Gwen pointed out a murder-suicide in Wasilla where the perp used a handgun instead of, say, a baseball bat (in which case she wouldn't care). Of course, her commentary is non-sensical. A gun was not used to "kill everyone" at a drunken party, because the cops were interviewing multiple witnesses. A gun was used to kill one guy, and then the shooter turned the weapon on himself. I question whether she actually reads these articles for the details or just goes into fits when she sees the headlines. How can you pretend to do any sort of analysis or try to get facts out of the articles if you don't even pretend to read them?
Anyways, I went to the ADN story about the crime and then researched the attacker and victim in TrialView. The shooter (only 26) has a string of alcohol-related offenses including DUIs. The shoot-ee was a prohibited person with a pair of domestic violence charges and restraining orders. It was illegal for either of them to touch a firearm while intoxicated.
As is often the case, Alaska is a small place and there are some alleged comments from friends and family on the ADN article which are heartbreaking. Still, nothing changes the fact that it was both criminal and terrible judgement for the shooter to touch a gun. It is Misconduct Involving Weapons IV (a class A misdemeanor, the highest you get before entering felony-land) to possess a weapon while drunk in Alaska. There's no exception for being inside your own home.
Gwen blames all gun owners for this incident and cites it as evidence that there's more gun crime than defensive gun uses. That doesn't match reality, at least according to sources as varied as Clinton Administration funded researchers, the National Academy of Sciences, and pro-self defense groups. Furthermore, I must have missed the lesson in NRA safety courses and Alaska hunter's ed about getting into drunken brawls while armed. As I recall, the course specifically states that you shouldn't handle a gun while intoxicated. Then again, when do facts get in the way for someone who either has a disability or is an incorrigible bigot?
There is actually some room for common ground here. One of the criteria for being a prohibited person is being "an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance." Some states consider DUIs and other alcohol-related crimes for use in managing concealed weapons permits. Given the issues with alcohol abuse in Alaska even a stringent pro-rights advocate like me might be persuaded to support some sort of additional legislation which restricts access of habitual drunkards to firearms if there is evidence showing such legislation is actually effective at improving firearms safety. For example, I would be curious to know the effect of a law that states something to the effect of, "an individual shall be presumed to be a habitual user and addicted to alcohol which shall be considered a controlled substance for purposes of this chapter if... (a) they have been convicted of two or more DUIs in the past 24 months or (b) they have been convicted of three or more DUIs in the past five years or (c) they have been convicted of two or more alcohol-related crimes (provide list here) and have been committed to a rehabilitation facility within the past 24 months."
Of course, I'm a pessimist. I generally feel that stupid raging alcoholics will do stupid things regardless of the laws surrounding them. Look at DUI, for example. In Alaska they take away your car for DUI and it is still a huge problem... Certainly a bigger problem than homicide by firearm or even gun accidents. So I doubt that creating such a legal presumption against habitual drunkards would actually be effective, and if its not effective then I would oppose it. Moreoever, the antis have poisoned the well. I would be deeply suspicious of anything they actually support because while my goal is to reduce accidental deaths and purposeful crime, their goal is to restrict the civil and natural rights of all Americans.
I suspect it is far more effective to support the education efforts of groups like the NRA or AK DNR's hunter's ed program than to waste any more words on pie in the sky legislation.
Dumb idea, also won’t happen
14 minutes ago