Steve Klingaman

Steve Klingaman
Location
Minneapolis, Minnesota,
Birthday
January 01
Title
Consultant/Writer
Bio
Steve Klingaman is a nonprofit development consultant and nonfiction writer specializing in personal finance and public policy. His music reviews can be found at minor7th.com.

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 14, 2009 6:13PM

The Message and Murder of a Pistol-Packing Soccer Mom

Rate: 42 Flag

    The murder last week of Meleanie Hain, “the pistol-packing soccer mom” of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, was a tragedy rich in easy irony.  Killed in her home by her husband, Scott Hain, a probation officer, who shot her several times as she was in the midst of a video chat, Meleanie was unarmed when she died.  Neighbors heard three children run screaming from the house, “Daddy killed Mommy!”  Scott Hain killed himself shortly thereafter, in the upstairs bedroom. 

            Meleanie Hain’s handgun, a Glock 26 semi-automatic, was in a backpack hanging on a door, a bullet in the chamber.  Neighbor Aileen Fortna remarked, "I'm shocked at the whole thing.  I'm surprised she didn't defend herself."

            According to the Associated Press, Lebanon County District Attorney Dave Arnold commented, "I'm a pretty big advocate for the right to possess and own firearms, so I don't look at this as something where there's an indication that stricter gun regulations are necessary.  Obviously responsible gun ownership is the key to gun ownership."

            Obviously.

            Meleanie achieved notoriety for an incident last year in which she wore her holstered Glock in plain view to her daughter’s soccer game.  This is called, in the parlance of gun rights activists, open carry.  It is a term you will be hearing a lot more of in the not-too-distant future.  The opposing team’s coach, Lebanon County public defender Charlie Jones, aggressively confronted Meleanie about packing heat, and then complained formally to Sheriff Michael DeLeo about her behavior.  Sheriff DeLeo took the complaint seriously, very seriously, and issued a summary decision revoking her concealed carry permit (necessary to carrying her gun in her car and thus to the park) on his authority to prohibit unstable individuals from carrying guns.  Carrying a gun to a kid’s soccer game, he reasoned, was just nuts—and illegal.

            Turns out he was wrong.

Meleanie in the park with friends  
Meleanie in the park with Glock and friends

            Meleanie open-carried her gun everywhere she could, ensconced in its holster, a bullet in the chamber, ready to fire, everywhere except posted private property.  It’s legal in Pennsylvania, except in Philadelphia. I guess you already know that because of recent incidents related to President Obama’s appearances in Pennsylvania.

            Open carry is legal (to a confusing variety of degrees) in 43 states. Here is a map to help you sort it out.

            There are only seven states that prohibit the open display of weapons:  Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.  It may surprise you that a number of these are in the South, where gun rights are big, but that is no accident.  The open carry prohibitions in these states were enacted precisely to prevent African-Americans from carrying weapons in public.

            Pennsylvania has one of the more liberal open carry laws in the nation and is a hotbed of open carry activism.  Meleanie Hain wasn’t your casual I’m-here-to-prove-a-point-and-disappear gun-toting soccer mom.  She was a committed activist with an organization known online as opencarry.org.  She challenged Sherrif DeLeo’s decision on legal grounds and succeeded in getting his order reversed.  It wasn’t hard.  He didn’t have a legal leg to stand on. 

   A very professional and well-researched 5,000 word brief filed by Meleanie’s attorney, Matthew B. Weisberg, posed the legal question like this:

“II. Question Presented

For political gain and as punishment, can Lebanon County Sheriff DeLeo revoke Hains permit to carry a concealed firearm under 18 Pa.C.S. §6109 without pre-seizure process or good cause to prevent, via §6106, Hain from openly carrying a firearm as she is entitled under both the United States and Pennsylvania’s Constitutions?

Suggested Answer: No.”

            Meleanie won this round, and felt confident to go farther.  Working again with Mr. Weisberg, she filed a civil suit for damages—and big bucks—against Sheriff DeLeo and the county.  Ironically, this suit is still pending and Weisberg insists it will go forward.

“A symbol of personhood…”

            This ruckus made Meleanie hugely popular with a certain interested group of folks—Open Carry.  Open Carry exists primarily as a social networking site at opencarry.org.  The goal of Open Carry as described on its website is to "naturalize the presence of guns, which means that guns become ordinary, omnipresent, and expected. Over time, the gun becomes a symbol of ordinary personhood."  Its motto is "A Right Unexercised is a Right Lost."  It seems to have about 8,000 members.  The website features forums, organized by state.  If you are interested, you can find your own state here.  The Open Carry Pennsylvania forum was apparently one of the more popular forums.  It boasts over 10,000 posts. 

            Some 250 of those posts were written by shefearsnothing—Meleanie Hain, who joined the group on September 20, 2008.  Meleanie’s posts reflected the work of a dedicated, savvy activist.  She discussed her court cases and her media appearances, about which she solicited and received detailed responses.  She never ranted like some of the men.  She was on a mission.

            Publicly, she stated her reasons for carrying a gun matter of factly: "It's not a matter of being paranoid. People have smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in their homes. They're not paranoid; they're prepared."

            But it was never about smoke detectors.  It was about the Second Amendment, and Meleanie was a true believer.  The Open Carry crowd believes two things as fundamentals:  a) carrying a gun reduces the chances of becoming a victim of a crime, and b) carrying a loaded weapon openly is a practice that must be made commonplace in the U.S.

            Meleanie demonstrated her fidelity to the first notion by working on a project to survey Pennsylvania inmates about whether they would have committed the types of crimes for which they were incarcerated if everyone in society had been armed.  She demonstrated her fidelity to the second principle by suing the government for a million dollars for interfering with her right to carry.  Meleanie was a home day-care provider.  Here husband was a probation officer.  Yet they had sufficient income for some pretty fancy legal work.  Online partners encouraged her to bring her case to the attention of the Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association, which she did.  Probably somewhere along the way she found some deep pockets to fund her suit. It is interesting that Mr. Weisberg is planning to press the case after her death—for the sake of the children most likely.

            Her posts reflected her savvy as an activist.  Prior to an appearance on a local TV show she enlists support for making her case.  “If there are any points anyone would like me to have in my notes please post them here and I will come back and check before I finalize them on Monday,” she posts.

            Orygunner answers:

“There's people that are offended by T-shirts with scriptures on them, others are offended by piercings or tattoos, and still others get upset over breastfeeding in public.  Should any of those people change their harmless habits or behavior against their will because of the discomfort of others? Here, you are exercising the god-given (or inalienable) right of self-defense, as the founding fathers intended to be protected by the Second Amendment.”

