Gun Uncontrol

by Bernard McCormick Tuesday, April 03, 2012 13 Comment(s)

The recent publicity over Florida’s Stand Your Ground law was fresh in mind as I drove at normal speed along a busy Broward County two-lane boulevard, which was about to narrow to one, just a block from where I would turn off for home. A large SUV was coming up fast behind me, desperate to pass, but I knew the driver was stuck because the road was narrowing, and to pass on the right was clearly illegal, and in a few yards would be impossible for lack of paved road, but that was exactly what the driver did, accelerating over the no-drive stripes to barely get by, going about 50 in a 30 mph zone. Had I not slowed, he might have clipped me as he veered back to the left in front of me.

I gave an angry blast of my horn. Had I not been thinking about the Stand Your Ground law and the fact that 900,000 people in Florida are licensed to carry concealed weapons, I would have overtaken the SUV, blocked its path, jumped from my car, dragged the driver out, subdued him with karate chops, and strung him up with piano wire from the nearest tree. I carry a piano in my trunk for such emergencies. I would do all this in 10 seconds and leave the driver to die and rot, twisting in the air – much the way the British sometimes treated Irish rebels in days of yore. It would be a reminder to other insane drivers not to mess with me. I would leave the scene, making sure to turn off the SUV engine to conserve fuel. No one would see me because I would have also sprayed myself with the stuff that makes you invisible. Potential witnesses would only report seeing a small white sports car with no driver and a piano in the trunk.

But that was before I read all the articles about people all over the country killing people they don’t like and getting away with it because all judges have to hear is that the killer felt threatened by the killee. As I processed these thoughts, I realized that any driver who did such a stupid, dangerous thing just to get in front of one car was probably crazy enough to have a gun, loaded, safety off, sitting on his lap. And very likely his vehicle was filled with assault rifles and high explosives, and the next thing the judge would be hearing that he blew this guy away because he was just minding his business, driving like a maniac, when he felt threatened by a mad man whom he had cut off and was probably out to kill him. Thinking that, I turned off onto the quiet street where I live and therefore lived to live another day.

These thoughts are occasioned, of course, by the killing of a black teenager in Sanford, Fla., by a volunteer neighborhood watch fellow. It has led to the usual suspects coming to Florida to participate in rallies demanding justice. But you can’t blame the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for jumping on the bandwagon. Civil rights is their livelihood and if they did not show up at highly publicized events it could hurt their speakers’ fees. Nobody wants that in this economy.

But nobody wants Sanford’s reputation damaged either, and talk about boycotting businesses there is nonsense. Our family feels an emotional attachment to Sanford, for since the 1970s almost every year we have gone there to catch the Auto Train north. To be truthful, what we saw of Sanford for years was not impressive. The main road is lined with fast food places, shabby shopping centers and old fashioned squirt-it-yourself car washes. It seemed pretty rednecky. But that changed in recent years when we arrived early for the train and killed time by checking out its redeveloped business district. It’s a beautiful few blocks, brick streets with book stores, nice restaurants and gift shops, and a lot of history. That goes back to the time when ocean going ships could make their way through rivers and lakes to the central Florida town. It was once a busy port, calling itself a gateway city. It shipped more oranges than any other town. It also had in the late 1800s a spectacular fire which wiped out practically the whole business area. Its military history is also important. At one time 4,000 U.S. Navy personnel were stationed at a training field there. To tarnish the town over the recent killing is absurd. Towns don’t kill people. Guns do. And legislatures that put guns in the hands of potentially dangerous people are accomplices to death.

That’s where the anger of the protestors should be directed. Here was a volunteer neighborhood watch guy packing a concealed gun. And this is a guy with a bit of history for minding other people’s business. But he was armed legally, like 900,000 other people in Florida. Without that gun there would be no death. But all we get from Tallahassee, annually, are more laws to promote guns, to prevent cities and local police from restricting guns on their turf, even to punish physicians who ask patients about guns in their homes. A woman in Florida gets paid $300,000 a year to push such laws. It is therefore predictable that those calling for gun control – and even former President Clinton chimed in, urging a “reappraisal” of the Stand Your Ground law – will be countered by an argument that 17-year-old kids wearing hoods should be armed to protect themselves from overzealous neighborhood watchmen.

