I made myself wait a few days before writing this - as the events in Newtown, CT felt like a punch to the stomach. Considering I didn't know anyone directly affected by it, I can only imagine how horrific this was for the people of that community. I honestly would love to say I was surprised that something like this happened, but I really can't. I thought I had hit my breaking point with the Sikh Temple shooting a few months back, but I had no idea things could get this much worse. I said back then "Can we talk about guns now, or should we wait until the next spree shooter?" -- with no idea I'd be back on the subject this soon.
If I've learned anything from 2012, it's that the American culture of the gun is a nightmarish recipe for disaster. We have one of the most heavily armed civilian populations in the world, yet a portion of our population can't seem to understand that this is somehow related to our high rates of gun violence. Likewise, these same people protest against any limitations on the second amendment, but never complain about the long existing limitations on almost every other right in the constitution (including the first amendment).
You know, we're not the only place in the world where things like this have happened. In the mid-nineties, Australia was the site of one of the largest spree shootings in the world. Their response? To institute gun control legislation on a massive scale.
And you know what? It worked.
Obviously the murder rate involving firearms dropped, but (more importantly) the murder rate using weapons other than firearms did not go up. Restricting access to weapons of mass murder reduced murder rates.
Who would have guessed?
So, this year had the following:
1. A mass shooting of innocents in a movie theater
2. A mass shooting of a religious minority in their place of worship.
3. A mass shooting of children in an elementary school.
What the heck do we have to add to that list for the horror of our reality to sink in?
You have stated your case so eloquently. We need to ban assault weapons in this country. It doesn't take an assault weapon to kill a deer, so hunters' rights are not being impinged upon. It's time for people to tell the politicians to stop being intimidated by the NRA, and help make our country safer.
Well yesterday is appears many from both sides are acknowledging controlling the size caliber and yes the type of guns available. I guess that's a start. One Democrat said talks can officially begin once both sides acknowledge we have a constitutional right to bear arms or own guns. With that right then they can decide what constitutionally the right way to draw the line. Our 2nd amendment is kind of established in a way where the citizens act as a secondary military . Switzerland has this too where every household there actually has to own a gun by law. The point is yes we need to make it illegal to obtain assault rifles and fully automatic weapons however we can't ban hunting guns(because not all of those are not rifles or shotguns and also keep our citizens armed for any case. Yes not all laws will be perfect. I have stated in Europe the tradeoff has turned into more knifing crimes and stabbings. But we need to do something I agree. And by the way, thanks to this our 2nd amendment, I don't think any country in our history has had any balls to try and invade our mainland.
What happened last week at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut was the kind of nightmare that would make anyone cringe. To say that I was saddened by what happened to those innocent children would be a gross understatement. No one should ever have to suffer this kind of devastation, and my thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this unspeakable tragedy.
This is not the first mass murder that has shaken our nation, and although I wish it weren't so, this will not be the last time a twisted person attempts to take innocent lives like this. Every time a shooting happens in our nation, a handful of "armchair experts" rise to propose that guns are the reason for the violence. If it weren't for guns, our schools would be safer. If it weren't for guns, you could go to the movies without fear. If it weren't for guns, you could go Christmas shopping without looking over your shoulder... The fact of the matter is that more laws and more control don't equal more safety and security. If you need proof, just look at Chicago.
Chicago is the poster child for gun control, yet since 2001, 2,000 troops have died in Afghanistan while 5,000 people have been murdered in Chicago. Chicago's homicide rate is four times greater than New York, and twice that of Los Angeles. Good intentions have yielded bad results in Chicago, and it's time to face the facts: Criminals and psychotic individuals don't obey "no guns" signs or gun control laws.
It might be a cliche amongst gun owners, but arguing that guns cause murders is very much like arguing that spoons make people fat, or cars make drunk driving possible.
So if taking guns out of the hands of responsibly armed citizens isn't the answer, then what is? After 9/11, massive steps were taken to harden-up cockpit doors, and we instituted the air marshal program to train and arm pilots. If anyone attempted to break through the cockpit door, they would be met by a hail of gunfire. After Columbine, why wasn't a similar program put in place to harden-up schools and train and arm teachers and administrators in tactical defense? The chilling fact remains that the Newtown murderer had no trouble breaking through the school's glass doors...
I have no doubt that there are many people who would be outraged by the idea of our schools having responsibly armed personnel protecting our kids, but my response to them would be the same as Concealed Carry Report writer John Caile's response:
"...these same people who barely raise an eyebrow at the idea of armored car guards carrying guns to protect bags of cash, suddenly go apoplectic over the prospect of teachers carrying guns to protect young children. If that's not misplaced priorities, I don't know what is."
Violent criminals and psychopaths aren't going away, and no law will prevent them from committing murder in the future. Now is not the time to wish the problem away. Now is the time to take this issue seriously enough to actually protect our children so that this never happens again.
You know, I was going to post several comments, but you've already made up your mind, and are certainly not going to listen, since, as you put it: "any rational person can see" the rectitude of your argument, thus making all other arguments irrational, and therefore irrelevant. Way to encourage debate there.
Who said I was encouraging debate? I'm promoting the idea that I'm right. It's my personal blog after all.
That said. if you have an argument, make it. Saying "you'll just dismiss it" is the sign of a lack of fortitude. If you can deconstruct my points and prove how I'm wrong in a reasonable, logical way I'll listen.