the first, third, fourth…..tenth amendments?

  10. Kody Tinnel says:

    Phil,

    I completely agree with your post in every way. Your examples perfectly detail the best arguments against gun control.

    Nicely stated.

  11. Phil and Kody:

    How do you explain that we are the most heavily armed citizenry in the world and yet we still have one of the highest murder statistics as well as high crime rates?

    The statistics indicate 90 guns for every 100 people. How do you explain arming to the teeth and yet not making any difference in crime statistics? To me, the gun rights argument is a bogus argument if it isn’t making a difference in crime. After all, isn’t that the reason people keep talking about the right to bear arms – to protect themselves? Most people don’t say they want a gun to fight a government takeover.

    Do you think that there should be absolutely no restrictions on guns? What about the mentally ill or those who have committed domestic violence?

  12. Gunowner:

    The Bill of Rights was implemented to control the federal government. If you read the history and look at the first amendment, the prohibitions are against Congress not the states. The Bill of Rights was not passed to deal with state deprivations of rights and liberties. I suppose the thought was that the states would protect their own citizens.

    At the end of the Civil War that situation changed. The southern states were not willing to grant rights and liberties to newly freed slaves, so three amendments were passed to prevent the states from infringing rights and liberties. Those amendments were the 13th amendment(abolished involuntary servitude), the 14th amendment (prevented states from denying equal protection of the laws and from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without due process of law), and the 15th amendment (prohibited denial of voting based on race, color,etc.).

    The 14th amendment’s language explicitly says “no state shall” and goes on to set out three different areas of protection. The 14th amendment is the one which the United States Supreme Court has used to apply the Bill of Rights back against the states. This is called the Doctrine of Selective Incorporation. The clauses in the 14th amendment that have been used most extensively are the “equal protection” clause and the “due process” clause. The “privileges and immunities” clause gets very little use.

    The Court does this by looking at a clause in the Bill of Rights, for example, the 6th amendment’s right to counsel, and analyzes whether it should be a right guaranteed to persons within the states. Since the federal government is already covered by the Bill of Rights, the discussion centers on whether states should be required to provide this “right” or “liberty” already found in the Bill of Rights.

    If the Court finds that the clause in question guarantees a right that should be provided the person or persons seeking that right, then the Court holds that the state cannot deprive a person of the right. And, by the way, the 14th amendment is not limited to “citizens”; the specific word chosen is “persons.”

    Over several decades the Supreme Court has incorporated almost all provisions of the Bill of Rights and applied them against the states. One of those amendments not applied against the states is the second amendment. That is why some states have laws that limit or even ban guns.

    I hope this answers your question.

  13. Phil Marx says:

    Charlotte,

    The “protection from criminals” element is the most widely used example for gun rights advocates. But I think you are too quick to dismiss the “protection from our government” philosophy.

    Our own war of independence was not one nation fighting another. It was individuals collectively rising against their own oppressive government. That is our foundation, and it probably is the best check against our own government becoming too oppressive against us.

    This country has suffered under some utterly despotic rulers. I think one could make a reasonable argument that you don’t have examples of our government trying to crush the people because they know the people have the means to resist.

    You take away our guns and yes, I believe eventually we will have sombody occupying the White House who will take advantage of this situation and treat us like the Burmese Monks.

  14. Phil:

    Then the argument really is to arm the nation to forestall some form of government takeover? Arm for the future possibility? Wouldn’t the government need the cooperation of the military to take over?

    I truly don’t buy into the fear of our own government – maybe that is being naive. The Revolutionary War was not fought because England had taken over – it was because the colonists wanted freedom to start their own nation here and to be free of the “bonds” with England. They were declaring their independence from England, not fighting a government takeover. How would we declare our independence from today’s government? We are not looking at the same scenario in today’s world.

    I still would like to have the answer to my question:

    “How do you explain that we are the most heavily armed citizenry in the world and yet we still have one of the highest murder statistics as well as high crime rates?”

    Also, I am curious as to whether you think there should be absolutely no restrictions on gun ownership regardless of mental capacity or crimes of violence.

  15. Gunowner says:

    Well, I can buy your argument about the 1st amendment. It does put restrictions only on congress and not the states. But each of the following amendments does not come with that congessional provision. For example, the 3rd amendment says that troops cannot be forcibly placed in your homes. It does not mean that the Feds can’t do it, but the states can turn your home into a military motel 6 whenever they want. Just as the Congressional prohibition does not logically flow to the third amendment, it does not flow to the others as well, incuding the second. “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”. The first two clauses explain the need for the right, just as the other amendments have clauses explaining the context of the right. Those two clauses also point to the nessecity of keeping the state free, not personal protection.

