Don’t let it Happen Again. Stop the Madness. Now.

HK_USP_9mmOne year after Sandy Hook, I thought this one should be dusted off and given another airing. I’m not as angry as I was then – time diminishes that – but I’m even more frustrated when I see that effectively nothing has been done.

I’ve been reluctant to weigh in on the recent horrific events in Connecticut because a) many people far more eloquent and informed than myself have already done so, and b) I’m not sure that the constant media barrage these events spawn isn’t counterproductive and ultimately destructive. But my oldest son is 6 years old, around the same age as the twenty children who were brutally murdered, and as I’ve had a few days to reflect on what has happened I find that in addition to being inexpressibly saddened, I’m more than anything else furious.  Absolutely incensed.

I’m angry at every person who has recoiled at any  mention of gun control, who feels that it is their personal, God-and-Constitution-given right to possess pretty much any kind of weapon they like. I’m disgusted with every politician who has fought tooth-and-nail any efforts to impose limits on gun ownership, who blocked an extension of the ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004, a law that was limited at best but at least was a step in the right direction. I’m enraged at every representative of government who’s ever taken a penny from the NRA, at every gun-clutching, testosterone-ridden dickhead who’s ever cheered at the words, “From my cold, dead hands….” I am, if you hadn’t noticed, pretty pissed off.

We have an extremely serious problem in the United States, and it’s one that must be addressed. Mass shootings have become commonplace, so much so that I need not even mention their names, but after each one we shake our heads and do nothing, nothing, nothing to deal with the issue. Even setting aside the murderous rampages which garner so much media attention, the thousands upon thousands of gun deaths each year in the US should be a source of deep shame. No other developed nation even comes close to our rate of gun-related homicide. Not by a long, long shot. Certainly there is a whole range of factors at work here, but the most pervasive, the most obvious, the most in-your-ignorant face factor is the easy accessibility of firearms.

I don’t care what your political persuasion, Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian or undetermined, there is no way you can look at the situation in the United States and not think that meaningful, significant, and sweeping changes must be made. If you insist on your ‘right’ to possess weapons of mass destruction, and what else can you call the 9mm Glock and Sig Sauer handguns and the AR-15-type semi-automatic rifle that tore the bodies of 27 people – and the lives of an entire community – apart, you should be ashamed. How dare you? How dare you, for the sake of the thrill or the fascination of holding a deadly weapon in your hands, potentially let these weapons fall in the hands of people who might use them to kill  a whole lot of innocent people? Children. Six and seven year-old children who were each shot at least 3, and up to 11, times. Look at the faces of these children in family photographs, then imagine their blood and brains spattered across their schoolmates. Is that worth your personal right to carry a firearm? Is your selfishness that unbounded? If you answer yes, well, you need to re-evaluate your priorities.

In an eerie parallel to the Connecticut killings, last week a man in China viciously attacked 22 schoolchildren and an adult. A horrific rampage that left several badly injured, but exactly no one dead. Not one child. Why? The deranged man used a knife – he had no access to a firearm because of China’s tight gun controls.

We know what needs to be done – we have a mountain of evidence right in front of us. After a mass shooting in Tasmania in 1996 Australia banned assault rifles, and the firearm homicide rate fell by 59 percent, and the firearm suicide rate dropped by 65 percent. The UK had had enough after the Dunblane school massacre of 1996, imposed severe restrictions on gun ownership, and subsequently saw a significant reduction in gun-related crime. You want numbers?  31,347 Americans were killed by guns in 2009, while the 2008 figure for the UK was 39. We’ve seen what happens with lax gun laws – lots of people die from getting shot. We can see from other countries (and these examples are just two from many) that strict gun laws keep people from getting shot. It’s pretty simple.

Already there has been a backlash, an outcry, and proposed legislation is in the works. Now, tragically, horrifically, there is an opportunity to actually get something done. Please, please people, do not let this slide. “Thoughts and prayers” are all well and good, but they are no substitute for action. You want to honor the memories of the teachers and children killed in Newtown?

Sign every petition for gun control that comes your way. Contact your congressional representatives, write to your governor. Don’t wring your hands, raise your fists. Picket outside of Ruger and Smith & Wesson, our country’s largest handgun manufacturers. Boycott retail chains that sell guns and ammunition. Push for tighter controls on any gun that couldn’t possibly be used for shooting deer. Start a door-to-door campaign in your neighborhood or community, asking people who have guns to consider turning them in to authorities. Fight with every ounce of parental fury you’ve got, and perhaps you’ll bring about substantive change.

