Seen in today’s online edition of The Lantern:

POLAND, OHIO – Ohio State freshman Marissa Plakosh was shot and killed in her Youngstown-area home when she was on holiday break at about 5:50 a.m. Saturday, December 15.

The victim, her brother and a family friend were seated in the same room when the friend was handling a loaded firearm. It discharged once and struck her in the neck, according to Poland Township Police.

This kind of tragedy is exactly the kind of thing sensible gun regulation could help eradicate. Thankfully, accidental gun deaths are already quite low – about 1500 per year across the entire country. Additionally, the number of gun deaths has dropped dramatically in the last 10-15 years. Certainly, your odds of dying in a car crash or falling are higher than your odds of dying from an accidental firearms discharge; however, unlike a car, a firearm is a weapon, designed to kill. Accidental deaths involving firearms could nearly be eliminated with some common-sense regulation.

For example, requiring training in safe handling of a gun before allowing purchase. While we don’t have all the details of Ms. Plakosh’s death (what are college kids doing handling a loaded gun at 5:50 in the morning on a Saturday?), we can be reasonably confident that they been observing a few basic safety rules not only would that negligent discharge have been unlikely, even if it had happened Ms. Plakosh likely would have not been hit. Always treat a gun as if it were loaded (and unless intending/expecting to use it, keep it unloaded). Never point a gun at something you aren’t willing to put a hole in (including people!). And only have your finger on the trigger when you have the gun aimed at a target and are intending to shoot.

I’m currently taking a basic handgun safety course that meets (and exceeds) the requirements for Ohio’s concealed-carry licensing requirement. It is my opinion that successful completion of such a course should be required for firearms ownership (in addition to background checks for felonious behavior and mental illness), and that such a requirement would result in better safety awareness from gun owners.

In fact, evidence for this can be found when looking at Switzerland. Often cited by “pro-gun” people for their relatively low gun crime rate and virtually universal ownership, what is not mentioned is the fact that gun laws there are actually more restrictive than they are in most of the United States. For example, carry permits in Switzerland require successful completion of an examination of both weapon handling skills and legal knowledge, a plausible need (“may issue”, but liberally applied), and meeting the general requirements for firearms purchase (18+, no known psychological problems, security issues, or criminal history). In addition, male Swiss citizens are required to serve in the military, where they receive firearms training (for women it is optional, but all professions in the military are open to them, including combat roles), tho “opting out” to civil service is permitted. Ammunition purchases are registered with the government. Additionally, the military-owned firearms stored at home have been factory modified to remove their full-auto capabilities after the term of militia service has been completed.

Because of the regulation of legal guns, it is unsurprising that guns used in crime in Switzerland – the intentional gun deaths that the above discussion ignores – are almost exclusively stolen or otherwise illegally acquired, much like in the US. However, Switzerland’s regulations and widespread training seem to do a much better job of keeping firearms off of the black market.

Ironically, due to their widespread ownership, guns are used in domestic violence in Switzerland far more frequently than in the United States.

I think there are lessons to be learned from the Swiss example, and it’s not “universal ownership”. It’s that training (and training and more training) and regulation lead to more responsible gun ownership. And that’s something we should all be in favor of.

Off to the range for tonight’s class!