And while they are at it, how about allowing drivers who get cut off by illegal passing to mount .50-caliber machine guns on the front of their cars to discourage such antisocial behavior.


You getting cut off does not give you the right to...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

You getting cut off does not give you the right to string someone up. Its people like you who should not have guns. Most people with guns would not react the way you obviously do. If you did get in front of the SUV and block them, and the driver did have a gun, as I do, you can bet i would have it ready to subdue your aggression. The law is a good law. If someone breaks it, then they should get punished. A few years ago I saw 3 black teens behind an abandoned building going through a number of purses they just stole. I grabbed my gun, my phone, and walked over to them. I called the police, but by that time they walked away. I followed behind them while on the phone with police. If they would have turned around to confront me, would I have the right to stand my ground, or should I have to wait for bodily harm to defend myself. Should I have to wait for the Police to show up. As a free Law abiding citizen, I have the right to protect myself, from anyone who would do me harm.

And when seconds count... The police are only minu...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

And when seconds count...
The police are only minutes away.

You stated you were ready to string up the driver ...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

You stated you were ready to string up the driver with piano wire leaving him to rot and die only after you had attacked him with your karate chops after pulling him from his car. At the point of your attack he would have the right to defend himself and shoot you since you were intent on killing him.
You also made the assumption the driver really didn't need to hurry. Maybe he had an injured child in the car and was racing for help. Maybe he had learned his wife had collapsed and was found unconscious at their home. If you had to be somewhere in a real emergency I can bet you'd be hard pressed not to do the same if some one was in your way.
Also, wait till the police report on the Sanford comes out. I'll give you a little inside what it says. Zimmerman's neighborhood had experienced a number of recent roberies and gang signs were being spray painted in the neighborhood. Yes, he did take on a vigilante position - no crime in that. When Zimmerman saw a young black male that he wasn't familiar with he decided to follow Treyvon his truck and called the police to alert them of what was going on. The police told him to stop following him wich he did. At this point Treyvon took a right and disapeared from Zimmermans view. Zimmerman got out of his truck not wanting to take the time to turn it around to see possibly where Treyvon had gone. Not seeing him he was returning to his truck when Treyvon snuck up from behind and struck him in the back of the head with the bottle of tea he had just purchased. Hence the laceration to the back of the head. Zimmerman turned and was cold cocked in the nose and fell to ground where Treyvon began beating him. There are two eyewitnesses to this. Zimmerman fearing for his life shot Treyvon who was apparently threatening to kill Zimmerman. So you say that with out that gun there would be no death. I counter sir that people are beaten to death all the time so what was Zimmerman supposed to do? Die from a beating death when he had the means to defend himself.

Guns don't kill people - people do.

Maybe your next colomn can make comment on the the...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

Maybe your next colomn can make comment on the the two black guys arrested today in Sanford for beating a white man nearly to death with a hammer. I don't think these guys had a concealed hammer permit.

McCormick, Why is it that the left wing gun nuts ...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick


Why is it that the left wing gun nuts such as yourself, are always interested in governing the behavior of others so 'someone" doesn't get hurt, yet it is only your own thoughts and actions that would escalate an already tense situation, towards violence.

Each of the writers above are more responsible and smarter than you. Clearly, in the example of the motorist you "chose" to escalate the matter. Lets make this guy really mad by making it impossible for him to pass me. Let's box him in so he goes nuts. And all the while, YOU wanted to string him up. Was he a black man? Are you a racist? Would you use that example if he was black? Either way, you are a hazard and you choose to project your own sick thoughts on others.