You own guns? Like the city of Baltimore, which just yesterday divested itself of 461 guns in four hours in a buyback program, get rid of a piece of metal that can do nothing, nothing, but thrust at high velocity another piece of metal into something else. Too often, that something else is another person.  In this case, a bunch of small children. Children the same age as my oldest son. Blood and brains splashed on a schoolroom floor. That’s reality. That’s not a video game, and it’s not some virtuous and outdated interpretation of Second Amendment rights. It’s the bloody body of a little girl, a little boy, shot 11 times.

You should be sad, you should be aggrieved, but more than anything else, you should be enraged. For fuck’s sake, do something about it. Help stop the shootings, help stop the slayings, help stop the madness. Make it stop. Make it stop. MAKE IT STOP.

god bless america gun the one

30 thoughts on “Don’t let it Happen Again. Stop the Madness. Now.

  1. Again and again I read the same solution …. gun control….. BUT to me the real issue is the lack of discussion of MENTAL HEALTH. Are you aware of the state of minds of these people who have committed the crimes? Many of these killers are people who have guns legally…. as a nation we need to start to pay attention to what drives these people to these horrific crimes. Do we ever really hear about what was going on in their lives prior to the shooting??? Not really. They don’t just wake up and decide to shoot. The human mind is very powerful and when in a state of disarray it can cause the damage that we’ve seen. It is our responsibility to begin to unmask the stigma attached to mental health issues. That is something WE can have control over. Pay attention to your children and your neighbors… become plugged in to what is going on around you… I think many of you are pinning your hopes on something which will not alleviate the situation. My heart goes out to those people who have lost their loved ones to people who are just not of right mind…. It is the mind behind the gun that kills. peace

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    • I think you’re absolutely right, we need to take a holistic approach to the problem, engaging in and taking steps in any way we can. It’s just that gun control NEEDS to be one aspect of that approach.
      There are a couple of problems with just looking at mental health issues, though. One is that oftentimes there are few warning signs that the perpetrators of these crimes are contemplating them, and even if there are there is little that can be done legally. Considering a crime is not a crime. Secondly, the very same members of Congress who are most staunchly pro-gun are also the ones who are bent of defunding the very services that you are describing.
      One thing that would clearly help is to make access to firearms much more difficult – It’s hard to kill a large number of people with a baseball bat.
      Anyway, thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts – it’s always appreciated.

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  2. Something needs to be done in regards to gun control. People are the problem, mental health is the problem, criminals are the problem etc. These are all the excuses that gun-loving people use to justify their sick obsession with guns. We have to do better as a people to make sure these laws change. If your congressman won’t listen to use, pony up, assemble and get them out of there. One person at a time will make all the difference.

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    • Although I wouldn’t necessarily characterize gun ownership as a ‘sick obsession,’ you’re absolutely right that gun control is one necessary step in assuring that these kinds of horrific crimes (as well as the much-less-publicized gun deaths that occur every day) are made far less common.
      Pushing back against the gun lobby carries risks (check this out: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115790/gun-control-moms-face-misogynistic-violent-online-harassment)
      but it absolutely needs to be done.
      Thanks for taking the time to weigh in – I appreciate it! And fight, fight, fight!

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      • Well maybe not a sick obsession but I do feel as though when gun control comes to the forefront of the discussion people always lean towards one extreme or the other. No need to try to take guns from people who want to protect themselves and their families and there is no need for regular citizens to carry automatic weapons. I don’t own a gun…maybe I should. I’m not anti-gun, but I am for some sort of reform. To what extent I’m not sure because people have rights and no one should tell them they cannot own a gun.

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    • I know how you feel, Sarah, and I agree that no one should have to write a piece like this, just like no one should have to grieve for the senseless death of their child. Unfortunately, even the most basic, the most uncontroversial, the lamest, littlest piece of legislation that was proposed – universal background checks (supported by 91% of the American public) – wasn’t passed by Congress. It would seem that the folks getting paid to represent the will of the people can’t – or won’t – do so. I feel nothing but sadness and shame.

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  3. At my daughter’s schools (the one last year and the one this year) since SH happened, the security was increased where you have to be buzzed in. However, if you arrive as someone else is going in or leaving, you can walk right in. Plus, if someone says they’re a delivery person, grandparent, or anything else, they’re surely be buzzed in as well.