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  • E.J. Totty

    First, there is NO SUCH THING as ~sensible~ ‘gun-control.’ The whole idea is rife with the worst from of intellectual dishonesty, right from the start.
    Second, what happened was a travesty of common sense, because ~someone~ was handling a loaded firearm carelessly.
    Third, that someone passed the loaded firearm around as though it were a plaything, is quite beyond belief! That person needs to be taken out and thrashed in the public square for willful stupidity.
    One wonders: Would they have revealed their sexual apparatus, and have asked others to investigate it?
    Fourth, the writer of the article needs to get a life, because there are more deaths caused by all other things, than any number of firearms. Pretending the idea of shock regarding the rather stupid death ?and it was stupid? of another person, and declaring that it was as a result of ‘not enough regulation,’ certainly begs the question of regulation itself. I mean, think: Since the death was caused by ‘thoughtless’ behavior, why not instead regulate thought?
    Would that be too hard?
    The solution ?if there is to be one? isn’t ~more~ regulation.
    Rather, it’s education.
    Too bad though, that so-called public schools have eliminated all the previous firearms training they used to have.
    Up until the mid 1970’s, many schools had ranges which the students could learn the proper use and handling of firearms.
    But then it became ‘politically incorrect’ to teach any such thing as firearms safety and handling.
    We teach kids about sex, and sexually transmissible diseases.
    We teach kids about proper driving habits.
    We teach kids about a lot of things.
    But we don’t teach kids about guns, except to say: Guns = bad.
    How would it go over, if we taught: Sex = bad.
    Under the ‘new paradigm,’ Firearms = bad; complete ignorance = good.
    When was the last time that teaching complete ignorance solved a problem?
    Of course, it doesn’t help to have TV movies, videos, and movies which glorify and glamorize violence and guns. But that is only a part of the problem.
    The REAL problem is that public schools have become so damned politically correct in what they teach, that getting the truth out to the people who NEED to know the TRUTH, isn’t happening.
    So, we’re likely to read more stories such as the one which generated this comment.
    Wringing hands over the possession of an object isn’t the way to solve a problem of ENFORCED ignorance, itself which breeds inveterate stupidity, and just plain moronic behavior.
    If the US military can teach its members to PROPERLY handle firearms, and experience the smallest number of incidents yearly, then so can’t the civilian population ? just like it use to be. I say that, because the military establishments were trained by civilian members in JUST THAT: HOW TO BE SAFE, LONG BEFORE the military itself established its safety programs.
    If were safe before, we can be again.
    But more regulation isn’t the key. Actually, it is all the more the hindrance, because it fosters IGNORANCE.

  • Swanny

    Let’s see, we have over 20,000 firearms laws in the United States already, so why anyone would think that adding more is going to change anything is beyond me. Firearms are woven into the fabric of this nation and they aren’t ever going away. According to the FBI, we have 200-300 million firearms in the hands of 80 million owners.

    As was pointed out in the original post, the number of accidental gun deaths in the United States is extremely low. In fact, it is at its lowest level in over 30 years. This leads me to believe that the overwhelming majority of gun owners are already being extremely careful or such gun accidents would be much more frequent.

    The case at hand involving the Ohio State freshman is tragic. However, I am sure that there were some mitigating factors involved just based on the description of the shooting. In fact, the police report of the shooting mentioned that an officer suspected that the shooter, Daniel Buccino “of using alcohol.” But, of course, the gun is what is being demonized rather than the individual that was handling it under the influence.

  • Wow – I think people need to read my posts more carefully. I never demonized the gun. I never said guns should be banned. Heck, I even mentioned that I’ve been taking a basic handgun class this week. And there’s no doubt that some of the firearms laws are a little silly.

    I just said that some regulation makes sense. IOW, that guns should not be unregulated. And most gun owners (and Americans at large) would agree.

    I think educational classes should be required before allowing ownership. The 12 hour course I just completed included safe handling, practical shooting, and an overview of the law. These are all things shooters should know, and while you can’t eliminate idiots, at least if you tell them the important stuff first you’ll make it less likely that they’ll be idiots as often.


  • @Brian: I thought the same thing. Reading comprehension. It’s a good thing!

  • Joe – I have read your post and the comments. I think both are relevant just about two seperate issues.

    Education, as in anything, is the most important issue when it comes to guns. While I support the CCW law to an extent, I believe the required training is lacking.

    I am very pro-gun and have discussed this with Jim Irvine of Buckeye Firearms. The training is designed to give the person basic safety and a working knowledge of a firearm.

    They say curiosity killed the cat – well it kill’s people when guns are involved. But please realize it is impossible for a gun to kill anybody.

    A firearm is an inanimate object, capable of doing nothing unless in the hands of a human… that is where us guns guys get upset. So guns do not kill people; people kill people. The argument of guns kill people advanced by the anti-gun crowd is the same as saying my pencil misspelled a word.

    In addressing the gun issue in our country several things need to be done…

    Illegal Guns — A very big problem! Penalties need to be stiffened for anybody involved in the use, purchase or transferring of illegal guns. The key word here is ILLEGAL Guns. I would say most legal gun owners would love to throw away the key on these guys.

    Accidental deaths — well they happen – thats life. But this goes directly back to education. Teaching children at a young age how to operate and respect a firearm would greatly reduce these deaths.

    I will use my son as an example… first I never approved of him having “play” guns, although the ex thought they were harmless. Because he was first taught guns were toys this is where I started first. I showed him a real gun and explained why they are not toys.

