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How many mass murders are too many to act?

December 16, 2012

Like many I have a heavy heart after the senseless murders of 20 children and 8 adults in Newtown. As a parent I can’t imagine how the families of the slain will continue on.

I was so excited when my kids went to school to begin their growing process. They were beginning the learning process and entering society in earnest to become the fine people they would eventually become. It was such a proud time for me as a parent.

Now, due to the repeated tragedies like the most recent in Newtown, as my grandchildren embark on the same course and begin school, I am absolutely terrified. No longer is school the safe haven of learning as in times past. It is now too often a battlefield of the most horrible kind.

I don’t understand why these things have to happen, and I certainly don’t know how to prevent them. I am no expert on social diseases like this but I can look at things logically and one thing is without question in my mind.

It seems to me that these incidents, frequent as they are, are far worse than they might be due to the use of automatic (or semi-automatic) weapons. It’s bad enough that these imbalanced individuals open fire on innocent groups of people but far worse that they can use guns that rapid fire lots of ammunition.

Why are these weapons even available in this violent age? I’m not for nor against gun control in general, I’m not informed enough to be on one side or the other. But I do know that there is not a single legitimate reason for anyone in the general population to have automatic (or semi-automatic) weaponry at hand.

Why can people buy and sell these weapons legally? I’m not talking about handguns for personal defense nor hunting rifles. I am strictly referring to semi & automatic weaponry like these madmen are using that can fire lots of bullets at a group of innocent people in just a few seconds.

I know many states have made gun laws stricter, but people still legitimately have these weapons. That must stop. We must make federal laws that make owning and selling these weapons a major felony. There is not one legitimate reason for these weapons to be in the possession of anyone not in the active military or police forces.

A common excuse for owning semi and automatic weaponry is “collecting”. Gun owners state they “collect” these weapons as a hobby. Give me a break! Collecting is for stamps and comic books. Not weapons of mass destruction.

How many children and their parents must die before our federal government enacts laws making them not only illegal to buy and sell but even to own? That’s right, federal law should make it a serious felony to own semi and automatic weaponry of any kind. It should be a major crime to have these weapons in possession, no matter how much they cost the owner.

Private ownership of semi and automatic weapons is no better than owning grenades, rocket launchers, or explosives. They are all used for killing groups of people, and in fact semi-automatic rifles are used far more often to do so.

How many kids have to die?

From → Personal

  1. Marshal permalink

    You say that you are neither for or against gun control but you clearly argue for controlling arms. The firearms used in the Newton tragedy were not automatic weapons, so that argument is out. Remove all the guns (automatic, semi-auto, etc) from the world and people will find another tool to conduct evil. The issue is not gun control. The issue is of mental health. The issue is of darkness and how we respond as a society to those who are unstable.

    • The news reports I’ve seen said that while the shooter at Sandy Hook had two handguns, all of those slain were killed by the semi-automatic rifle he also carried.

      I agree the mental health issue is great, but believe that getting rid of semi-automatic and automatic weapons is the greater need that can be easily done by the government.

      • NX2000 permalink

        James if you are going to present an opinion on something you need to have your basic concepts down to be credible. You do this great in tech but do just a little research or you are not going to be taken seriously.

        Automatic weapons have been more regulated than other firearms since 1986. Automatic weapons have nothing to do with this. The handguns and rifle(s) this nutcase used are SEMI-automatic weapons. And as far as his main gun being a rifle, I think it would have been far worse had the guy stuck to handguns at the ranges he was shooting at.

        Now that being said, I don’t think GUNS are the problem at all. The main problem is our screwed up mental health system. I’ve been in law enforcement since 1986 and since they early 90s mental heath programs have been consistently cut away. It is difficult for someone that needs help to get it – especially at the early stages when they need the help to keep from being dangerous to themselves and others. Society handles mental health by ignoring it’s victims and pushing them aside.

        Oh and BTW my first post had more detail and was longer, and was lost as for some reason wordpress decided to try to force me to log into MY wordpress account page to post it, and then I couldn’t remember the password.

  2. Odis permalink

    More killing is done by knives every year than guns. How many lives are protected through the use of firearms and why don’t we hear about that? It wouldn’t fit with the agenda. Why are our kids rudderless? Have a look at the way we raise them now. Ship them off to strangers as soon as possible and let the govt be their parents. When we ignore nature and its creator and the way he intended for our young to be raised wicked things will result IMHO.

  3. James,

    Watching that massacre and the reactions after it, I am horrified. I live in a country (Spain) in which all class of semi-automatic weapons (from handguns to assault rifles “limited” to selective fire, with the exception of hunting rifles with very small (3 round) magazines) are not permitted to civilians. Such spree killings at schools are totally unknown for us, and anyeay they would be really hard to happen: a damn armed bastard could shot 4 times before recharging.

    Most of the firearms’ victims here are their owners (suiciding or by accident) or their relatives (mostly accidents). we have more or less ten times less such victims per 100.000 people, and we have even less cases of firearmed homicides per 100.000 people. See:

    Defenders of gun possesion say that you can kill a person with a hammer or a knife. That’s right, but not so as easy and without the capability of defense. In China there have been a series of school attacks recently… perpetrated with knifes. Go figure the number of victims, much less that in the case of firearms.

    An assault rifle can use 30 round magazines. A trained user can change a magazine in less than a second and continue shooting. Such weapons are tools for the military and security forces, but there is no objective justification of the permission of such a weapon for civilians. I don’t need a weapon because there are not weapons in the streets of Madrid, my city. I can imagine other parts of the world, more out of control (certain parts of latinamerica, for instance). But in such cases, a shotgun would be more than enough: if there are a good number of attackers to your home, probably they are going to be at least as well armed as you, and your opportunities of repelling such an attack would be very, very low.

    Firearms rights are the same than lottery: taxes for people who are not capable of understand statistics. As you can see in the link I put before, the correlation is crystal-clear. And even more: the more circulating weapons, the more mortal accidents are going to be, and the more out-of-control situations that are going to be (an argument in which someone uses a gun, for instance).

    Besides such lack of understanding of statistics, what impress me more is the lack of empathy. Come on, the bodies of 20 little angels are still warm and that aberrant event doesn’t impress defenders of weapon possesion even a little bit. They are totally in the opposite side of the parents, brothers and sisters of those children, and they are showing an utter carelessness.

    Defenders of assault rifles’ possesion are willingly paying such “right” with the blood of the sons of other people. Weapon lobbyist are enriching themselves and their patrons with dollar bills tainted in blood. As I appreciate America a lot (but I never try to work there preciselly because of lack of arm control), I do wish that politicians use this massacre for changing this hellish an ununderstable situation once and for all.

  4. There are many reasons why constitution allows possession of firearms, there is no simple solution to these issues, going down the path of restriction is simply an emotional knee jerk reaction, not to mention paternalistic too.

  5. ctitanic permalink

    I came from a country where the government took away from people the right to own any kind of firearms. And we lost our freedom for ever. This will never happen in this country. Now, take away from this killers the 15 minutes of fame that media is giving them and you will see the change. The murder killed his Mam and went to kill innocent children to get his 15 min of fame. Media is part responsible for this crime. Of course there are other things that can be done, like prohibiting fully high capacity magazines or any magazine easily converted in a high capacity. Today we have technologies that can personalize your gun to only shoot if you are the one handling it. Such technology would have prevented this massacre. Banning guns is not going to work, it may make it worth, just remember Timothy McVeigh, to me the master mind of all these massacres. He was looking for attention when he did what he did and so the rest of all of them that came after. Make the health system better and that will help.

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