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    • I’m all for enhanced security, but as you mention, if someone really wanted to get in it wouldn’t be difficult to do so. Let’s look at preventative medicine here, rather than waiting for the disease to present itself and then trying to cure it on the spot. There are clearly sensible and non-invasive measures that could be taken to help ensure that the wrong people cannot get access to the wrong types of firearms. That’s really all we’re asking for here. Intelligent (and seemingly self-evident) preventative measures. That certainly doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

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  4. A stirring post. I fully agree with Boring Year. It is concerning to see and hear people defending America’s gun laws – even to the extent of actually going out to buy guns in the wake of the massacre. It is a spiral that will be hardto rein in, I think.

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  5. Thank you. I have a 5 and a half year old boy myself, and I can’t stop seeing in my mind his broken body torn apart by 11 bullets, the last thing he ever saw, an assault weapon. I won’t live this way anymore. And I won’t let up either until we fix it.

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    • Thanks, sjcourchesne. Yes, as a parent it’s hard not to envision your own kids in that horrific situation. I know I do, and it’s crushing. Good on you for getting involved. Let’s do everything we can, and then do some more. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll get some sensible, enforceable, and helpful legislation passed.

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  6. You said that you waited a couple of days before writing your post. But in that time you did not do any research on the subject. On that picture you posted, it has Switzerland with a very low murder rate. But you fail to mention that in Switzerland over 90% of the home have those very same weapons in their homes. This is because when the citizens leave military service, they keep their MILITARY grade weapon. You also do not mention that in Israel, the same is done. The teachers also have that firearm in class. You also fail to mention in your post that as of 12-18-2012, there were 517 homicides in Chicago with 2597 shootings. This is a city were you can not legally have a firearm. Below is the Contact Crime Victimization Rate of some of the countries that you mention. These crime rates include all violent crimes, not just homicides caused by firearms. You will notice that the countries were a person is allowed to have a firearm, you have less likely hood you will be a victim of crime.

    Contact Crime Victimization Rate:
    Australia: 4.1
    England and Wales: 3.6
    Scotland: 3.4
    Switzerland: 2.1
    USA: 1.9

    2001 Dutch Ministry of Justice

    Do you really understand why the 2nd Amendment exists? If you can’t, find out why the British Army marched on Lexington and Bunker Hill. They were on the way to confiscate the firearms of the citizens of the area. The British government at the time was not known for allowing its colonies the same freedoms that existed on the home island. The Bill of Rights 1688, The Act of Union both stated that the King could not raise taxes without permission of Parliament. But its Colonies were not allowed any representation in the House of Commons. Slavery was outlawed in England by two cases Shanley v. Harvey (1763) 2 Eden 126, 127 and R v. Knowles, ex parte Somersett (1772) 20 State Tr 1. When the state of Massachusetts outlawed slavery, George III decreed that no colony can a make a law that involved slavery. The history of governments controlling their citizens is long. Hitler did not come to power by overthrowing a King. He won an election. One of the first things we did was take away the right to own a firearm. He started a world war and killed 16+ million people. Stalin killed 20+ million people. Mao killed 20+ million people, Castro killed 30,000+ people. Known of them were allowed to protect themselves.

    This cannot happen today. I would believe that if every time I went to the airport and get searched against my 4th Amendment right against illegal search and seizure. Or if the federal government’s use of drones inside this country. Or if this President had not sent troops to Libya or Syria without legal authorization from Congress.

    There is one string that threads through all of mass violence (notice I did not say shootings) is the person doing the violence was is form mentally unbalanced. They were going to hurt people no matter what. Whether it be a gun, knife, or bomb. The only way to control mass violence is to du to things. The first is when a person is mentally unbalanced, that person needs to be controlled. There is a difference between depression and being mentally unbalanced. And the second is to get rid of gun free zones. Allow me to protect me son. It takes 10-15 minutes for the police to arrive at any school and assess the situation. If teachers and/or administration official are trained (like in Israel), my son has a better chance of being safe.

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    • Well, wolf31653, I appreciate you taking the time to contribute some very extensive comments. I’d like to address them a bit.