Frankly, sir, people who lawfully carry concealed weapons are most often the most reasonable, clear thinking people on the road / in society. Recalling the old saw that an armed society is a polite society. But its gun nuts such as your self, that cause us to carry. And yes, if someone forced me (my wife) off the road and then move toward me/her in a threatening manner with piano wire, we are trained to move aggressively towards you (the overwhelming shock effect) and shoot. As the training goes...two in the chest and one in the head. And when the police come, we are trained to demand that you (lifeless or not) be placed under arrest. And we would be justified, and more importantly...alive.

You may blog wise all day long, but the facts and the law are serious (if not inconvenient) things. Do not play with fire. There are no mulligans. Ones life may depend on the clarity that we (but certainly not you) possess.


Was this supposed to be an piece on irony and cont...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

Was this supposed to be an piece on irony and contradiction? You make no sense. So somehow you are right in wanting to kill a speeding driver with piano wire but condemn the driver for protecting himself with a gun. Then the goofiness of your piece goes even further when you bring in Zimmerman/Treyvon affair. It is clear you've bought into white guy kills black guy media hype when it is practically every day a black man or men are attacking/killing/raping whites and their own kind which is never mentioned in the national press. Why don't you write about those instances and post those statitics? I know bc it doesn't fit your liberal or possibly grossly uniformed bias. I'd like to see your next oped refer to the shooting in N. Miami last week of a funeral party where 2 people were killed including a 6 year old girl and 14 were injured in a drive by shooting. Where's the outrage over this horrendous violence?

What pray tell was the reason for showing a photo ...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

What pray tell was the reason for showing a photo one of our fine military personel attached to an article about angery drivers, gun control and the Sanford?

bernie - i used to read mccormick place with grea...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

bernie -
i used to read mccormick place with great interest and enjoyment but this was a real brain fart.

News of a home invasion robberly last month is now...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

News of a home invasion robberly last month is now making its way to local talk radio. It seems that a couple in Omaha were attacked in their home by a Tyrone Webly, a 20 yr old man. He beat the couple, raping the wife and stealing some meager belongings. The wife died in the hospital and the husband has been in and out of the hospital in the past month since the beating. The couple were in their late eighties and had been married for 62 years. He was a veteran of WWII, the 101st airborne. He had to suffer as he watched the love of his life being raped and brutalized by this maggts Webley.

I wonder if President Obama will call a news confe...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

I wonder if President Obama will call a news conference and chastise America by telling us that if he had a son, He would look like Tyrone..

What's your next McCormick Place going to be o...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

What's your next McCormick Place going to be on, Bernard? A call for an anti-gun march down Las Olas in memory of Treyvon? How about a turn-your-guns-in day and you can have steamroller crush them for video clip on Channel 7 news. Geez!

from a concealed weapons permit holder

I see that some missed the Humor in the first part...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

I see that some missed the Humor in the first part of your story..
I live in NYC the most un-gun friendly of states. Where I am a licened gun owner and feel that the city infringes on my rights a bit and also offers a false sense of security to deter gun ownership.. I think two things should happen before anyone can own a firearm.. that be a complete background check & a physiological evaluation. That is what happens here to a degree.. however there are to many cowards that will pull a gun in fear before avoiding the situation ( as in the case in FLA ) where that dude has to be mental and now someone's tragic dead was a result. People need to chill & understand the consequences of their actions FULLLY.. I also am not a fan of GUN CONTOL Laws as those only protect the criminals that operate outside the law anyway.. What id needed is proper firearm evaluations & enforcement * ballistic finger printing.. because if you have NO intention of committing a crime.. none of the controls above would concern you.

one very big problem with psychological evaluation...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

one very big problem with psychological evaluation...Who would determine and what would be the criteria for determining that a person was psychologically unfit for owning a gun? If the anti-gun types had any hand in this I can see the Questionair now. "Have you or any of your immediate family members ever been or are now a dues paying member of the NRA?" "Have you or any of your close friends ever visted a shooting range and fired a handgun?" "Have you or any of your immediate or extaended family ever particpated in a hunting expidition?" If you answered yes to any of these questions your are phsycologically unfit to own a gun.

Add new comment