With the slaughter of 20 school children and seven adults by D GHUDnJHG 20-yHDU-ROG uVLnJ D KLJK-SRwHUHG DVVDuOW ULflH WKLV PRnWK, FDOOV IRU VRPH WySH RI Jun FRnWURO DUH fiOOLnJ WKH DLUwDYHV and the president has indicated that he’s listening.
There are calls for new federal legislation to outlaw weapons like the one used at the Sandy Hook Elementary to kill those innocent kids and adults, and a petition on the White House website calling for stricter gun control measures had garnered 200,000 signatures in a week’s time.
It seems to us that you don’t have to be a gun-hating, anti-Second Amendment proponent to wonder why such destructive and powerful weapons are still readily available to the general public. Just because some people enjoy the thrill of having and owning VuFK fiUHDUPV GRHVn’W PHDn WKHy KDYH WKH DEVROuWH ULJKW WR GR VR.
To the extent that it can be shown such weapons are a clear and present danger to the health and safety of any community, banning them should be considered. But the fact so few murders actually have been committed with such weapons in this country should, at least, give us pause.
With so many other guns readily available for sale to private citizHnV, wRuOG RuWODwLnJ “DVVDuOW ULflHV” UHDOOy KHOS FuW GRwn Rn WKH number of murder victims we see year after year? Or would it just be another feckless feel-good measure in the aftermath of such a horrible tragedy?
According to the most recent FBI statistics (2009) there were 13,636 murders committed that year. Guns were used to kill 9,146, wKLOH ULflHV wHUH uVHG WR PuUGHU 348. 2I WKRVH ULflH NLOOLnJV RnOy D WLny SRUWLRn wHUH GRnH wLWK “DVVDuOW ULflHV.”
TKHUH DUH Dn HVWLPDWHG 5 PLOOLRn WR 10 PLOOLRn AR-15 WySH ULflHV in circulation today. Are they as dangerous as we are being told today? vou bet. But only in the wrong hands.
So what should we do? We applaud the president’s appointment of Vice President Joe Biden to lead an inter-agency task force to review current federal gun laws and how they can be improved with an eye on keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and those with serious mental health issues.
So far, it doesn’t appear there were any reasonable steps that might have been taken by administrators at Sandy Hook Elementary that would have prevented Adam Lanza from carrying out his deadly mission. The NRA issued a statement last Friday calling for an armed guard in every school building as the answer, but even having an armed guard at the door at the time of this attack is far from any guarantee that any lives would have been saved.
The decision of any private citizen to own and keep guns obviRuVOy FDUULHV ULVNV. TKRVH ULVNV FDn EH PDJnLfiHG wKHn D FKLOG RU family member also living in the home has serious mental health issues. For whatever reason, Adam Lanza’s mother, Nancy, didn’t see the threat until it was too late.
If there are new laws that can effectively reduce the chances of such a horrible thing from ever happening again we’ll be happy to support them. We cannot support having a gun-toting guard to greet children every school day as the answer.
If ownership of a Bushmaster .223 were outlawed tomorrow, we’d lose no sleep over our neighbor’s lost right to own one. But neither will we kid ourselves that doing that will likely stop the next determined killer-in-waiting. It would only be the beginning; we must do more.