10/02 Massachusetts Morality: Part II

Massachusetts Morality — Part II
Larry Pratt

In a previous column, I wrote about an unbelievably stupid law in Massachusetts which says that state-licensed gun clubs “shall not permit shooting at targets that depict human figures, human effigies, human silhouettes or any human images thereof, except by public safety personnel performing in line with their official duties.” Violation of this law could result in revocation of a club’s license and a fine of no less than $1,000 and no more than $10,000.

Two enthusiastic supporters of this ludicrous legislation are State Rep. Christopher Hodgkins — who sponsored it — and feminist attorney Gloria Allred.

In an interview, Hodgkins says: “We don’t believe it’s necessary to shoot at any human effigy at all…. Why do we want people to be experts — other than law enforcement personnel and those involved in Olympic sports — to be able to have a bull’s-eye on somebody’s forehead or heart?” In other words, why should any private individuals learn to shoot effectively at human beings? The obvious answer: Because the police cannot protect everybody, because, sometimes, private individuals have to use deadly force against other human beings.

    Q: But, what’s wrong with shooting at paper images of Osama bin Laden, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot or Mao Tse-tung?

    Hodgkins: I just don’t think we should be shooting at any effigy at a certified public range at all.

    Q: Why not?

    A: Because I don’t think it promotes public safety. That’s my opinion.

Regarding the silly view of Massachusetts’ Acting Governor Jane Swift that shooting at paper targets of humans promotes shooting at real humans, Hodgkins is asked: “But, shouldn’t some humans be shot at, like those breaking into your home when you think your life is threatened?” He replies: “I’ll stand by what I said and am not going to go any further.”

On the Fox Cable TV program Hannity & Colmes (8/20/02), Gloria Allred voiced her strong support for this Massachusetts law agreeing with those who have said “the only purpose of [shooting at] the image of a human is to target a human…. It’s for possible assassination.” She adds, incoherently: “I’m saying we don’t need more Columbines.”

Previously, on the Cable News Network program Crossfire (4/28/99), Allred said:

    I feel very strongly about the handguns; I’d prefer not to see any kinds of handguns available to children. I’d like to see no handguns in the home…. all guns should have child safety locks on them. I think they should be locked up. I think that no child should have access to a handgun. I think if a parent allows access to a handgun of any kind of a child for any reason, then I think that parent should be subject to criminal prosecution.

In an interview, Allred is asked about her preposterous statement that the “only purpose” of shooting at a paper image of a person is to target a real human. She replies: “Well, yeah. What other purpose could there be? Why not use a duck? — [though] I’m not saying they should use a duck.”

    Q: But, some people should be shot at, shouldn’t they?

    A: It depends on the circumstances, you know, if it’s reasonable self-defense.

    Q: But, the law you support bans, at licensed ranges, shooting at images of any human beings!

Well, says Allred, this is “a whole different discussion” she doesn’t want “to get mired down in.” But, no, she would not favor legalizing targets of certain people because “once you okay certain people this will expand to other people.”

    Q: So, you would say, with a straight face, that you really would object to shooting at an image of Osama bin Laden, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot?

    A: You know, I don’t want to get into the — you know, the criminal de jour, you know…. I don’t want to get into the content, which humans it’s okay to shoot and which it is not.

    Q: But, the law you support does get into content! At licensed ranges, it outlaws shooting at any images that are human. This regulates content. And were you serious when on Crossfire you said there should be no handguns in homes?

    A: That would be nice.

    Q: Why would this be nice? Surveys show that perhaps as many as 2.5 million Americans every year use guns in self-defense?

    A: There have been many, many, many children injured and killed by guns in the home.

    Q: But, there have been many, many, many more guns used by people in self-defense than there have been guns that killed or injured children.

    A: I’m not going to get into the battle of statistics.

Too late. Allred has already been in this battle. She loses.

When told about the horrible slaughter in California (her home state), where two Carpenter family children were murdered by a maniac with a pitchfork, and one young family member was prevented from getting the gun in the house to defend them because the law required it to be locked up, Allred asks: “So, you’re trying to tell me guns shouldn’t be locked up away from children?”

Well, actually, Gloria, what you were being told was that because of laws you favor, two Carpenter children were murdered! But, you had nothing to say about this other than to ask a rhetorical question.

    Q: Do you want to outlaw handguns?

    A: I’m for gun control.

When told that the most detailed study to date of the Brady Law — a study published in the Journal Of The American Medical Association — showed that this “gun control” law has had no appreciable or detectable effect in reducing crimes committed by people with guns, she says: “It needs to be expanded then”!

Wonderful! So, a “gun control” law doesn’t work. The solution? Expand it! Truly, Allred’s view here is a perfect example of what the philosopher George Santayana meant when he said: “Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.”

    Q: Seriously, name one gun control law that ever worked, that ever reduced crimes committed by people using guns.

    A: I think you should call Handgun Control and they can give you all that.

Well, thanks but no thanks. Been there, done that. And they can’t say either.