One gunman opened fire on an elementary school in suburban Connecticut this morning, killing 27 people — most of them elementary school children. SWAT teams are on campus as frantic parents rush to pick up their children or collect the bodies of their dead children. As I write this, SWAT teams have entered a wooded area behind the school seeking a second gunman. Why this, why now are the two biggest questions on everyone’s mind.
Last week, a fatal shooting of two people in a suburban Portland, OR mall by a masked shooter. Senseless.
NBC’s Bob Costas was heavily criticized for making an anti-gun statement following the murder-suicide of a Kansas City Chief’s player and his girlfriend, the mother of his infant daughter.
And earlier this week, new Irvine Finance Commissioner Allan Barlett posted this on his Facebook page “Congrats Illinois. Your state legislators tried to take your 2nd Amendment rights away, but luckily the federal appeals court has integrity.”
The premise behind the second amendment is for a well-ordered militia to be able to possess firearms in the event there is a need by citizens to take control of the government by violent means. The Supreme Court recently ruled the 2nd amendment can be interpreted as establishing a legal foundation for individual gun ownership. I’m sure every one of the shooters in these three recently high profile cases legally obtained their firearm as is their right under the second amendment. And they completely followed the law, up until the time they decided to shoot and kill someone. Do we really believe average citizens with firearms have a chance against our own military in a violent revolt. Do people really believe we’ll be the subject of a violent revolt in this country requiring average citizens to take up arms?
Where were the legion of gun owners who maintain more guns lead to greater safety. Did anyone have a gun to return fire here? I see nothing about a single shot being fired by a civilian gun owner to prevent violence from happening. Can we finally do away with this argument?
Time Magazine has some chilling information about gun ownership in this country:
There are 88.8 firearms per 100 people in the U.S. In second place is Yemen, with 54.8, then Switzerland with 45.7 and Finland with 45.3. No other country has a rate above 40. The U.S. handgun-ownership rate is 70% higher than that of the country with the next highest rate.
The effect of the increasing ease with which Americans can buy ever more deadly weapons is also obvious. Over the past few decades, crime has been declining, except in one category. In the decade since 2000, violent-crime rates have fallen by 20%, aggravated assault by 21%, motor-vehicle theft by 44.5% and nonfirearm homicides by 22%. But the number of firearm homicides is essentially unchanged. What can explain this anomaly except easier access to guns?
Just like there are different types of licenses required to drive different types of vehicles, isn’t it time we develop a system of licensing different types of firearms. Is you really really want that assault rifle, which really only has a purposes of killing people, the license should be expensive and the background checks extensive. It won’t prevent you from buying said weapon, but if you really want it, you’re going to pay for it. And how about levying a high tax on ammunition for assault weapons?