            That’s right.  Breast feeding.

            Open Carry Pennsylvania mostly lionized Meleanie for her poster gal status.  At a gathering of the group loosely linked to her birthday, her compatriots presented her with a certificate of appreciation as shown in the photo below.

Hain 2 3:9:09  

Μοlon labe!

            Another overlay manifests itself in Open Carry forums—the attitude of the Disenfranchised Patriot—a topic I have written about previously on Open Salon. The confederate flag, screen names like “Praying for War,” and the curious Greek phrase “Molon labe!” permeate the culture.  “Molon labe!” is what the Spartans were said to have screamed in the face of the Persian onslaught, as enshrined in the film 300.  It means, to the Open Carry crowd, a composite of “Bring it on!,” “Come and take us!,” and “Over my dead body!” Take your pick.

            When an anti-gun advocacy organization, Moms Against Guns, announced it would lobby the state of Pennsylvania for stiffer gun laws, a photo appeared in newspapers with one of the principals, an elderly woman, appearing in a tee shirt bearing the name of the organization.  One Open Carry regular photoshopped the tee shirt to read “I’m not armed, rape me” to the amusement of some.  He went on to add swastika buttons to the attire of the anti-gun representatives here.  So you can’t say these guys don’t have a sense of humor.

            Interestingly enough, when Todd Palin came to town last fall, members of this very group reversed their in-your-face attitude as displayed in close proximity to the president and left their weapons at home (or in their glove boxes).  The rationale was revealed in this posting:

“I have one request of all of you.

IF there is a sign saying NO Firearm around Todd Palin or they metal detectors that the secret service has around to protect the safety of the Todd Palin.

PLEASE don’t make a big scene, follow the instructions of the Secret Service they have a very difficult job to do, don’t make it worse. IF the Secret Service ask you to secure you firearm in your vehicle just cooperate. Don’t make this event into a negative reflection on responsible gun owners or Pitcairn-Monroeville Sportsmen's Club."

            Turns out the Pitcairn-Monroeville Sportsmen’s Club has a bit of an overlap with Open Carry.  One of those members is “Mountain Jack" Nobles, who open-carried a handgun to an Obama rally on August 29, 2008—and was later acquitted of any wrongdoing by a jury of his peers.

Visions of Freedom

            Upon receiving news of Meleanie’s death, Open Carry posts were raw and angry—at her husband, and at those who would use the occasion to mount anti-gun arguments.   The tone in some of the posts was, to put it bluntly, hateful.  But amidst this rancor, there were posts by those who had heard her recount serious difficulties in her marriage.  The group laid plans to organize a “memorial shoot” in her memory.

            You may think this sounds like Mars, but this is Main Street—coming to a mall parking lot or public park near you.  We have laws on the books that go back to the days of deer rifles and squirrel guns that allow citizens to carry their weapons in public, pretty much where they please.

            You have to ask yourself, are you willing to fight to change this?  Because if you don’t, the new, “new normal” is going to include people with some pretty ugly political views and dispositions getting right up in your grill with their guns.  And their kids, too.  There is nothing stopping 17-year olds from open carry in some states.

            These folks know the law.  Some, like Meleanie, have faced down the law before and won, and they are just itching to carry and be challenged so they can swing their legal artillery into range.

            You might think that at least some Democratic lawmakers would like to change these laws.  Don’t count on it.  Open carry proponents are deeply wired into the mindset of the NRA, even without the explicit backing of the gun rights lobby.  In fact, towns across America are being pressured to repeal their open carry prohibitions to accommodate our patriots.

            Meleanie Hain’s death was a tragedy, whatever her political views.  But she was just one of the 1,100 or so women murdered by their husbands or boyfriends each year.  The folks at Open Carry have much in common with Lebanon County District Attorney Dave Arnold, who thought it—the murder—was just an issue of “responsible ownership.”

            The problem with open carry is that you never know who is on the other end of that holster.  It comes down to competing visions of what constitutes a civil society.  To borrow from the movies, this town ain’t big enough for both visions.  If you believe in the vision to live free of a lock and load mentality, you just might want to get out there and advocate for your vision, because the other guy—or gal—is at it with a vengeance, regardless of a recent murder.

Update 10/20/09:  Meleanie Hain’s family requested that memorial donations be sent to the Pennsylvania Firearms Owners Association.

* * * 

For more on the open carry movement see, "Meet George Donnelly—He Wants to Show You His Gun". 

 

 

 

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That gun did her a lot of good, huh?
I'm a huge advocate of concealed carry. Why advertise? On the tragedy of this woman, it is indeed ironic that she was shot to death. The sad part about it is that people will concentrate on the stupid irony and not the fact that domestic violence is the real issue.
I hope her children find peace, and the world finds its own as well.
Rated for an indepth look at open carry though.
interesting post.
i don't want to live in waziristan.
This is pretty involved.

In the end, this is just a case of being killed by your husband. That they were gun crazy people simply gave it an easy way to play out. I wonder what she was chatting about on the Interwebs when he shot her?
Well, as usual, being a Canadian I will never grasp the fact that carrying a weapon open or concealed is necessary unless you are in active combat duty or the like. To say that carrying weapons and revering a culture of violence linked to weapons doesn't lead to death by weapons is pure wishful thinking. The stats are clear. Places/countries with strict gun laws do not have the number of gun-related deaths that others do. And the Second Amendment is a lame excuse. Surely the founding fathers weren't anticipating that people would be hunting for sport with assault rifles/machine guns any more than they would see the need for a mother bring a weapon to a soccer game or leaving her weapon loaded and unattended in the presence of children. Sorry -- these people are lunatics and should be treated as such.
Just a few stats,- over 10,000 deaths a year due to hand guns, over 700,000 injuries a year due to handguns, there 90 guns for every 100 U.S citizens. In 1988 the U.S banned lawn darts, the result of a combined 3 deaths.

I'm all for gun ownership, but you should have to pass the law enforcement tactical firearms course to carry. That's what my Dad made us do, in addition to passing the handgun carry class. At least we learned not to shoot the women with the baby.

But, The real story isn't gun ownership. It's violence against wives/ex-w­ives/girlf­riends/ex-­girl friends.

About 1/4 of all murders of women is at the hands of the man with whom they have or had a romantic relationship. Something is screwed up in our culture and in the way we respond to violence against women in the context of relationships that is causing thousands of women to be murdered this way.
Very well written and informative.