    I passed on the wisdom given to me from my father, a policeman for 25yrs, once you shoot a gun – you can NEVER take it back. It is permanent!

    I took my son hunting at 4yrs old. He was given a stick to hold and pretend it was a gun. He was shown how to walk and safely carry a gun. I had him watch how my shotgun was held at all times.

    Last Christmas I bought him a BB gun. Over the summer he was taught the basics of operating the gun and again gun safety. He was told if I ever see him pointing the gun at a person or animal, I will break the gun in two and beat him senseless with both ends.

    I only had to take the BB gun away from him twice.

    Once for leaning his BB gun against a tree (leaning a loaded gun against anything is bad – it can fall and easily discharge), the other time he was not paying attention.

    My son has also been taught to fear guns, which in my mind will lead him to respect firearms. He has been instructed if he ever sees a person with a gun other than a policemen or me he is to go tell an adult. If he finds a gun, he is not to touch it and go tell an adult.

    If teaching children and adults about guns became the norm, there would be far less accidents. With stronger laws against illegal guns I would bet the so-called straw purchases would also decrease.

    The issue is NOT about guns, but about how people use them. It is nice to see you are taking firearm classes.

    Next fall, along with fishing, you are more than welcome to come and hunt birds/ducks over my dogs.

  • @King: It’s Brian, not Joe.

    As for my opinion on guns, I support abstinence only education and hope we are able to get some funding for this crucial item in the war on accidental gun deaths. If you teach kids how to safely use guns they are only going to want to do it in an unsafe manner. How much clearer can this get? Abstinence is and can only be the only answer folks! Support Abstinence Only Gun Education Now! I mean, it works with sex right?

  • Always the troublemaker, Eric.

    The 12 hour training I received was quite good – but also should be considered the bare minimum. I’d like to see such training to be required for gun ownership, and I think it’s constitutionally justified (IANAL). Similarly, I think keeping known criminal elements and those with mental impairments from legal gun ownership is constitutionally justified. We need to get better/stronger about that. Most responsible gun owners know how to safely handle firearms, and get this kind of training voluntarily anyway. I see little reason why they would oppose making it mandatory – at the very least it’ll help eliminate irresponsible owners from the firearms community, which helps the “pro gun” crown from a PR perspective.

    BTW, there were a couple of people in the class that weren’t as strict about following the safety rules as they should have been (finger on trigger was a common one), and some people who couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn. Since the Ohio CCW license has a minimum competency requirement, they have to continue retesting until they can manage. More range time – and more attention to the safety rules – would be beneficial.

    That said, many of the laws on the books are pretty silly. It’s a 4th degree felony in Ohio to be in a place that serves alcohol for consumption with a concealed weapon – but only a 5th degree felony to be rip-roaring drunk in public while waving a gun around. That seems silly. So there is definitely room to improve the code surrounding firearms. But that doesn’t mean no laws. And it doesn’t mean banning guns either. (Not that there aren’t weapons that shouldn’t be highly regulated – I have little problem with full-auto weapons being federally tracked and taxed.)

    I do appreciate the offer to come fishing and hunting with you, King. My father-in-law is a shooter, but he doesn’t hunt. My wife is pretty opposed to it, but rudimentary hunting skills seem like a good thing to know. I’m not much of a fisherman, but my pops is. We went salmon fishing in Lake Michigan this past summer. 24ft boat with a dead motor and enough weather that you can’t see Sears Tower = green around the gills.

  • @Brian: Glad you enjoy my sarcasm pointing out the sheer lunacy of the right when it comes to sex education. I just hope that Ralph teaches his son the proper use of not only his weapon, but his gun! (one is for shooting and one is for fun) 😉

    OK, so serious hat here for a second. I grew up hunting and fishing and still enjoy fishing to some degree. I no longer hunt, but not for political reasons. I pretty much quit all activity that required 0-dark-thirty awakeness and freezing cold temperatures.

    My position on guns and gun control is exactly as Brian has articulated so very well. Banning guns would be dumb. Not regulating and controlling the use and ownership of guns would be dumber. Common sense should prevail – and usually does.

    I’ve got no problem with concealed carry given the right regulatory atmosphere. I only hope it is way harder to get a CCW license than a drivers license because we’ve all been on Ohio roads right? Right!

