Christ, talk about timing. The day my article defending the second amendment and right to self-defense is published, some psychopath named Adam Lanza goes on a shooting rampage at a school in Connecticut. Normally I don’t like to talk about gun policy immediately after such horrors, as emotions are running high and I find it in bad taste no matter what one’s thoughts may be on the issue.
However, since a whole lot of pundits are bringing it up again, I guess we need to talk about this incident now, not later. The school shootings always bring the calls for gun control, particular in this instance, as the victims were mainly small children and a few heroic teachers.
I’m a bit hesitant to delve into the specifics of the story, because the details tend to change rapidly as more information comes out. But let’s talk for a moment about the implications of this terrible massacre going by what we know right now.
First off, let me clear: This was a horrible act, perpetrated by a savage masquerading as human, who was obviously mentally disturbed. My heart absolutely breaks for the families who lost children. As a father myself, I can’t even begin to imagine what they are feeling.
This incident is going to really re-ignite the gun control debate, being as the victims were the most sympathetic of all- innocent young children. The President has already hinted that he was going to take action.
What kind of action is the question. The guns used in the killings, were all purchased legally by the shooter’s mother. It is still unclear what weapons specifically were used in the attack. There was reportedly a rifle found still in the car, but new reports are saying that a rifle was also used in the killings.
Two rifles, then, perhaps? There were two handguns used (some accounts have said 4, but only 2 used,): a 9mm Sig-Sauer and a 9mm Glock. The latest reports are saying it was mostly the long gun.
Connecticut has some of the strictest laws in the nation when it comes to guns. Obviously, more laws wouldn’t have helped in this case, because the shooter had broken many already. He wasn’t old enough to posses a handgun (felony), and he stole the handguns from the legally registered owner (felony). Indeed, one report says that Lanza had attempted to purchase a rifle several days before, only to be rebuffed by the mandatory waiting period. So apparently, all existing gun laws worked as intended.
He also was able to easily get these weapons into a “gun-free zone” in a school. The school had apparently just instituted some sort of new security measures where the doors were locked after a certain time and one needed to be buzzed in after that. This doesn’t really work too well if someone just smashes up the window to get in, as is apparently the case. Entry control points are a fine idea, but not foolproof.
I think many have difficulty acknowledging a very tough truth: If someone is determined to end their own lives, while taking as many as possible with them, there is no possible way to stop them all, even after erecting an even bigger police state than we have now. It just cannot be done. It is the jihadist’s techniques in Iraq and Afghanistan all over again. How does one fight such an enemy?
More gun-control laws would not have stopped this. So, the choices here are pretty simple. If one is sympathetic to the ideas of less guns, the only way to achieve that will be the outright banning of all weapons. Obviously, this means massive government confiscation, taking away all weapons from law-abiding citizens, including handguns, rifles, and shotguns. This would almost assuredly, put an end to these sort of massacres, at least when a gun is the instrument of choice.
Unfortunately, it would also mean an end to the American’s right to keep and bear arms.
There is no doubt this would lessen gun crime in the United States. This would leave American citizens defenseless against violence, crime and tyranny, but if we’re being honest, of course it would work. I know that’s not the side I’m on, but, as a logical thinker, it would obviously have the desired effect. Take away all guns, you will take away a huge number of gun-related violence.
The question is: Is that the road we are going to go down because of a few suicidal nuts bent on taking out as many innocents as they can? Because of a spectacular event that is extremely rare? As long as guns exist, they will be stolen, sold, or otherwise end up in the hands of someone who was never intended to have them. The only option is to remove the gun from existence.
Gun-control proponents are constantly saying, “Look, we don’t want to take away everyone’s guns, but…” Then they are wasting time. If they want to have this “discussion,” (the word I have been hearing non-stop on the news for the last 24 hours,) then let’s have some honesty.
