As I scrolled through the Fox News website I found an article penned by Tom Arnold, http://fxn.ws/2b8wewy, as I read the article I saw where he was quick to point out that he is a supporter of the 2nd amendment, which I guess he thought would make every other statement in his letter acceptable to all. Well, it didn’t. I would encourage you to read the article to judge for yourself. What I will attempt to do is rebuttal several points he makes in his article. He starts off by saying he has since he was 5 years old, had a familiarity with guns. He leaps from there to his travels with the USO, which I commend him for, any celebrity that takes their time to entertain our troops deserves to be recognized. He says it was during this time that he understands after seeing the violence in those areas why we have a gun-suicide problem amongst our veterans. Here is where I will take my first issue with his analogy. The anti-gun, anti-2nd Amendment groups, and now Tom Arnold, continue to bring guns into the picture blaming the gun for the suicides of our soldiers or anyone who chooses to use a gun to end their life. If anyone, a soldier or anyone else who is in such a confused state of mind wants to commit suicide and has come to a point of no return by convincing themselves there is no way to continue won’t change their mind if they can’t find a gun. The gun is not what makes them want to commit suicide. I have worked many suicide cases during my career and people find all kinds of ways to end their life. Some use guns, but if no gun is available they hang their self, run a hose from the exhaust pipe into the car and die of carbon monoxide, I have worked suicides where people stepped in front of 18 wheelers on the freeway, jumped in front of trains, taken overdose of prescription and non-prescription drugs, etc. Guns are not what make these people commit suicide. The anti-gun group by carefully wording their stories would have you believe every death by suicide is because a gun was available and if we take away the guns there wouldn’t be any more suicides or the number would be very small. Twenty-Five years in law enforcement proves differently.
In reading this article the first two paragraphs would lead you to believe Tom is actually supporting gun ownership and as you start the third paragraph you start to ask yourself where is he going with his thoughts. Then the truth comes out. His nephew Spencer, committed suicide with a gun. Here is where I really take issue with Toms article. Tom tells us his nephew was small and was probably picked on and was kicked out of the army for attempting to commit suicide. He was diagnosed as chronically depressed and unsafe around guns (clue number one). Here is where I will agree with Tom, why was Spencer able to obtain a concealed gun permit and purchase five guns if he was already labeled unsafe around guns. We have got to admit there are people who do not need to be in possession of any guns but because we now live in a society where it is not politically correct to point out a person’s mental defect and because of HIPPA laws we continue allowing these people to buy guns. Tom goes own to say that like him Spencer was a substance abuser (clue number two) and refused Toms help with that so Tom became very concerned. But not concerned enough to say something about Spencer having guns. Tom goes on to say he discovered that Spencer had joined “a crazy, racist, neo-Nazi gun group and videotaped his self-shooting his assault rifles while drunk (clue number three). Tom says he headed to the airport to see Spencer but doesn’t offer any other information. Did he see him or not?
According to Tom, Spencer’s life was stacked against him; he was small, kicked out of the army, bullied and picked on, was a mental defect, and needed to belong to something that offered him something dangerous and cool.
Tom says that on May 2nd, Spencer called a girl and the two got into a disagreement, “so my handsome 24-year old nephew reached over and grabbed one of the five loaded guns on his nightstand and shot himself in the head”. Tom does say, Spencer having five loaded guns next to his bed every night is like me sleeping next to a dresser made out of chocolate cake and filled with cocaine. Why didn’t Tom remove the guns himself? Would he have left cocaine in the house if Spencer were a cocaine addict?
Throughout his article, there are clues which I listed. Tom, at any point, could have intervened during any of these clues and stopped this senseless death but he chose not to. Tom could have stepped in and brought it to the attention of the state that Spencer had been diagnosed as Chronically Depressed and dangerous around guns. He could have stepped in when Spencer started drinking. He could have stepped in when Spencer joined the neo-Nazi group or reported that to law enforcement officials. There were several missed opportunities for Tom to have intervened but he didn’t, so who does he blame for Spencer’s death? Why of course, he blames the NRA. He blames the NRA for the lack of gun control by saying they scared Congress into not passing stricter gun control laws and not closing the numerous loopholes that allow guns to be purchased without background checks. Tom is now shifting from Spencer “legally” purchasing multiple guns to “now we have a loophole problem.” We do have a loophole problem but it is not with the gun laws, it is with the reporting of people like Spencer to the proper authorities. He goes on to say that the NRA has convinced people that a home with a gun is safer than a home without a gun. He says there is a 1 in 8 chance that the person who gets hurt by that gun will not be an intruder but will be a friend or family member. He makes that claim knowing there are statistics that prove different. He also says that some believe guns are a direct gift from God Himself. Tom, now you are beginning to sound a little crazy yourself.
Tom can’t face the truth in this story and that truth is that he is one of the reasons Spencer is dead. He recognized and listed several clues and opportunities that any reasonable person could see would lead to a very bad ending. Instead, he probably didn’t want to interfere and humiliate Spencer anymore. He probably was afraid of what other family members might say if he did or said anything that would bring embarrassment to Spencer or the family name. Well Tom, how did that work for you. Tom, just like most people when they face the truth of their inaction they want to blame it on someone or something else and in this case the NRA filled that need. For Liberty and Freedom, Ernie.