    I think Ralph takes a good approach in teaching his son about the proper use of firearms – though I would obviously take exception to the bit about beating the boy senseless. He’s gonna need those sense to properly discharge his weapon. Don’t beat your children.

    @Swanny: The overwhelming majority of Muslims are not terrorists. I’m wondering if you would also call for those raising a fuss about a small minority to settle down as well?

  • Abstinence in sex or guns is stupid! But God of Plunder pointed out in his witty sarcasm his wish that I teach Ralphie about his gun and his weapon. He may have unwittingly brought up a very good point…

    If you shoot your “gun” or weapon in an unsafe manner there can be grave consequences. On can take a life, one can make a life – both life altering events.

    It comes down to being responsible. With children it comes down to teaching them about right and wrong. Knowing that when they are wrong there will be consequences.

    Which leads me to my beat my son senseless remark….

    First – it was said as a figure of speech. Second – I believe putting the fear of God (meaning Mom and Dad)in a child is a good thing. More of it needs to be done!

    Kids like to push and see what they can get away with, the fear of the unkown – (the will he REALLY break my arm and beat me over the head with it if I….)makes them think about right and wrong.

    Here is an example…

    I never stole anything. I was taught it was wrong and against the law. My father told me kids go through a stage or through peer pressure they might steal or take something that is not thiers. In a very matter of fact manner told me if you EVER steal anything I will break each one of your fingers at each knuckle – you will never be able to pick up a fork in your life, your mother will have to feed you through a straw.

    As a smart ass I responded – you wouldn’t do that and then you will go to jail. Being one upped again – I was told go ahead and steal something and you will find out. As for going to jail he said he probably would get in trouble, but I would still have ten broken fingers.

    That was it for me! Looking back I know he would have never done that, but as a kid I sure as hell did not want to find out if he would.

    As for accidents with guns –

    I have been sitting at a table when a friend “accidently” shot his fathers gun. It was loaded and he did not look. Thank God the bullet went through the ceiling and not our buddy across the table. All three of us grew up with guns and were well versed in safe handling of weapons. I am sure you have read how some people have shot themselves cleaning their guns. Some have even been policeman.

    Accidents do happen, but mostly when someone is not paying attention. Some trained people get lax because they figure they know everything about guns and then BANG the back of their head is splattered on the wall.

    Training and PAYING ATTENTION cannot be stressed enough with guns.

    Brian I am sorry for calling you Joe. God of Plunder – as we are both “Big Boned” and getting older the early morning, cold weather and tons of walking does not excite me. Goose hunting lets you get in the field after breakfast.

    As for bird hunting I have an English Setter that stays on point until we arrive and shoot the bird – then he brings it back. I am still working on getting him to clean & cook the bird for me.

  • Swanny

    @Brian: I wasn’t saying that you were demonizing guns, but rather that is what the media naturally does in cases like this. There is an absolute media bias against guns, so much so that none of the major outlets even mentioned that the mall shooting in Omaha happened in a “gun-free zone” in a state that allows concealed carry.

    @Eric: Regarding your comment about Muslims, I hope you are happy to know that I point that out all the time, usually by pointing out that not all Christians blow up abortion clinics. To me, fundamentalism is dangerous, no matter what flavor it is.

  • jeffy

    The fallacy of the essayist’s logic is that he believes that a person who could ever do something as stupid and careless as allow a gun to unintentionally go off while pointing at someone’s neck is actually intelligent enough to benefit from a “mandatory gun safety course.”

    Look at how many people do stupid things in all walks of life, every day. You see people driving with a cellular phone in one hand and an egg McMuffin in the other–were they taught THAT in driver’s ed? Of course not.

    So even if you force people to take a mandatory gun safety class, stupid, reckless people will still do stupid reckless things with their guns.

    The fact remains that gun accidents steadily decline, and have been doing so since records began to be kept on the subject. Every year, pretty much, there are fewer, and they number only in the hundreds, not the tens of thousands as some would have you believe. At the same time, many more children and seriously injured in school sports activities! More drown in swimming pools. Why not write an essay on “mandatory swimming training” — YOU’D SAVE MORE LIVES.

  • jeffy

    E.J. Totty was right on in his comments.

    I like his point about complete ignorance being the anti-gunners’ “solution” to gun-related deaths.