Such a tragedy for her and her children.
Presumably her husband had a permit to carry his gun around wherever he went. Now, I assert that in retrospect he was not the type of person that should be allowed to carry a gun around in public. Sure, he didn't go postal on a bunch of strangers - but the fact that he shot his wife because he was mad at her makes me believe that the right circumstances could have prompted him to kill strangers.

In fact, there are tons of unbalanced folks out there who have anger issues. Do we really want all of them packing heat?

Personally, in my 46 years on this planet I've never encountered a single situation in which I needed a gun. Plus - what a hassle carrying one around. I don't even like carrying my cell phone around and I USE that on a regular basis!

...and as for the "tragedy" of this woman's death, well....I'm not so sure about that. I can't seem to muster any tears for her or her husband. Yes, it was domestic violence, but I also believe that the family's gun-nuttery was a contributing factor and maybe, just maybe the world is better off without them.
The real story IS gun ownership. There is a problem with making it easy to kill people. Even people who are "responsible" can fly into an insane rage, and use whatever means they have at hand to inflict harm. If they have no weapon, they will stomp out and slam the door. If they are as afraid as the media has encouraged us to be, they will pick up and loaded gun and shoot whatever is in front of them...IF it's available. Just carrying a weapon is threatening, as the opposing soccer coach said. No...I do not want to live in a war zone either. Even wanting to carry weapons openly or concealed is crazy and asking for trouble.
Interesting read, however this gal's involvement in the right to openly carry her firearm had nothing to do with her death. Apparently, she was a responsible gun owner. Her husband, who was probably issued the gun that killed her by the state, was not. To somehow try to turn her husband's actions on her is bizarre and I find it icky.

I have no idea about this group and I'm not ever sending back all those surveys the NRA sends us, but it seems as though this group is a peaceful one who obeys the laws. They specifically pointed out not to be radical and do what was asked of them by Secret Service. It doesn't seem like they want to be disruptive in their mission.

I'm wondering where they got their motto though. A man named Wayne Hage said "A right undefended is a right waived." in conjunction with a landmark lawsuit filed against the Federal Government for taking his land in Nevada.
Good story. Brings to mind the old saying, "those who live by the sword . . . "
I'm sure she and her compatriots never thought the biggest threat would come from inside her own home; compared to those attending the soccer games. Three kids now without both parents, plus the trauma of being present during the events. Well, that was worth it, eh? What's the connection? The ready availability of a loaded gun to someone who is emotionally unstable. And how many of us are unstable? They don't call us humans for nothing!
Steve, this was a great piece, well-written, chilling.
Excellent Post, Steve! If I have the time, I may write additional comments later.
Domestic violence is always so terrible. I feel so for those three kids...That said, the line about the gun with the bullet in the chamber hanging on a doorknob with kids around gives me chills. Even if you teach your kids to be responsible, how do you know a friend, who's maybe never seen a gun, won't pull it out while looking in your bag for a tissue? Kids are unpredictable. Period. There was nothing responsible about her gun-owning behavior.
A few years back I became obsessed with gun rights and gun control issues. I researched arguments pro and con, visited a gun range with a buddy (where they had recently placed restrictions on gun rentals because people were committing suicide with handguns they had just rented), and even applied for a concealed carry permit (easy to do in my state).

I came to the conclusion that gun possession would be a health hazard for both myself and others.

I also found that it takes a great deal of training to be able to properly use a gun in crisis situations such as those used as a justification for open carry.

In the heat of a crisis that boosts adrenaline levels, one's ability to adequately assess threats and make decisions is greatly reduced. One's ability to both determine whether the gun can be safely fired and accurately fire the weapon is diminished by the physical and psychological stress brought on during such a crisis. Instead of relieving this stress, brandishing a weapon reduces the user's margin of error. It escalates rather than deescalates the crisis by raising the stakes for all parties and it reduces the odds that the user will consider safer options to deescalate the crisis (like going back inside the house, calling 911, calling out for help, physically moving away from the conflict, etc.)

These open carry idiots are a danger to themselves and others because of their simplistic and paranoid attitudes about gun rights. Responsible gun ownership is indeed the issue here, but this couple proves that it we can't trust gun owners to take responsibility. Gun owners need the same kind of licensing, training, and insurance requirements faced by car owners.
Well thought out and well presented entry.

I'm a bit on the conservative side and will fight for my right to own guns. Having said that, I don't think giving every nut/idiot/powder keg in the world the right to carry one 24/7/365 is a sane, rational idea. The mere thought of rubbing elbows with masses of people who are all carrying makes me want to RUN to the far reaches of society!

And to C Berg who says, "Even people who are "responsible" can fly into an insane rage, and use whatever means they have at hand to inflict harm. If they have no weapon, they will stomp out and slam the door," I ask, where the hell have you been living the last 10, 15, 20 years. Do you not watch TV, read the news? I lost a 21 year old daughter and a 4 month old granddaughter to someone in an insane rage who didn't have a gun. He didn't stomp out the door. He grabbed a knife and slit both their throats.

GUNS don't kill people. PEOPLE kill people. Period.
Steve..... This was an excellent post. In a better world, you would be getting paid $$$$$ for writing of this quality.

On the other hand, who knows? Maybe someone will offer you a book contract.
Steve, I grew up in New York City with the Sullivan law and then spent 35 years in northern New England when gun ownership and hunting are as natural to New Englanders, as a Lox and Bagels are to a New Yorker. There will never be a national gun control law because our population is just to diverse when it comes to ownership. Even President Reagan's press secretary Brady maiming during Reagan's assassination attempt could do that.

This will continue to divide us like so many other fractious issues. Well written and I might say an ironic end to a gun proponent's life.
Great post, well written. Thanks. I hadn't understood the trend of holstered guns at town halls until now.
Some thoughts from the other side...

Legal, responsible gun ownership isn't a panacea for the problem of violent crime. Instead, it's a way to keep some measure of control over your destiny so that you're not entirely at the mercy of a) violent people who wish to do you harm, or b) lackluster police response times. If we lived in a society where law enforcement could protect you from harm 100% of the time, I wouldn't own a gun. But the fact is that we don't live in that utopian society, and it really doesn't take much civil disturbance to overwhelm the effectiveness of a police presence - just look at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Please don't caricature gun owners as paranoid gun nuts - I'm a left-leaning democrat, and I carry because I have a deep cynicism about the capacity of the municipal and state government to protect my family and I from people with bad intentions.

