I've been waiting for days to write about my feeling on 20-year-old Adam Lanza from Connecticut. My initial anger over the killing of his mother, 20 beautiful angles and five educators at a Connecticut elementary school last Friday led me to a place where I thought it better to wait until I can think straight before writing about it. I did go to Facebook and Twitter to profess that something needs to be done.
We need to have an all-of-the-above strategy for the national attempt to stop these recurring tragedies. We need to talk about metal illness. For a wonderful article about mental illness read Liza Longs “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother.” She knows firsthand the complications that come with having a child with a mental illness. But as conservatives or gun owing Democrats we have to acknowledge that part of the problem is guns, its guns, and in case you hadn't realized this yet it is guns.
As a conservative am I supposed to be mad at Michael Bloomberg? (I am not)
“The slaughter of 20 innocent children and the six adults [five teachers and his mother] who tried to save them in Newtown, Conn., marked a turning point in our national consciousness” said Bloomberg before adding that “For more than a decade, both parties in Washington have mostly looked the other way when mass shootings occur. And they have mostly ignored the 34 victims who are murdered with guns every single day.”
He is right about this being different though. Complacency is killing kids.
20 beautiful angles and 5 courageous educators, and his mother just lost their lives to a deranged young man with guns, and I felt horrible about it. This is not about me, but I should feel horrible. I thought that it was not the guns. If we ban all guns will murder stop, no, but if we can take high-powered assault rifles off the streets will it be much harder and less likely that a young 20-year-old man kills 20 beautiful angles by putting multiple rounds of high-powered ammunition in their chest. Yes! Of course it will!
We as a nation should start banning the manufacture and sale of military grade assault weapons and the high-capacity ammunition clips. These have been used in many of the recent mass killings, including Newtown. Bloomberg points out that George W. Bush supported continuing the ban on assault rifles that expired in 2004, but Congress did not act (Imagine that). Bloomberg also points to a broken background check system, yea that would need fixing as well; considering half of all guns sales are conducted without a background check. This means criminals, mentally ill people, minors, and domestic abusers can get guns without going through a check by going to guns shows and or even online. The last thing Bloomberg offers as a solution is that we make gun trafficking a felony (You mean to tell me it is not a felony to gun run). Wow!
We can do this without limiting our liberty. Liberty does not mean putting your neighbors in danger. For those of you that think it makes sense to ID someone before allowing them to vote, then how does it not make sense to make sure the people we are selling guns to are people that should own guns? (Hint, it doesn't).
Though the shooting saddens everyone I know, some people are not willing to change anything. I hear some people say that banning assault rifles would be attuned to taking away the liberty the founding fathers gave us. I really am sick and tired of hearing this. The founding fathers created a system that by its very nature brought about change. We debate when, where and how to enact that change. We debate whether or not to change back. Some change seems almost impossible, because the founding fathers wanted to protect the minority.
All this being said, if any aspect of American Law is changed to reflect the times we live in, we are actually seeing the system function the way Madison and Hamilton wanted it to. We should celebrate when good change comes along. We should never pretend that our founding fathers were so naive to think the way they see the world would always be applicable. If you know as much about the history and laws of this great nation as you should, then you know that those great men that designed federalism did so knowing that change will come. The key was to know how to protect the people from their government.
If this is why you say you need guns. In the words of Joe Biden, malarkey.
No amount of AR15’s are going to allow the citizens of this nation to fight the greatest military ever seen. So unless you are advocating allowing citizens to obtain stealth fighters and/or nuclear weapons, what good is an AK47 and a banana clip going to do against the mighty U.S. Marine? We have a civilian government, and we have an army full of civilians. Let’s us be honest, we will not see violent rebellion anytime soon. So leave these excuses alone and let’s protect our children.
Are you needing these assault rifles and extended clips to hunt? Maybe you should take shooting classes. Here is a place that will find places to learn to shoot regular guns correctly. You will no longer need 70 shots to kill supper. Whats the sport in it if you need to blitzkrieg a rabbit or deer. Wouldn't it be worth giving these weapons up to protect the children?
You may think that gun laws won’t work, we likely do not know for sure because we have never really tried. With millions of guns already one the streets what good does it do to stop now. Really! (I’m not sure I should have to explain the flaws in this logic). It may takes decades to clean up this mess. It may never happen. Then what is your idea. Doing nothing is unacceptable. Inaction is definitely not going to change anything.
Jacob Sullum over at Reason take banning assault rifles head on with a flawed article that makes some solid points that actually do not help his premise. He says the weapons that Lanza used to at the school would not have been banned under the 1994 assault rifle ban or the similar law that Connecticut already has in place.
The problem is that gun manufactures just change the guns to conform to the laws. However, adding a grenade launcher as not been the problem (yet). Even now Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s (D-N.Y.) purposed law would make little headway because it does not ban any weapons that are made before the law would be passed.
It does limit “specifically prohibited models, cover semiautomatic rifles that accept detachable magazines and have at least two out of five features: 1) a folding or telescoping stock, 2) a pistol grip, 3) a bayonet mount, 4) a grenade launcher, and 5) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor.”
What good that will do is likely not known. I understand why legislature would be wary of making already made and sold weapons illegal. Millions of law-abiding people would suddenly be in possession of a prohibited item that could send them to jail. So we should give people time and incentive to turn these weapons in. After this period of time even owners that were once legal then will face criminal prosecution.
According to Sullum’s article the AR15 (civilian M16) model that Lanza used is owned by an estimated 3.3 million people, with 49% being sold for target shooting, 23% for hunting, and 28% for personal protection (in case an army is planning on invading their house).
According to Bloomberg “In 2009, 71,000 people who had been convicted of gun crimes tried to buy guns by lying on their background checks. Yet the federal government prosecuted only 77 of those cases. That's one-tenth of 1%. These are gun criminals trying to buy guns illegally -- and the federal government is letting them walk.”
This is absolutely unacceptable even without all the gun violence.
Sophie Quinton is pointing out that experts are not sure they will ever be able to find the shooters before they act. Plus forcing people to take medicine or get help may not be helpful at all.
Ron Honberg, national director for policy and legal affairs at the National Alliance on Mental Illness says “I think that would not only be pretty blatantly discriminatory, but it would also potentially have a chilling effect on the willingness of people to seek treatment, if they knew that by seeking treatment their name would go into an FBI database.”
“Nearly half of all Americans will suffer from a mental illness during their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
For me this is why I am focusing on the gun aspect, it seems to be the most likely place to go. Every time a shooting happens the family and friends seem to be shocked the quit person they knew turned into a mass murderer. We have to decide as a nation if it is worth it. Sometimes we have to give up certain freedoms to protect ourselves. We all do not have the right to start riots or build chemical weapons (Rightly so). We ban these things in an attempt to keep ourselves safe. Why not ban assault rifles that allow people to commit mass murder.
We as a nation should be heartened by the President’s tone and promises.
The New York Times is saying that the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is proclaiming a “legal and cultural groundswell in the nation’s view of firearms.”
“We’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Brian Malte, the director of mobilization for the Brady Campaign.
The debate is going on right now, and that is good. The wounds are fresh and we as a country must remember—while seeing the pictures of children being buried, hearing stories of hero’s in the classroom—we must never forget how bad this hurts. If we do, we will wonder if we did all we can to stop the next one, and the one after that. The country should never be complacent with such a question not when federalism allows the people to change it.