    Somehow, the brainless anti-gunners have come to argue that the best way to keep kids from getting killed with guns is to pretend that guns utterly do not exist. Great plan. And what happens when these kids inevitably do encounter guns? They don’t know how to handle them, or behave around them, or even tell if they are loaded, and tragedy results.

    Maybe we should just outlaw ignorance.

  • @Swanny: Really glad to hear it about your stance on calling for calm when dealing with the Muslim faith and the often insistence on the right to paint the whole thing with one broad brush of extremism. I wish more on the right took your view. I applaud you for that.

    @Jeffy: People drive in a stupid manner. Stupid people – I mean really stupid people – drive all the time. But we don’t throw our hands in the air and say “fuck it. people will be stupid. let’s not test their vision or whether they know how to properly drive”.

    Oh, and I support swimming education as well. I think most here are saying one thing loud and clear and that is that education is the key. I think what Brian is saying is that it should be REQUIRED as a part of gun regulations. Anyone got a problem with that?

  • E.J. Totty

    In reply to:
    13Written by: Eric
    Posted on: December 21, 2007 at 9:58 am ? the remark was:
    ” I think what Brian is saying is that it should be REQUIRED as a part of gun regulations. Anyone got a problem with that?”

    Yes, I have a problem with that.

    First, the Right to Keep and Bear arms is, well, a ‘RIGHT.’
    That ~should be~ self-evident: It is =SPECIFICALLY= enumerated in the Bill of Rights
    If it is a right, then attaching =ANY= kind of requirement is a violation of Constitutional law.
    Would you be equally willing to attach a requirement to the right to speak, or publish your thoughts, practice your religion ? or not, or freely associate with others?

    It it =ABSOLUTELY= incumbent upon all ?especially American citizens? to comprehend the idea that ALL RIGHTS ARE EQUAL.
    That is, no right has greater, or lesser value, than any other. To presume otherwise is to say that all ~other~ rights might be devaluated into insignificance, by someone with an agenda.
    Do you really want that?

    So, you’re probably asking: Well, what about those who will not get training?
    Well, what about those who DO, and STILL misuse a device?
    How many people get a driver’s license, and thence commence to drive like an idiot?
    My beef, as I originally voiced it here, is that so-called ‘public schools’ have resorted to enforced ignorance as a way of solving their dilemma: We don’t like it, so we won’t teach it.

    Mandatory training isn’t the ‘answer.’
    And anyway: Firearms education is actually such a simple thing to teach, that parents could well do it themselves. And why shouldn’t they? In fact, it might well be considered child abuse, to neglect to teach a child about an object which has significant connection to the community, as to be commonplace.
    The parents of yesteryear did. In all of this, there’s a strain of thought that I wish to impart: Let the individual face the consequences of his own =willful= stupidity. In the meantime, so-called ‘public schools’ ought be sued into oblivion for NOT teaching what should be taught. Unless, of course, there are excuses being made …

    We do it with automobiles and other contrivances. Why not with firearms? Is the firearm so special that it deserves to be singled out for attention? And if so, why?
    What makes it so special, when just =ANYONE= can go buy gasoline in any quantity without so much as a sniff of a notice?
    How many people reading this, know that a mere quart of said liquid is enough to kill several dozen people at the merest spark?
    Yet, said liquid is =COMPLETELY= unregulated.

    There’s a fair degree of equivocation and dissemblance on the part of those who would impose =ANY= degree of regulation regarding firearms, because there are other devices and chemicals worthy of much more attention ? not that such should ever be the case …

    Finally, any thought of regulation is an imposition upon the law abiding, for it makes =THEM BEG= to exercise their rights, while the criminal doesn’t. Criminals will get their firearms almost anywhere without any notice by the people whose job it is to make the law abiding beg.

    If you don’t beg, you’ll be denied. It’s as simple as that.
    Before the 1968 Gun Control Act, there ~were~ no restrictions upon who could get a firearm. Care to guess what the crime rate was back then?
    How about very much >less

  • @ E.J. Totty’s latest screed: Um. Damn. I’ll have to get back to you on that completely rambling bunch of =INCOHERENT= nonsense. I’m pretty sure you just compared firearms to gasoline that is pumped into automobiles, so I’m not totally convinced of your ability with metaphor.
    Your positions are weak and I’ll set to demolishing them Hold on to your =HORSES= and I’ll be right with you.