1. @ Emma Peel: With respect, I think you're mixing some of your arguments. While I agree with you that an unfortunate "culture of violence" exists and romanticizes guns to some degree, I think it's a logical fallacy to assume that every gun owner somehow embraces that culture. Canada, for example, actually has higher per-capita rates of gun ownership than the United States - albeit with less intentional gun violence. So while we both agree that guns ought to be regulated, it's incorrect to argue that gun ownership in and of itself creates a violent atmosphere.

2. @ Reinvented: How exactly did Meleanie Hain live by the sword? Are you suggesting that her political beliefs and decision to arm herself somehow made her deserving of her fate?

3. @ Voxhumana & C Berg: The argument that gun ownership should be restricted because loaded guns + volatile human nature = recipe for disaster doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Follow the logic of that argument to its conclusion and you would be obligated to ban hunting rifles and bows/arrows as well.

Anyway, great article and comments all around.
How ironic. The pistol packing mom gets killed by a pistol. What a tragedy.

-Nikki-
Gun loonie gets gunned down in her own home. Sounds like poetic justice to me. As has been pointed out many times- you are far more likely to be shot by your own gun than any intruders.
Yes, guns don't kill people, but they do make it a hell of a lot easier.

It's not just as simple as saying, people kill people. Because if that's the case then why not allow everyone to have rocket launchers, biological weapons, or even nukes? After all, those things don't kill people either - people do!

And I'm guessing if Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris didn't have guns, the death count at Columbine wouldn't have been nearly as high.
The gun toters always seem to forget one thing, that being point a) of their two basic arguments: "carrying a gun reduces the chances of becoming a victim of a crime". Bullshit. This pathetic NRA cover girl could VERY easily have had that gun taken from her, and used against her or anyone else in the vicinity. For you morons who disagree, look into how often cops have their handguns taken - and they are vastly better trained, and I would argue faster in reaction time - than this moo cow blooter would ever have been. What do you think; that she was some sort of martial arts star?
We should take comfort in the fact that at least now, her kids will not end up with a bullet in their heads via the type of accident that has become all too commonplace in gun nut households. Too bad they had to become orphans to protect themselves.
Yes, this story is about domestic violence, and maybe her deranged husband would have used a baseball bat had the gun not been handy. But the chances of that bat killing one of the three kids by accident is slim to none compared with an idiot keeping a loaded gun in the house.
Oh, and I happen to own a .38 myself. However, the actual gun (well hidden), bullets (ditto), and key to the trigger lock (an item the open carry buffoons fear like deodorant) are in three separate locations. If my wife and I awake to someone holding a gun or knife to our throats, having a loaded pistol two feet away in the nightstand won't do any good anyway.
The 2nd Amendment says nothing about firearms - it reads "arms" - nor does it say anything about personal defense. Thus I can own and carry a nuclear bomb. Sure, there were no nuclear bombs when the 2nd Amendment was passed, but there were no modern firearms either.
"Interesting read, however this gal's involvement in the right to openly carry her firearm had nothing to do with her death. Apparently, she was a responsible gun owner."

she kept a loaded frickin' pistol, with a round chambered, none the less, hanging on the door in her house with 3 kids and you think she was a responsible gun owner?
she should've kept it in a safe, like in my latest post:
http://open.salon.com/blog/keeblerelves/2009/10/15/finally_an_economic_plan_we_can_believe_in
ideologues eschew (hey, I actually got to use that word) statistics.

when seatbelt laws were passed my dad HATED the government telling him what to do, so he never wore them. But he had the audacity to argue that he was safer without a seat belt, because it might trap him in a burning car after an accident. Yeah, right dad.

Gun nuts are the same. They ignore the fact that you are much more likely to be killed by a friend or relative, than by a stranger creeping into your house at night or holding you up on the street.

And that fact turns the safety argument on its head. If you own a gun you INCREASE the chances that you or a family member will be injured or killed. And if you keep that gun loaded you INCREASE the chances even further.

And again, I don't consider this woman so much a victim of domestic violence as a victim of the gun culture itself. She and her husband were gun nuts and insisted on toting loaded guns with them everywhere. Gun nut, meet natural selection.
When I was prosecuting one of the saddest cases to come through juvie involved a kid who shot and killed a friend with his dad's handgun. Dad kept it on a shelf in the closet. Unfortunately, the 4th grader knew it and had access. It was an awful situation all the way around. The Second Amendment is here to stay. I just wish the gun enthusiasts wouldn't interpret every call to statutory limitations (i.e. illegalizing open carry, mandatory waiting periods) as some "liberal" assault on their constitutional rights. Great article.
Randy99 - While I wouldn't have a loaded gun laying around and my husband won't even let me know the combo to the gun safe, which I'm fine with, we have no idea of this woman's parenting skills. She wasn't killed by the gun in her backpack. She was killed by her husband's hand plain and simple. For all we know, her children have had excessive training in firearm safety. To leap to a conclusion that she's the one to blame for her death is sad. I deem people such as Rush Limbaugh fanatics and radicals and I just don't see it in her in what was presented here. She had the right to openly carry a firearm and she did so. Perhaps mental illness should be the topic of this piece and not an excuse to circumvent gun-laws and Constitutional Rights.
Ellen,

But of course children of gun nuts would NEVER accidentally shoot someone because from the time they were big enough to hold a gun their parents have trained them in gun safety!!

Oye. Every time I read about a kid shooting another kid with a gun that they thought wasn't loaded, I point it out to my kids. I want to make sure that they know that they should pretty much assume EVERY GUN IS LOADED
If the right to bear arms shall not be infringed, can I have a surface to air missile? Open Carry, like on the back of my pick-up? So handy when the airlines gyp you on frequent flyer miles. I could use a mortar, too. There are some people who are so rude and steal your parking space as you're signaling to turn into it. I bet that wouldn't happen if I had a grenade launcher on my car.

And, you know, I hear nuclear submarines are going cheap.
Malusinka,

You make the good point that EVERYONE believes in gun control - it's just a matter of where they draw the line.
to the idiots posting about their "right" to own a nuke or biological weapons because they are "arms", please note the very important distinction as ruled by the courts that, an individual does not have the right to possess weapons what are essentially area-effect weapons.

you have a right to bear arms that you can control who and what is shot by them, so that you are not in an inordinate risk of harming bystanders.



don't make stupid arguments and act like chuckleheads. it doesn't do your side or any of the rest of us any good.

this woman, if her husband did not have a gun, could have been just as easily killed by her with any number of common household items, or perhaps with his hands or feet. don't blame the gun, it is only a tool. you don't leave the butcher knife out where small children can get at it do you? and you hopefully don't want to ban sharp kitchen knives either.

in the end, who cares about gun violence anyway? it is a canard. I care about ALL violence, and taking away guns does not reduce violence overall, it merely reduces gun violence. the only way to make society even remotely safe is to work for justice and against massive financial inequality, to make quality education more universally available, and to make mental health care more accessible to all while working to remove the stigma from those who are treated for it.
It's a Greek tragedy: death by hubris.

