A Tragic, Vicious Irony

Mark Kelly, retired Navy fighter pilot and former astronaut, husband of former Congresswoman, Gabby Giffords, is much in the news right now as he pushes for stricter gun control across the country. He's popping up on the tube everywhere and Internet stories about his gun-purchasing activities abound. While he's the ideal spokesman for liberals, a former warrior who espouses stricter gun control legislation, there's a good deal of criticism building out there in the blogosphere.

Much of the negativism has to do with Kelly's suspicious recent purchase of a .45 semi-automatic pistol and his truly suspicious attempted purchase of a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle. The former was consummated under the eye of a camera concealed on Kelly's person; the latter was thwarted when the gun shop proprietor reasoned that Kelly would have to lie on the federal firearms form in order to complete the purchase. That proprietor wisely returned Kelly's purchase money and announced the gun would be auctioned off and the proceeds, about $1,500, donated to charity.

Once Kelly's presence in the gun shop got into the news, he responded that he was simply trying to prove the weakness of our existing gun laws and that he never intended to keep the AR-15, as he did so obviously intend to do with the handgun as his own video revealed. However, there are many of us who smell a rat in there somewhere because Kelly did not surreptitiously video the rifle purchase nor did he mention it at all in his video. That issue likely will never be resolved.

However, another incident involving Kelly this past week, has many bloggers pointing out it makes Kelly a poor spokesman for the gun grabber crowd. While walking with his family on a California beach, a family dog, a pit bull, attacked and killed a baby seal. The video of the event is gruesome and tragic; when the dog is finally pulled away from its victim the sight of its bloody jaws is a bright, scarlet reminder of just what an out-of-control canine is capable of doing.

While reports vary as to who actually owns the dog, the Kelly-Giffords or one of their children, the dog is a member of their family and was on the beach with them with Kelly present as the presumed alpha male. It is also disputed as to whether the dog was allowed to roam freely or broke away from someone's grasp. The breed of the dog is also disputed with the Kelly's reportedly calling him an English bulldog, which he obviously isn't and the media referring to him as a pit bull which is my own observation.

Whatever, bloggers are pointing out that the dog clearly demonstrated that in incapable hands it was assuredly capable of lethal violence. And therein lies the criticism of Kelly: A man whose family brings a potentially lethal canine to a public beach and then fails to maintain control with the result being the death of a helpless baby seal is hardly the man to be lecturing the rest of us on how to better control our own lethal weapons. And just as liberals always blame the weapon, meaning guns most usually, many of them are blaming the dog in this case.

Wiser folks are pointing to the truth that many things in life can bring tragic consequences but usually not when they are in the hands of those who know how to handle them responsibly. Just as dogs with a propensity to attack other animals or even humans, need to be managed by owners who realize and respect the harm they can do if not handled properly, gun grabbers should focus less on inanimate guns and more on the propensity for vicious and lethal use of guns by those like the mentally ill young man who shot Kelly's wife.

Jared Loughner was a suspected threat, yet because of too-liberal watchdog laws restricting law enforcement, educational institutions and society as a whole from reporting suspected mental illness, as well as the failure of his parents to seek help for the obviously ill young man, he was allowed to roam free and lawfully obtain weapons until he carried out a brutal and deadly attack like an out-of-control pit bull.

What a tragic, vicious irony...

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