      You mention Switzerland’s high rate of gun ownership. This is true. It’s also true that the people who own these guns have been thoroughly trained on their safe use and storage. Moreover, up until October 2007, gun owners were allowed possession of government-issued personal ammunition of 50 rounds 5.56 mm / 48 rounds 9mm, which had to be sealed and inspected regularly to ensure that no unauthorized use had taken place. In October of 2007, it was decided that the distribution of ammunition to soldiers would stop and that all previously issued ammo would be returned. By March 2011, more than 99% of the ammo had been received. Only special rapid deployment units and the military police still have ammunition stored at home today. That is obviously a very different situation than we have in the US.

      As for Israel, gun ownership is very tightly regulated, much, much more so than in the US. I would refer you to http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/israel for complete information. Teachers in Israel are prohibited by law from bringing weapons into school. Only security guards stationed at the entrances to schools may carry firearms.

      The term “Contact Crime Victimization Rate” turns up in exactly four websites, all of which are gun advocate sites. In each one they are a gross distortion of a study entitled “Criminal Victimization in Seventeen Industrialised Countries: Key Findings from the 2000 International Crime Victims Survey” and conducted by the Netherlands Ministry of Justice. Serious “research” is generally considered a close examination of original sources, not a reiteration of what other subjective parties have to say on a subject.

      Here is the Second Amendment in its entirety: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” It was ratified in 1791, when the United States of America existed under a very different set of circumstances. I won’t go into the how and why this amendment has been abused beyond anything then-Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson could have imagined, but Saul Cornell does a very good job of making it clear in the following article: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/18/gun-rights-advocates-should-fear-history-of-second-amendment.html.

      Your next paragraph, beginning “This cannot happen today,” is not entirely clear to me, but regarding the violation of your 4th Amendment rights, you should know that according to the 1973 9th Circuit Court ruling on U.S. vs Davis, 482 F.2d 893, 908, the TSA is allowed to suspend very limited aspects of the 4th Amendment in order to keep bombs and other weapons off of airplanes. Most people, I think, would agree that that’s a pretty good idea.

      The US Department of Homeland Security (created under a conservative administration) has loaned drones to law enforcement agencies to patrol borders. While there may be legitimate concerns about intelligence gathering by drones on US citizens, the drones have never been used for military purposes against US citizens.

      The US has not sent troops to Syria. It did send a small number of Marine units to Libya after the attack at Benghazi. Legal authorization from Congress is required if a formal declaration of war is made, something the US has not done since WWII. So every military operation since – including the Korean War, the Vietnam war, the invasion of Grenada, the two Gulf Wars, etc. – has been conducted without authorization from Congress.

      Regarding ‘controlling’ mentally and intellectually disabled people, if by this you mean providing them with more effective assistance and services I completely agree. Unfortunately, Republican lawmakers repeatedly push for funding cuts in just these sorts of critical services.

      The question of “getting rid of gun free zones” as a solution to gun violence seems to me to be counterintuitive, but that is something that will have to be decided in the legislative debates that are coming shortly. It is interesting to note, however, that a study conducted by the University of Toledo, Kent State University, and Wayne State University and published in the April issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, entitled “Police Chiefs’ Perceptions of the Regulation of Firearms,” found that law enforcement leaders support several gun control proposals opposed by the NRA. Measures backed by at least 75 percent of police chiefs surveyed include requiring background checks for all handgun purchases (supported by 93.5 percent); equipping new handguns with trigger locks (82.7 percent); requiring background checks for all rifle and shotgun purchases; and requiring the addition of tamper-resistant serial numbers on firearms (81.5 percent).

      Again, thanks for your comments, and I hope my reply helps to clarify some of these issues for you.

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      • Mmtread,
        Here is my reply to your issue with my comments.

        I agree with what Wikipedia said about Switzerland (you really should cite your sources when you copy it) about the Switzerland government no longer supplying military grade ammo to its citizens. But that does not mean that the citizens cannot buy their ammo for their rifles. You also did not mention that the Swiss government still provides ammunition for the annual national shooting competition. Yes, Switzerland citizenry have to go through a criminal and mental health background before purchasing a new firearm. But so did I to get my rifle AND my Illinois FOID card. I have no issue with that. I think it is a good idea.

        Yes, Israel has very strict guns laws. But you need to take into account the situation that Israel is in. Fifty percent of the people of Israel are or were members of the military, which you will go through a criminal and mental health background check. And being a former member of the U.S. Air Force, basic training will weed out certain people that should never have a firearm. You also did not mention that when you are approved to have a firearm in Israel, you are allowed to OPENLY carry that firearm with out an additional permit.