It's situational irony: her killer was also exercising his Second Amendment rights.

How safe was she, really? She wouldn't have a chance to use her gun even if it was in her hand and not in her backpack.
I find it rather disturbing how most of the people on here are quick to dance in the blood of this poor woman. I don't find the irony amusing at all.

Her husband was a sworn officer, and he was trusted by the government to use a gun... shows how much the government knows about who should have them.

Some people say that if this man and woman didn't have guns, her husband would just "stomp out and slam the door". I would like to call attention to the countless acts of violence committed WITHOUT the use of guns. Many countries with gun bans in effect have much higher violence using OTHER means.

I would also like to reference my own experience with guns. I've been shooting guns all my life, I carry one every day and I've never killed anyone. I've been cut off in traffic, been involved in arguments with a significant other and heck, I've been angry in my life before too. I've had a gun on me or near me and have never thought to use it in those situations. I have used a gun in self defense twice in my life, and I believe that's why I'm still here today. I've protected myself and my loved ones and no one was hurt and we ALL got to go home safely.

I think it would serve our country and communities better if we focused on the issue of domestic violence instead of rejoicing in the irony of the situation.
This is exactly the kind of insanity that means that Kathleen and I will probably never go over and live in the US.
What a great point, and I have to admit, not one that had occurred to me, safe in my (at least for now) handgun-free suburb in Illinois.

How ironic is it that the coaches and volunteers probably have to undergo screenings in order to be around little kids, but a nut with a gun is just fine? The sheriff was right - someone who would carry a gun to a soccer game is demonstrably insane. The fact that she was obviously living an insane family life too is just evidenced by her murder. It's just fortunate that the husband didn't take down a bunch of soccer players along with her.

Shun them, avoid them, treat them like the crazy people they are, and fight them in court! We have a right to live in peace and unarmed.
Full disclosure: I am permitted to carry in my current abode of Minnesota, and do so, because I live in a low-income, high-crime neighborhood in the Twin Cities.

I don't understand the point of this post. The kicker is obviously the fact that this woman was shot and killed by her own husband with her own gun - but what does that have to do with her open carry advocacy, or with gun rights advocates in general?

I openly acknowledge that probably the majority of gun rights activists are absolute nutters and possibly dangerous. Despite the fact that I own, use, and carry a variety of guns, and I believe law-abiding citizens should have that right, I have conscientiously refused to support politicized and irrational organizations like the NRA and other gun lobbyists. At the same time, many liberal people's hysterical and irrational fear of guns (so afraid that they refuse to touch them even with careful supervision and instruction, or even be in the same building with them) is counterproductive to their goal, which is to decrease violent crime.

Do I think it's smart to openly carry a gun to a children's soccer game? No, not really, in part because our culture is acclimated to fear guns, in part because there is simply no reason to do it. Did she break any laws? Nope.

She ended up getting shot with her own gun - which is truly a tragedy for her and her family, and could have possibly been prevented had she taken more care to secure her pistol when she was in her house (though it's hard to imagine her husband couldn't have found some other way to kill her).

I just don't see what the actual purpose of this post is. Are you decrying gun lobbyists? Decrying open carry laws? Decrying guns in general? I really have no idea.
alabama democrat,

I doubt the families of the tens of thousands of people killed each year by guns in the U.S. consider discussions of gun violence to be a "canard".

And you suggest that this woman "could" have been killed just as easily in some other way. I agree that her husband COULD have killed her with his hands or a knife, but certainly not as easily! And she would have had a chance to fight back.

And as I pointed out earlier, if Dylan Klebold and Eric harris had been armed with knives, I doubt the death toll at Columbine would have been as high.
P.S.

I would just like to add that, as a transgender man, I do feel it is prudent to (legally) carry a concealed firearm, given that the rates of random violence against trans folks is exponentially higher than against the general population. Some people see this as "overkill" but I view a firearm as the last tool in a self-defense toolkit that includes a variety of other techniques that are primarily non-violent. One of my biggest beefs with the pro-gun crowd is that I doubt many of them would bother to pursue non-violent personal defense measures if they were carrying a gun - better to shoot first, ask questions later, as it were.

There were definitely a couple people in my carry permit certification course who are probably as likely to shoot a 14-year-old kid demanding their wallet on the street as they are someone who is actually a mortal threat to them. I sure don't feel any safer knowing that people like this are among the ones packing heat in everyday goings-on.
This reminds me of that episode of the Simpsons where Homer gets into gun ownership ends up using his handgun to turn off the lights, etc.

Of course this real-life situation isn't hilarious, it's deeply tragic.

But the American truth inside this situation is that these people had every right to own these guns, and to brandish them casually wherever they went. They had the right to turn guns into the driving force in their lives. And they had the right to be stupid.

It seems to me that stupidity is a civil right, and a big part of the price we pay for living in a free society is that we are under constant threat from stupid actions.

God bless this poor, stupid, gun loving couple and may they find peace on the other side.
I'm sorry for what happened to her but not surprised.
Will Someone Feed the Cat
""Meleanie Hain’s handgun, a Glock 26 semi-automatic, was in a backpack hanging on a door, a bullet in the chamber."

With 3 little kids in the house. And their friends, I'll presume, at various times."

IT'S WORSE! She was a home childcare provider. I wonder if the parents who left their children in her care knew that she kept a loaded (round chambered!) weapon in her backpack? Im sure they thought she was a responsible gun owner. We have a large numbers of citizens who live in contrived fear based on the feeling that 'others' (ahem) and the government are going to take over. Oddly enough these are people who support the 'Patriot Act's' most egregious offenses. Bleeds it leads mentality of our media adds credence to such perceptions.
Give them all the guns they want -- they'll kill each other off!
Words cannot express how this murder-suicide pleases me.
A HOME DAY-CARE PROVIDER!

