17 December 2012
(edit: When I initially looked at wikipedia they were only reporting that he used two handguns. He also had a semi-automatic rifle. Sorry about that ...) After this post, I promise to refrain from posting anywhere on this topic for at least one month - so trolls, don't bother. :-) My position is that the gun laws we have are sufficient. If you think enforcement needs to be addressed that's a different topic from calling for new laws. Now to immediately contradict myself - I'm open to a discussion about gun shows since that seems like something that should face similar regulations to regular gun dealers. But I don't want to get sidetracked on that topic, and ultimately I don't think it's a very big deal. What I'm truly not clear about is what specific new law is being called for in reaction to this latest horrific slaughter that would have actually done something to prevent it. As I understand the facts, the killer took his mom's two 9mm handguns,(edit: apologies, he did have a semi-automatic rifle also) killed her then went to the school where she taught and shot a lot of people. He did not purchase the guns and they were not 'assault weapons'. (edit: arguably a semi-automatic rifle is an assault weapon, I still think with two handguns he could have done the same damage.) The problem with gun laws is that criminals and mentally unstable people are unlikely to abide by them. If they want a gun, they will likely find a way to get one - legal or not. Most of the posts I've seen calling for new laws have included some caveat that they certainly don't expect or even want to ban all guns. I'm not sure I believe all of those claims, but take a moment to imagine a world with no guns - even if we could miraculously vanish them even from criminals. Do you think that world would suddenly become paradise? Would that stop violence? Murder? Rape? Robbery? So how then would you rather people defend themselves? Or should they not? Truly, I'm trying to understand the other side. To my mind - a mentally ill person killed a lot of people. He used a tool to accomplish that, and yes a tool that is expressly for killing. Nevertheless, the tool didn't do it. The person did. So in summary, and looking at this particular event in Connecticut: 1) What law would have kept guns from the killer? 2) How did making the school a gun-free zone protect the victims? I'm not trying to be a smart ass or a provocateur or a troll. I really want to understand.