The only way to reduce gun deaths and gun crime to non-existent levels would be to confiscate every gun in the United States, eliminate the gun industry as it exists, and make it impossible for anyone in this country to legally own any sort of weapon. So is this their position? Fine. Have an elected official draw it up in a bill and get it passed in Congress. But spare me the need for more “discussion.”
A better idea, in my opinion, would be to have arms available in the schools. It used to be fairly common, especially in more rural areas, for guns to be present in schools, as many hunted before and after school. These sort of shootings never happened. back then. So what happened to change all this? Is it really sound advice to take cover in classrooms and just hope that an active shooter chooses not to enter the classroom?
I think it’s safe to say that the signs warning of “gun free zones” aren’t exactly having the intended effect. Indeed, some schools are already going in this direction.
Why is it so wrong to have a principal or teachers well trained in firearms, or to have defensive weapons in schools? We have this childlike belief that it will never happen, and it keeps happening. We have a naivety that says we can’t have weapons of any kind in a school setting.
It is a sad commentary on today’s society that we must consider an armed guard in schools, or a principal/teacher who has the training and access to firearms for a last stand against a mass murderer, but a couple of Remington 870s in a gun safe may be the difference between life and death.
Consider: If a fire broke out in the chemistry lab, would you rather go in immediately with a fire extinguisher or just hope for the best and wait for the fire department?
As I mentioned in my article, the police, with all of their military style gear that they adore putting on and playing soldier with, even when it’s completely unnecessary, showed up armed to the teeth, and prevented absolutely nothing. All their Crye precision camo, their assault rifles and ballistic helmets, their armored vehicles… they weren’t able to prevent dick.
When it is you and you alone in a life or death situation, help is not going to get to you in time. Prepare accordingly. A single guard, or SOMEONE trained in weapons perhaps could have done something to prevent this carnage. Are there no ex-military teachers?
I know that, for right now, this is a pipe dream, so spare me the technical analysis on why it would never happen. Like I said, these are quick musings on the situation, not a researched paper. The soccer moms would freak out if they knew the principle had weapons. They don’t seem to have any problems with drug sniffing dogs, random urinalyses, cameras and metal detectors everywhere, and goddamn mandatory radio-tracking chips in student IDs, but those icky weapons are just too much. I’m not really sure why: It doesn’t take a whole lot of training to be able to point a scattergun at a murderer and blow him away, just courage. But this is where we are.
Judging by the media coverage, one may be forgiven for assuming that this must be an epidemic of epic proportion in America, where schools are routinely sprayed with automatic gunfire, where thousands of children every year are murdered, where schools and children are constantly at risk from a lone gunman entering with multiple high-capacity magazines and wantonly murdering people. This is simply false.
Let us examine the hard facts: violent crime in the United States has been steadily decreasing over the last 20 years, people victimized in crimes involving firearms has dropped by 60% during 2000-2009, and school homicides have been steadily decreasing. In they year 2011, 323 people were killed by rifles. That same year, almost 1,700 were killed by knives. More people were killed with shotguns than rifles. Meanwhile, also in 2011, over 32,000 people were killed in automobile accidents, to put things in perspective. One nut who committed multiple weapons felonies should not dictate a loss of rights to millions of lawful gun owners.
Of course, none of this is stopping the rush to make terrible laws by politicians who have long awaited a ghoulish happening like this to further their political agendas. Have we learned nothing from the rush to install the PATRIOT act?
Emotions run high after these events, and it is difficult to think logically and problem-solve. The logical reality is: We can either remove all firearms from civilian existence, or we live knowing that this kind of event can happen, and prepare accordingly the best we can, with respect to liberty and privacy. That is the choice. And it is not a trifling choice, either way.
I do not pretend to speak for the other writers here at SOFREP; I’m sure they all have their own opinions which will be offered or not offered as they wish. I wouldn’t even have been moved to write something if it hadn’t been for the sickening spectacle of politicians rushing to the cameras to get their faces on TV.
I pray for those families. I wish I had been there to blow Lanza’s head off and buttstroke him into the next life. But I wasn’t. And neither was anyone else.
What do you guys think?