"Meleanie was a home day-care provider. Here husband was a probation officer. Yet they had sufficient income for some pretty fancy legal work. (thru a pro-gun backer)

sorry- i just had to say it again. i can barely believe it.
fins2theleft

do you want to ban swimming pools, too? they kill more kids than guns by far. this woman had the gun in the same room as her, she was not killed with her own gun. she was killed by her husband, who may or may not have been deranged, or enraged, or who knows?

many people are violent, and if you take away one means of violence, they will find another outlet, that is perhaps less healthy for those around them. for example suicide - guns don't cause suicides, taking them away doesn't reduce the overall number of suicides. Japan has practically no guns in private hands, but a pretty high suicide rate. their preferred method these days? mixing cleaning chemicals to make a toxic chlorine cloud. said cloud of poison gas is very effective for killing yourself, but also seeps into the neighboring apartments endangering everyone else around.

you that want to ban the guns need to really think about what it is you are wishing for.

domestic violence is not going to go away because there are no guns.

and the comparison to columbine? pretty weak. those kids shouldn't have had guns anyway... and if someone in that school, even a security guard or three had been armed, it would have made it a hell of a lot easier to stop them. You might notice that the vast majority of shooting spree's happen in places where ordinary people are not allowed to bring guns. I don't think maybe that EVERYONE should have a gun in these places, but I haven't seen an argument yet about how a "gun free school zone" gives anyone any sort of protection. it just gives predators a place full of people who are less likely to be armed and able to fight back. if you can find me a good argument for why "gun free school zones" are a good idea and how they actually stop criminals from committing criminal acts, I would love to hear it.

those of you who are happy that this woman was shot and killed by her own husband can all go fuck yourselves. you are sick bastards. she had a differing political opinion than you, but does that make her life less valuable? it's not as if she was a racist, violence inciting turd like rush limbaugh for god's sake... she was speaking up, though proper and legal means, for what she thought was right. I think open carry is crazy, but it is legal. if you don't like it, get the law changed...
" she had a differing political opinion than you, but does that make her life less valuable?"

Yes.
Sscape: I should point out that Meleanie maintained that all the family firearms were locked up during day care hours. Just in the interest of being factual.

David Ehrenstein: I have never deleted a comment but you tempt me. Please, consider what you are saying. This isn't a comment thread at a daily newspaper or AOL. Don't be a hater.
I don't actually want to ban guns. My point is that if you own a gun, it's more likely that you or someone you love will get shot with it, than it is that you'll actually stop a crime with that gun.

And I'm not "happy" that that woman died, I'm just not surprised or sad. Each of us makes tons of decisions in our lives that affect our safety...

Things that decrease your chances of dying:

wear seat belts
observe traffic laws
live in a safe neighborhood

Things that increase your chances of dying:

Skydiving
Riding a motorcycle
Drinking and driving
Carrying a gun around with you
Being married to someone who carries a gun around with them

She engaged in a behavior (gun nuttery) that increased her chances of being killed, and she got killed. Most gun nuts don't end up getting shot, but she did. Same with MOST motorcycle riders don't end up getting killed in a motorcycle accident, but some do.

I don't ride a motorcycle, so my chances of dying in a motorcycle accident are significantly less than someone who does.

I'm not married to a gun nut, so the chances that I will be shot by my spouse are less than someone who IS married to a gun nut.

Each person has to evaluate the risks in their activities and decide accordingly. I used to hang glide, and I did so knowing that that activity increased my chances of death.
I swaer to god, the rest of the world looks at this and is gob-smacked, astounded, bewildered. Don't let people have guns. Just don't. Doesn't matter what's in the right-to-bear-arms bit of your bill of rights. It's time for a change. Do not let your citizens have guns in their homes, schools, offices, streets and fewer people will die, especially those mass killings that result from uncontrolled rage and access to weaponry.

It actually is simple, made unnecessarily complex. Sometimes there need to be rules that people follow. I'm all for everyone having a say but some things are simply banned: I can't drive over the person who annoyed me in the supermarket queue, I can't show up naked in my office, I can't walk out of a shop with something I can't afford to pay for, and I cannot own a gun. Pass legislation, ride through the screaming hysteria, move on. The great good of the population is at stake.
Oh...and here's a stat which bears out that gun owners are more likely to be shot and killed than non gun-owners:


* People who keep guns at home have a 72% greater chance of being killed by firearms and are 3.44 times more likely to commit suicide than those who do not keep guns at home (Annals of Emergency Medicine, Vol 41, p. 771).
Rosenkavalier writes: "I just don't see what the actual purpose of this post is. Are you decrying gun lobbyists? Decrying open carry laws? Decrying guns in general? I really have no idea."

Yes, that was my reaction also.

I have carried a gun for ten years and have a concealed handgun license. I think "open carry" is a wacky idea. But it's not clear to me what the woman's advocacy of open carry has to do with being shot in her own home by her husband.
"Don't be a hater."

Don't be a doormat.
Just like statistics can be manipulated to prove whatever the person wielding them wants to prove so to can information, this woman was like so many inner city Blacks shot dead by a drunken cop. In this case the cop was her husband.
I'm willing to bet that in most open carry states (like mine) there are provisions that restrict that carry. Unfortunately, those provisions are highly subject to interpretation. For instance, the regulating statute in my state says that you "may not go armed to the terror of the public". Who decides when the public is terrorized? Would gun size, caliber, or make influence the decision? Perhaps the size and race of the gun owner is a better determinant. So until I can walk into the local greasy spoon strapped with my Ruger, the idea of open carry is another bullshit excuse to continue the status quo.
ame i,

"Gun or no gun, that man was insane and would have killed her by any means at his disposal."

We simply can't know that. A gun makes killing easier - you pull a trigger, you can do it from a distance and the victim is disabled quickly with little chance of retaliation.

With a knife for example, you have to get close, one stab doesn't do it, the victim will fight back, you'll get blood all over you.

It's simplistic to say he would have simply killed her by some other means.

...to prove this point, here's a thought exercise...suppose that you run into a psycho that wants to kill you. Would you prefer they have a gun or a knife or a blunt object?

personally, I'd like the opportunity to fight back and perhaps take the weapon away from my attacker, or even to run. A knife or blunt object gives me that chance, but a gun doesn't.
It scares me to think of people carrying loaded guns....really scares me.
patricia,

I'm not scared by the idea of someone carrying a gun. I'm more scared when I think of the psychological profile of the person that would feel the need to carry a gun.

I'm guessing they fall into a few categories:

1) those who fantasize about being the hero. One day they'll be at McDonald's and someone will try to rob the place and they'll go all Dirty Harry on the perp, etc. Unfortunately, I'm guessing they're just as likely to kill innocent bystanders as the robber.