  16. Gunowner:

    This is not my argument – this is historical fact.

    Here is what Wikipedia says (plus you can go to any Constitutional Law text or history text or any number of sources):

    “The Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. They were introduced as a series of amendments in 1789 in the 1st Congress by James Madison. Ten of the amendments were ratified and became the Bill of Rights in 1791. These amendments limit the powers of the federal government, protecting the rights of all citizens, residents and visitors on United States territory.

    I can provide you a list of sources if you would like. Again, this is not my interpretation about to whom the Bill of Rights applies, it is fact from historical debate in the first congress of 1789.

    This is something that is taught in government classes as well as political science classes.

  17. Phil Marx says:

    Charlotte,

    I’ll end my comments here by saying two things. First, it’s obvious that you and I disagree about some societal and perhaps even some constitutional aspects of this subject. Maybe we can go into that more some other time.

    Second, it is equally obvious that if I ever have any questions about the United States Constitution, you would be an excellent source of information. I might not fully agree with your interpretations, but without doubt you would give me much to consider.

  18. Phil:

    Yes, I would say it is safe to say we don’t agree on some issues. I do enjoy your comments on this blog and other blogs. You are always polite and well informed and often send me scurrying out to the internet to research a point you have made.

    I do want to clarify a point though. When you and gunowner say you don’t agree with “my interpretation” of the constitutional aspects of the creation and application of the Bill of Rights, I again want to stress, it is not my interpretation – it is historical fact as to the doctrine of selective incorporation. The Supreme Court has generated a line of cases beginning after the passage of the Civil War Amendments that analyze and apply the clauses of various of the first ten amendments against the states.

    I am on break for 11 days, so I am hoping to get some extra time to write more than I have been able to recently. I will work on a post about the Bill of Rights and its application to the states. I will provide court cases so that readers can check out the information.

  19. Phil Marx says:

    Charlotte,

    One’s opinion about any subject relies on the facts that they have on hand. When I talk about my interpretation, I am merely saying this is the conclusion I have drawn so far, based upon the limited information I have been exposed to.

    Reading your posts have given me a lot of new information to consider. By new, I don’t mean that it just suddenly came into existence. I simply mean that I have not been exposed to it before. And like all new information, I must take some time to analyze it before fully digesting it and making it a part of my being.

    It appears to me that you are far more educated than I am concerning the details of the Constitution. It would be useless, at this point in time, for me to offer any more of my opinion on the second amendment because I am not at your level here.

    But the Constitution is subject to change. If we determine that a particular aspect of it does not serve us well today, we can amend it. That being said, I would ask you to consider my peculiar circumstances.

    I live in a neighborhood where criminals kill each other and threaten me. They often use guns, but have alternative means available also (see post #8 above). The police are either unable or unwilling to fully eliminate this problem.

    This situation is what leads me to conclude that if the Constitution does not allow for me to individually own a gun, then perhaps the Constitution should be amended.

    I’ve set up a blog to help put my story in better perspective. I’ll begin posting there soon.

    http://www.myhudhouse.blogspot.com

  20. Phil:

    I misunderstood what you were pointing out to me. I linked to your blog site briefly, and I look forward to reading your blog.

    The Constitution does allow for you to own a gun. It is when states attempt to ban guns or restrict them to the point that they can’t be owned that the Second Amendment comes into play. Since the federal government is already precluded from taking away that right, it really boils down to what the states can impose. This is the issue that comes up most frequently – background checks, waiting periods, etc.

    It sounds like you live in a neighborhood that has a fair amount of criminal activity. I have been subject myself to an attempted burglary and some vandalism in West Central. In August 2006, I had my windows open to let in air (I have no air conditioning), and I had fallen asleep on the couch. At about 3:30 in the morning, I heard a couple of weird noises in my dining room.

    I got up from the couch and grabbed a stick (used for propping open my old windows) which was nearby and went into the dining room. I was just in time to see a man almost through my window. He had cut the screen to get in, and was crawling through. I screamed as loud as I could and raised the stick. He probably didn’t expect to run into anyone at that time of the morning, and it must have scared him because he backed out and dropped to the ground and ran. The police never found him, but I was a wreck for some time. I slept with a big kitchen knife near me for weeks.

    My truck window has also been broken out, but I don’t keep anything of value in the truck. I am sure by the way it sounds that you have been subject to many more incidences than I have suffered. Many people say they feel violated. I never felt that way. I was scared first, and then I was really angry. One thing that it has done to me is decrease my trust in other human beings.

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