        Are you saying the Bureau of Justice Statistics (part of the U.S. Department of Justice) is a gun rights website? Because they report out the rate of victimization every year also. What are the four websites are you talking about. When you say you have issue with a person’s research to a person who has a PhD in Engineering you need to specify what about the methodology that the data was acquired (I stated my source as the Dutch government not a website by the way) that you disagree with, was there an issue calculations, where you could disagreed the researchers conclusion based on the data. Saying that its just found on “4 websites’, is not a real serious argument against the research. Except that you just don’t agree that is safer in most of America (not all) than it is most of the U.K. or Australia.

        Have you ever read 10 U.S.C. 311 of the U.S. Code? It is the definition of what makes up the Militia. If you are an able-bodied, male person between ages of 17 -45, you are a member of the U.S. Militia. It is divided in two sections, the organized and the unorganized. The unorganized militia is made up of the same group of males who are not members the National Guard. The top age goes up if the same person was a former member of the regular Army, Navy, or Air Force. The age goes up to 64. So the issue that the militia does not exist today is a legal fallacy. It is also a fallacy that a militia exist to overthrow the government. It is there to protect the COUNTRY from an invasion.

        It is the duty of every Patriot to protect his country from its government.
        Thomas Pain
        Democracy is 51% of the people taking the rights of the other 49%.
        Thomas Jefferson
        I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
        Thomas Jefferson

        The basis of the rule of law is that a person’s rights end when their rights interfere with my rights. Yes, the Justices in the 9th Circuit said that they were more worried about security than worried about the Constitution or the U.S. Supreme Court says. Now is time for a short history of the concept of implied consent and how it applies to my right to travel. The Supreme Court defined the freedom of movement as ‘the right of free ingress into other states, and the egress from.’ This was decided in Paul v Virginia [75 US 168 (1869)]. The limits to this right are if you are in jail, out on bond for a defense, or on parole. In Brady v US [397 US 742], the court decided that for a person to revoke any of his rights, the revocation must be a knowingly intelligent act done with sufficient awareness of the relevant circumstances and consequences. With the reading of Brady v US and Paul v Virginia together, did the 9th Circuit follow the law in US v Davis? The answer is no. There are other ways to secure aircraft than violating my 4th Amendment rights. I would not have to go through and scanner and felt up by untrained TSA idiots f we used the Israeli method of airport security. But the federal government said that I supposedly gave up my 4th amendment rights by purchasing an airline ticket. This is done by 49 USC 44901 (Screening Passengers and Property) and 49 USC 44902 (Refusal to Transport Passengers and Property). This is what libertarians fear about the government, slowly taking away our rights. And nobody saying anything about it.

        Sending one Marine or one Soldier or one Airman to Libya and Syria is a violation of the Constitution, Article I, Sections 8.11 and 8.16. It is also a violation of the War Powers Act which specifics that the President to report to Congress after 30 days of ANY troops are put into harm’s way. Remember, the reason that Congress has control of declaring war is to ensure that we have a weak executive during peace time.

        When you say the GOP has repeatedly pushed for reduction of the money used for mental health, is that in the list of 18 powers of the federal government? I believe very much that is a state’s responsibility to take assist with. More importantly, the individual state must assist parents with both mental and physical disabled children. Neither party has had control of both house of Congress and the Presidency but for very short periods of times. Neither Reagan nor Bush I had that. Clinton had both house controlled by his party his first two years. Bush II did have both chambers controlled by Congress in the 109th Congress. But the last time the actual size of the Federal Government shrank under a president was under Coolidge/Harding. The federal government has GROWN EVERY other year. And it doesn’t help that the Democratic controlled Senate REFUSES to pass ANY Budget that has been PASSED by the GOP Controlled House.

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        • Again, Wolf, thanks for taking the time to comment – you make some very interesting points. I think it’s unlikely that we’re going to reach an accord here on the issue of gun control – we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Let’s just hope that in the Congressional battles that are soon to come, our representatives take a stand for what is in the best interests of their constituents and not the best interests of powerful lobbies. That’s something I think we can both agree on.

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  7. I am totally against guns. This latest massacre has just made my husband and I want to move out of this country again. I feel helpless about gun control. I just saw something on the news about 154,000 gun permits or whatever, coming through on Black Friday. Seriously??? Tis the season?

