The Whole Day Off!
Posted on April 30, 2003 Posted by John Scalzi 6 Comments
Hey, kids! I’m taking the day off because my pal Ted is coming round the house (yes, THAT Ted), and I have to clean up the place and ram through some work before he gets here. Now, now, don’t cry. I’ll be back tomorrow, I’m sure, with even more pointless and random crap.
See you then —
I could be misunderstanding the law, but from my quick reading, it looks like the law opens some new possibilities. Let’s take your number 2 – unlawful person carries gun. Today, going into a Vikings game, said person (let’s call him a terrorist) must pass through a metal detector. Guns aren’t allowed into the Metrodome. Under the new law, guns ARE allowed in, with a permit. The terrorist has a fake permit. Remember, your assumption is criminals will do criminal acts. The law won’t stop criminals.
Now you’ve got a terrorist in the metrodome with a gun, when before that was prohibited. You’ve also got law-abiding citizens there with guns. Some are from Wisconsin. Is the situation better or worse than when everyone was checked for guns.
Or, how about this one? Only MN Residents can get the permits, so only the HOME fans are armed. Yeah, I could go for that!
Also, it is not clear to me what this new law has to say about handguns worn in view. If they are allowed, then there is the case you haven’t addressed where a handgun is visible, but not used.
Here is a real situation. 6th grade youth baseball game. They have trouble getting umpires, so an 8th grade boy is the umpire. Parents and a particular coach are mad at a call. They start to get mad at the ump. How does this scenario change when there are handguns visible? The umpire, being under 21, is not allowed to carry.
I’m serious about this scenario. How do you think it plays out? I’ve seen people at youth sports get carried away with emotion, and I’m not sure adding handguns to the mix helps.
Would you allow your child to be an ump in that situation?
(Tell him I appreciate his contribution to the Maher show.)
Please direct some appropriately ass-kissy energy in Mister Rall’s direction from me as well.
I agree with Tripp (though I’m not sure how he got to where he is from the contents of John’s post): I’m an umpire myself (but I’m a fastpitch softball umpire), and, although I can’t say I’m scared to death by the possibility a particular coach or spectator will be carrying a gun, I don’t think it’s healthy, or safe, or should be condoned (or even allowed) at all. If you go along to a sporting match and see the depth of feeling many parents invest in the game (much more than the players do, methinks), even *one* of them may be carrying a gun increases the danger to players and umpires phenomenally.
 I understand casual slowpitch is a popular sport in America — more popular than fastpitch (we have it in Australia, too — I used to umpire it as well); so softball may seem to be a little less than heated. Well, imagine that fastpitch arouses at least as much, well, /homicidal anger/ in parents as youth baseball. Yeah.
As I recall, a guy beat another father to death over a hockey game. No weapon required. Granted, armed persons will increase the “chance” that something could happen.
But, you see – on this topic, I’m a “statistics” person, not a “humanitarian”. I see things like this in terms of numbers and trends. Laws and situations like the ones you describe will occur, but those who perpetrate acts like that will decrease over time – their actions will result in them losing the privilage of repeating, and so there is no chance of a repeat. Again, it’s a statistical perspective – not a human one.
I’m sure that offends you and that’s not the intent.
I’ve been an umpire as well as a player and coach. I totally sympathize with umps, and yet there have been times when even *I* have been close to losing it.
So I guess I speak from personal experience. To me, guns and spectator sports (like guns and liquor) are simply not a good mix.
And, in general, I support the right to own a gun. I’m not trying to be un-reasonable. Really I’m not. Personally I choose to fish but not hunt, but I respect other hunters, and gladly eat the venison my neighbor generously offers.
Regarding the statistical view, it seems like you are saying eventually there will be no more criminals, because we’ll catch them after a crime and lock them up.
Sadly, the supply of potential criminals does not seem to be as finite as we would wish, and in some cases it does seem prudent to prevent crimes rather than punish criminals.
Here is a silly example – in our town you may no longer smoke on city property, including parks. So under this new state law you may not smoke at youth baseball games, but you may carry up to 4 non-concealed weapons.