2) pansy/scaredy-cats - they are ruled by fear and scared silly that someday they are going to be a victim of violent crime and so they feel safer carrying a gun. kind of silly, and mostly harmless I guess, but I suspect that if they ever are victimized the chances are 50% at best that the gun is going to help them.

3) Those who are insecure and want to feel tough. They like imagining that people think they're a badass because they carry a gun. this probably includes a lot of the open carry nuts.

4) Those who feel like they need to make a point. they imagine our gun rights are being taken away and so they want to push the limits. whatever. I think they're misguided, but I suspect they're mostly harmless.

5) people who actually need to carry a gun because they live in a tough neighborhood or there's someone out to get them, etc. Note that probably only 1% of all gun carriers fall into this category, but I bet if you ask those who carry guns, 80% of them will claim to be in this category.

6) criminals.
Good story, Steve. It poibnts out the strange disconnect between the reality that gun owners tend to (I say tend to) depict in their own minds, and the reality on the ground. It reminds me of a study that was done on people who watch violent shows and all the fearmongering news: Their perception of violence in society around them is way off. Guns have no place in homes or around people. They are not toys. But go explain that to some people...

Besides, there is a powerful political angle: The gun crowd is all upset about Obama (thanks to the far-right NRA) and afraid of the 2nd Amendment. It would behoove them to note that there are a pile of other amendments that are far more important than whether or not we need killer toys in our homes. The Military Commissions Act of October 06 should have had the whole country standing in Washington, but the death of Habeas Corpus just happened without a real peep. Thanks.
The Pink Pistols make the argument that if just 1 in 100 gay people are armed and (more importantly) KNOWN to be armed, there would be less gaybashing. Going through the hoops to carry legally is almost as complex as learning a martial art (which would also work IF publicised - "don't mess with gay people, one of them broke my arm" etc.)

Licensed guns and legal abortions: I try not to need them, but I would like those options available, and I would strongly defend others' rights to access them as well...
"The world hates us because they hate us. Period."

The world hates us because we're evil. Period.

Even as I post we -- or our "allies" -- are bombing powerless peasants in some third world country. Naturally you have your work cut out for you reading all manner of news sources to find out about this as our famously "free press" ignores it. As a result blinkered millions think 9/11 was "unprovoked."

AS IF!!!!!!

(And now for the ritual qualification -- always necessary when one is telling the truth) No I don't think the 9/11 attacks were justified in any way shape or form. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Have nice day, Kyle D.
This is one of the best-written, most thought-provoking entries I've read on OS. Rated.
She doesn't look like a soccer mom to me, unless you're talking about the mother of a British soccer hooligan. Maybe I've become accustomed to a higher-quality s.m. in our suburbs.
Kyle,

The purpose of cars and swimming pools isn't to kill people. The purpose of handguns IS to kill people. In theory one could argue that handguns are meant to intimidate people with the threat of death, but mechanically they are meant to shoot bullets at people for the purpose of injuring or killing them.

When people rob convenience stores, or carjack a car, or get mad and kill their wife - they typically use a gun, not a swimming pool or a car. See the difference?

And again, I'll reiterate that I am not in favor of outlawing guns. I just find it funny that gunowners deny the fact that owning a gun increases the chances they and those in their households will die a violent death. Owning guns makes you LESS SAFE, not MORE SAFE. Statistics and studies bear this out.

But yet, while a motorcylcle rider will gladly acknowledge that riding a motorcycle increases his/her chances of death, gun owners prefer to stick their heads in the sand and believe that having guns around makes them safer, when that simply is not true.

I'd have a lot more respect for gun owners who just say, yeah - I know having guns around is dangerous but our family likes guns enough to accept that additional risk.

* People who keep guns at home have a 72% greater chance of being killed by firearms and are 3.44 times more likely to commit suicide than those who do not keep guns at home (Annals of Emergency Medicine, Vol 41, p. 771).
Rosenkavalier comments that objecting to guns is "counterproductive to their goal, which is to decrease violent crime."

I guess I'm one of those "liberals" who falls into the "they" of that sentence, because I hate it that handguns can be owned by individuals. Would end it in a moment. Do not care in the least what the 2nd amendment says.

But I would not say my goal is to decrease violent crime (although that would be a nice side-effect, if you look at stats from other countries.) My goal is to not be shot by the kind of people who shout obscenities at strangers in traffic or scream at the clerks in the checkout line at KMart.

I always wonder if gun people live in some sort of rural place where they don't see other people. I live in a high-density neighborhood and commute on crowded trains to a very high-density downtown to work. I don't think it's any exaggeration to say that I share breathing space with at least a few psychologically unstable people every day. I have no interest in spending my days with a hand on a holster just in case one of them snaps. Self-defense is not a hobby I want to take up. I'm a middle-aged mom with a hand-eye coordination issue. I'm supposed to take up shooting lessons in order to enjoy this Brave New World of self-protection? It's anti-community, anti-peace, and it's not the world I want my kids to grow up in. I want my kids to know a world of laws, and order, and a shared set of values and rules we can all agree to and each of us are equally protected, even those of us who aren't sharpshooters.

And you know what? That is the world they live in. I've been living in urban areas for a long time and no one in my family has ever been the victim of anything more exciting than a forgotten bike stolen from our yard. I'm not saying violent crime never happens, but I am saying that going in the direction of every man for himself is NOT a solution.
Every year, people in the United States use guns to defend themselves against criminals an estimated 2,500,000 times – more than 6,500 people a day, or once every 13 seconds. -Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Fall 1995
I'm with Emma and Cat on this. You can go to bradycampaign.org to find out how to help with gun laws and things of that nature.
This is a standard “fact” advanced by the pro gun community. It is everywhere on the web. It is usually expressed like this:

Fact: Every year, people in the United States use a gun to defend themselves against criminals an estimated 2500000 times – more than 6500 people a day.

More complete descriptions of this statement usually include something to the effect of, “92% merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off their attackers.”

None of these references state what percentage of this 92% involves brandishing the weapon.

Further, gun advocates state: “Of these instances, 15.6% of the people using a firearm defensively stated that they ‘almost certainly’ saved their lives by doing so.”

Advocates do not state how many of these respondents were “saved” by merely brandishing their gun or how they knew the action “almost certainly” saved their lives.

Advocates of the statistic state that it is a peer-reviewed Department of Justice statistic. But curiously, the first 60 Google citations of this workhorse of a statistic do not include a direct-source DOJ reference.

Sounds like a job for factcheck.org.
I think many incidents where people use a gun to defend themselves would have been resolved just as easily without a gun.