    I don’t understand it. I don’t understand why someone feels the need to own a gun, and even more so, feels the need to teach their children how to shoot.

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    • I know, BTA, it’s disheartening, to say the least. I felt the same way when, after the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, I read headlines stating “Arizona Shootings Trigger Surge in Glock Sales.”
      I’ve never owned a gun, but I wouldn’t say I’m totally against them. I have no problem with sensible hunting rifles that are well-regulated and kept by responsible citizens. It’s just that gun groups, particularly of course the NRA, battle to keep any kind of practical and logical legislation from being passed. I think the NRA works less to benefit gun owners, the majority of whom are in favor of responsible legislation, and more for gun manufacturers, who pour millions of dollars into the NRA’s coffers.
      Regardless, it’s time to pass legislation that will help protect people. Let’s get it done.

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  8. I think everyone is pretty familiar with the arguments about guns and gun control vis-a-vis the kids. For me, a much more challenging question is what to make of – and to do about – the increasingly psychotic video games, movies, music and other hyper-violent entertainment product being fed to kids. The extent to which people go out of their way to avoid discussing this is amazing.

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    • Agreed. These games are ridiculously inappropriate, and measures should probably be taken to curb their accessibility and influence. But that’s an entirely different issue. And yes, people are familiar with the arguments about gun control – but gun laws continues to be loosened all over the country. We can see what happens when strict gun laws are imposed – gun deaths drop. Although the politics are complex, the correlation is clear and simple. Can’t we do something about this?

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      • It depends on what you mean by “do something.” If the something is making mental health a bigger part of the background check system or adding/extending waiting periods, I think it’s possible. If, however, the something is a wholesale voiding of gun rights on the national level, the answer is clearly no, both because the legislation can’t be passed and wouldn’t bear constitutional review. Overall, I think we need to look at the specific issues of a case like this and figure out where things could have been changed on the margins enough to have made an impact. Here’s one suggestion: If a jurisdiction has a registration requirement, how about sending a squad car over once every couple of years, or whenever, just to touch base with the owner and see if the situation seems stable and secure (and to confirm that any local requirements on securing weapons are being conformed to). Not sure what they could have done in this case, but a stern “do you REALLY want to be keeping these guns around with him?” could have changed everything.

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        • I agree that a comprehensive approach, one that looks at all of the underlying causes of an event like this and seeks to address the complicated causative issues is vital. And no, “wholesale voiding of gun rights on the national level” is impossible. but banning certain types of guns and ammunition certainly is not. There are other steps related to tighter gun laws that could be taken. The shooter tried to purchase guns shortly before the rampage, but didn’t because he told the store owner that he couldn’t wait 14 days. How about passing a law requiring gun dealers to notify authorities when customers say they need a weapon immediately. Police pop on over and say, “Sorry to bother you, but you told a gun shop owner that you couldn’t comply with the mandatory waiting period. It’s just routine in these cases, but could we ask you a few questions?” How about in order to hold a permit for a gun you need to take a course and pass a test? How about we severely curtail the ease with which weapons are bought at gun shows? How about we pressure WalMart to stop selling guns? How about we have stronger gun storage laws, to prevent anyone other than the licensed (and trained) owner from getting their hands on that gun? How about we repeal the ridiculous “Stand Your Ground” laws?
          What does the US do instead of taking these simple, practical steps? It caves to the NRA and generally makes it easier for people to obtain, and carry, weapons. Many of these weapons, semi-automatic rifles and armor-piercing bullets, for example, have no practical purpose in home or self defense. They are designed to kill lots of people in a short amount of time. In the time you have before the police arrive and you find it necessary to shoot yourself in the head.

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  9. Bravo!

    As an Australian, I can tell you that I am pretty damn proud of our strict gun control, and every time we hear about something like this happening in America, I always think ‘if only they had tighter gun laws, this wouldn’t have happened’. America’s continued refusal to do anything about this just boggles my mind.

    I have never owned or even held a gun and and have no desire to do so. I cannot imagine keeping a gun in my home, the place where my son lives. The thought of knowing that the person walking down the street next to me may be carrying a gun is terrifying.

    I really hope that one day America can get a grip on its gun culture and realise that without easy access to guns these tradgedies are so much less likely to happen.

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    • Thanks for your comments, boringyear. I hope so too. I’m trying to do what I can to bring about some positive change. We’ll see if this galvanizes action in the US or if it will just be business as usual.

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