SayUncle points to a new anti-gunblogger, Robyn Ringler, who blogs at the Albany, N.Y. Times-Union newspaper's website. Apparently they allow outsiders to use their bandwidth if the author's blog topic is approved by the paper.
Somehow I doubt they'd approve of The Smallest Minority, so it's probably a good thing I have no plans to move.
Ms. Ringler is both a nurse and a lawyer whose claim to fame is that she nursed Ronald Reagan after he was shot by John Hinkley. She started her blog April 17 - the day after the VA Tech massacre. In her second post she wrote:
Blame it on President George W. Bush–it's all his fault. It may be considered in poor taste to talk about gun control right now, but he started it.(*sigh*) Oh, boy. In a later post she wrote:
I first heard about the shooting on Monday while driving in the car. NPR reported that a gunman had killed multiple students at Virginia Tech. In the same broadcast, President Bush's first reaction was released.
The president is "horrified" at the shootings, said a White House spokesperson, but he is still in favor of a constitutional right to bear arms.
Hearing that while driving a car was far more dangerous than any cell phone. If I could have fallen off the seat, I would have.
Translation of the president’s message: You can kill all the kids you want. I never have and never will do anything to prevent a mentally disturbed, violent person like Cho Seung-Hui from getting all the semiautomatic handguns and ammunition he or she wants.
The question is not, "Who should own a gun?" The question is "Who should NOT have a gun?"Ms. Ringler is obviously someone convinced that other people are responsible for her protection.
There is no way to know by looking at a person and having a two-minute conversation. Here, in the motel lobby, I think, I NEED MORE INFORMATION.
Has a judge or magistrate ever committed that person to a mental institution because he posed an imminent threat to himself or others? Has he been convicted of a felony? What if he wasn’t convicted, but there were significant complaints against him or what if he plea bargained down from a felony to a misdemeanor? Is he a stalker? An abuser? Someone who doesn’t know how to use a gun safely? Or store it properly?
We need to take the time to ask the important questions. Our LEGISLATORS need to take the time to ask the important questions. They are our leaders. They are who we turn to in a crisis. They are the ones who need to act on our behalf. Where are they?
In the post that SayUncle points to first in his piece, he notes that Ms. Ringler, like essentially all anti-gun activists, is very poorly educated on her topic of passion. It seems that she wants to ban the .50 caliber BMG rifle. Apparently she believed (she has since retracted) that Muhammed and Malvo used a .50 in the D.C. Sniper shootings, among other things.
So, I have invited her to debate.
Let me be up front and state that I am an advocate for individual rights in general, and the right to keep and bear arms in particular. I would ask you to please not dismiss me out of hand because of that, however.I'm going to be busy as hell for the next, oh, eight weeks, so debating will be difficult at best, but to be honest I don't expect her to respond. She certainly needs more information, but I don't think she's really interested in hearing from the other side.
I’ve read several posts here, and have reached the conclusion that you are well-meaning, but misinformed. Obviously as a nurse and a lawyer, you have a good brain between your ears, but you’ve been mislead(sic). I understand what it is that you believe you are advocating, but I don’t believe you’ve thought out the actual implications of those positions.
I would very much like to debate the topic with you, either here or at my blog or even privately via email (though, obviously I’d prefer to have the discussion be public) on the topic of gun control. (Note to self: Proofread, proofread, proofread before hitting "submit." - Ed.) I believe you would find it enlightening. Though I honestly doubt I would “convert” you to a gun-rights position, I know that you would receive a different perspective that would at least moderate your position.
In a public forum our debate would offer an opportunity for others to see both sides of the argument, discussed rationally and in a civilized manner, backed with facts and links to source information to allow readers to see and decide for themselves.
Thank you for your attention. I await your response.
Kevin Baker - proprietor, The Smallest Minority
UPDATE, 6/1: I'll be damned. I left another comment at Ms. Ringler's site, answering her list of ten questions. At the end of that comment, I left another invitation to debate, (note the "more on this below" in response #5) but it was edited out. It would appear that she is not at all interested in any kind of honest exchange with her opposition. I'm so disappointed.
Unsurprised, but disappointed.