Examples:

My brother-in-law got in a road rage situation with a guy who ultimately followed him to a 7-11 and brandished a gun. My BIL thought he was rid of the guy and was stopping for coffee but, when he saw the guy pull in behind him he approached the car to say - hey, enough - let's get over this already. He was quite surprised when the guy whipped out a gun. I'm guessing, if asked, that guy would say that he brandished the gun to "defend himself" - even though my BIL was not intending to harm him.

Once in L.A. a homeless person sort-of-accosted me while I was in my car. He wouldn't let me pull out of my parking spot unless I paid him money and threatened to "rip my fucking mirror off" if I didn't give him money. When he was distracted for a second I was able to take off. I'm guessing if the same thing happened to someone with a gun in the car they would use it to scare the guy away and later report that it "saved their life". Ha!

Kyle,

and while I feel bad for folks like you who - for one reason or another, whether it be an unsafe neighborhood or whatever, are scared, even in their own home, I still say - according to the statistics, owning guns makes you LESS SAFE, not more safe.

Sure, you're an experienced gun owner and you've taken the safety classes. But so was the woman who is the subject of this post.

And let's not forget the other story that came out this week about the guy who accidentally shot and killed his fiance in their own home because he mistook her for an intruder.

And again - nothing wrong with guns, i just find it funny that gun owners choose not to acknowledge the statistics and instead insist that it's just those OTHER gun owners who are at risk.
Right Kyle. Cars can be dangerous so we regulate who can and cannot drive, and what it's legal to do while driving, how fast you can go and on and on. you cannot drive your car onto a soccer field if you feel like it.
I . Am. Speechless.
Clearly, a gun did not stop a crime then, did it?

Those poor children.

Violence is the issue, of course, and this goes both ways. Both camps should take a closer look at the problem of violence in our country. Instead one advocates we get rid of the gun, an impossibility at best, and the other advocates we all go armed, giving an opportunity for violence to continue. But in the meantime, no one has a workable solution.
I too wonder what these people who want to carry guns around are thinking. Unless someone challenges you to a duel, you will not have any warning in the event--rare--that someone attacks you. What you can't reach in an emergency your kids can find at their leisure. You're better off with locks and lights and common sense.
OK. She 'maintained' that the guns were locked away during daycare hours. I'd love to give her the benefit of the doubt but I just cannot get over feeling that her reliability is questionable, while her ability to rationalize is legend. If she knew her husband was dangerous, why didn't she take the kids and go to a shelter? Why didn't she press charges if he had been violent or threatening? Domestic violence is convoluted and complicated and there may have been nothing she could have done to keep safe. Her response to real imminent violence left much to be desired.

As for those of you who find this amusing or say 'good riddance.' Sick, sad, pathetic, pissy, and counter-productive.
my gosh. I'm so sorry for the kids: I hope they find peace.
to me, there is something really strange about the American love of guns. I don't know the answer, but the real issue is that I have just as much right not to be intimated by somebody carrying around an instant killing weapon as they have to carry it, and unfortunately, if I argue, they're prepared to hurt or kill me. At very least, I will be shouted down, with talk of amendments and protection and hobbies, and what have you. So they walk away in triumph that they've defeated me, and I seethe with frustration that I can't get any respect for my point of view.

Good thing I don't have a gun.

I was born in Harlem, grew up in a poor part of Queens and spent a lot of time in the South Bronx. while there were guns and there were shootings, there was also a community consensus that it was wrong to walk around with a gun, that too many innocents were killed or hurt because of those who had easy access to them. It didn't stop it from happening. but at least, there were points of agreement about what a civil community could look like, and sometimes we got there. There was at least a large part of the community that knew it wasn't right. It just seemed like common sense. no longer so common, now.

I really don't know how to express this to people who want to carry their guns in public. yet another divide in America.
"It isn't a matter of statistics for me."

Then, with all due respect, you are misunderstanding the concept of statistics.

If I'm a smoker, for example, I have a much higher chance, statistically speaking, of contracting lung cancer. It doesn't mean that I will. It just means that smokers, as a group, have much higher rates of lung cancer. So, to use a gun-related metaphor, smokers are playing Russian Roulette with their health.

And gun owners are more likely, statistically speaking, to be killed by guns.
I find the real story is that the person who did the killing was an officer and one of the legal authorities we consider OK to carry a gun. The main reason for second amendment is because the founders of this country knew all to well that when the government has all the weapons and power, funny things happen to our freedoms. Given enough time and most authorities will abuse it if left unchecked or given the means to make others powerless. Keep a gun and support the ACLU.
My my such invective associated with a well reasoned article.
@fins2theleft: The killer was a Police official most likely with an issued pistol.

@Jim Keets: Well said.

@Lee Anderson: It is much better to have a gun and not need it, than to need a gun and not have one. You don't want your last thought to be "If only I had a gun".

@agarrett, maluainka & fins2theleft: The second amendment refers to the arms approiate for a Malitia . Traditionally this woule be the arms used by a Rifle Company, a Cavalry Troop or a Light Artillery Battery. That is Select fire Rifles , pistols, light mortars, light and medium machine guns for the Infantry, M1A1 Tanks for the Cavalry Troop and 75mm or 105 mm Howitzers for the Artillery battery. Note that Anti-Air assets are attached from Division, Main battle tanks cost multiple millions of dollars, towed artillery pieces cost on the order several hundred thousand dollars. needless to say Calvary Troops and Artillery batteries will be , as they were historically, rather thin on the ground. I will say that this argument was first presented to me by a very Far left of center friend of mine.

Now I have a question for the people who would ban guns. Please document for me one instance (time and place please) where depriving the citizens of personal arms has produced a better environment for said citizens.
Great post.... and really stimulated the wacko squad. to boot.
Well, they say you live and die by your gun......I think she was wrong to carry a gun to a soccer game. You can go too far with trying to prove a point.
I forgot to throw something in the mix that people will laugh at......but I worked at a prison and felon after felon told me that a barking dog in a house mean "no entry" for them. Not one man said that they had ever, or would, enter a house with a dog inside. Their SECOND worry was hearing a shotgun being "loaded". I'm not a gun speaker..but you know what I mean.
I also take a big dog everywhere I go. My truck window is down and if I have a problem that she could handle ...she'll be out of that window in a heart beat.
More sensible than a gun......
Back to the woman with the gun in her backpack, what was going to keep her children from getting to it? Poor kids.
If anyone wants to use this *particular* murder as an example for why more gun control is needed: The murderer was a cop. As far as I know, no gun control law currently contemplated would have taken the gun out of his hands.