  • E.J. Totty

    Reference Post #15 Written by: Eric
    Posted on: December 21, 2007 at 9:19 pm
    Well, it’s been 30 whole days since Eric posted is promise.
    I wonder: Will he ~ever~ get back and carry through with his promise to counter my remarks?

  • Well, since Totty decided to come back to this, I’d just like to point out that despite his protestations that any firearms regulation is a violation of the 2nd Amendment, current Supreme Court caselaw disagrees, and the Supreme Court has far more authority than Totty on this matter.

    Just like how yelling “fire” in a theater is not protected by the 1st Amendment, there are legitimate, legal, and constitutional regulations on firearms ownership and use.

    No matter how determined you are to believe differently, that won’t change the reality of the situation.

  • #16: Yeah. Got bored with it. Sorry. Read your stuff again and it kept sounding like “Blah blah blah blah” in my head, so I gave up.

    I think Brian’s SC reply about says it. I think we’re done here.

    You say: “If it is a right, then attaching =ANY= kind of requirement is a violation of Constitutional law. Would you be equally willing to attach a requirement to the right to speak, or publish your thoughts, practice your religion ? or not, or freely associate with others?”

    [Buzzer sound] Wrong answer! Check Constitutional Law again please and get back to us.

    Um…yes. I want your speech regulated if it harms others. I also want your religion regulated, if say, it included live human sacrifices of ten year old girls. Please do regulate the hell out of that. If you choose to “freely associate with others” at a riot in which you start burning cars…yes, let’s regulate that as well shall we?

    Rights CAN be regulated. If you are going to argue against ANY regulation on firearms whatsoever you are going to lose. Plain and simple.

    Thanks for being so patient in getting your arguments ripped to shreds. We’ll try to be sure not to make you wait so long next time.

    Class dismissed.

  • E.J. Totty

    Brian sez: “Well, since Totty decided to come back to this, I’d just like to point out that despite his protestations that any firearms regulation is a violation of the 2nd Amendment, current Supreme Court caselaw disagrees, and the Supreme Court has far more authority than Totty on this matter.”
    Well, actually not, Brian, because while you are wont to attribute supremacy to ~some~ old farts in black robes, sitting behind a bench, prognosticating endlessly about matters, it is the PEOPLE themselves in which lay the final say in these matters.

    Brian sez: “Just like how yelling “fire” in a theater is not protected by the 1st Amendment, there are legitimate, legal, and constitutional regulations on firearms ownership and use.”
    Again, Brian, you are ~most~ incorrect.
    There is ~no such law~ as prohibiting the exclamatory remark ‘fire’ in a theater, as that in itself would amount to prior restraint on speech.

    By the same token, there can be =NO= prior restraint allowed against any other right. The very best the law may do is punish acts which harm another’s life, liberty and/or property.
    And Brian? Your thinking is skewed, terribly so, because according to you, there is such a thing a ‘pre-crime’ as in the movie ‘Minority Report.’

    Brian sez: “No matter how determined you are to believe differently, that won’t change the reality of the situation.”
    So, basically speaking, no matter what the truth is, you’ll be satisfied to live the lie? Is that what you’re saying? If the USSC declared tomorrow that slavery is allowed, why you would just trip over yourself to become a slave? Right?

  • E.J. Totty

    Eric sez: “#16: Yeah. Got bored with it. Sorry. Read your stuff again and it kept sounding like “Blah blah blah blah” in my head, so I gave up.”
    So, basically speaking, you can’t support your contentions about my remarks.

    Eric sez:I think Brian’s SC reply about says it. I think we’re done here.”
    Yeah, you’d like for me to just walk away, right? That way you ~could~ remark ‘I won,’ right?

    Eric sez:You say: “If it is a right, then attaching =ANY= kind of requirement is a violation of Constitutional law. Would you be equally willing to attach a requirement to the right to speak, or publish your thoughts, practice your religion ? or not, or freely associate with others?”

    [Buzzer sound] Wrong answer! Check Constitutional Law again please and get back to us.”
    It’s >YOUYOU< are the one making the remark, please show where in the Second Article of Amendment, where the matter of regulation of a right is authorized?
    Can do?

    Eric sez: “Thanks for being so patient in getting your arguments ripped to shreds. We’ll try to be sure not to make you wait so long next time.”
    Allow me to assure you that the only thing being ripped to shreds here, is you credibility.

    Eric sez: “Class dismissed.”
    Not even.

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