Fire Fighters salute six year old Newtown victim Daniel Barden who wanted to be a fire fighter when he grew up.
On Friday, December 14, 2012 a man in possession of an AR15 with a high capacity magazine, as well as other weapons entered Sandy Hook Middle School and executed 20 first-graders as well as 6 faculty members. He obtained these weapons from his gun advocate mother, after shooting her in the face. She was well armed and had some fairly impressive weaponry to keep her safe.
On the same day in China, a man who was upset over “doomsday” predictions entered an elementary school and stabbed 23 children. Though many were seriously injured, no one died.
Those on the far right are pointing to things like the killer in Newtown being mentally ill, suffering from autism and/or Aspergers as the explanation for his acts. The Chinese are saying that their guy was “psychologically affected” by the doomsday predictions for December 21st. Many are saying that both were evil and deranged. I heard a guy calling in on Ed Schultz radio show on December 19th claiming to be a psychologist citing that it is obvious that the Newtown killer was suffering from “Lyme Rage” (Lyme Neuroborrelios) as a result of being bitten by a tick in Connecticut, which is very common. He cited studies proving that ticks causing Lyme disease, results in rage tendencies of those bitten, who in turn go out and commit these violent acts. All we have to do is autopsy his brain to prove it.
He was adamant, “we can’t blame the guns, and it was Lyme rage that was responsible for the Newtown murders.” I researched this and from what I can find, this phenomenon has essentially been used as a defense in Court cases against prosecution, although the studies cited lack proper peer review validation.
Regardless, even if Lyme Rage or anything else was to blame for what precipitated the killer from carrying out his acts, the problem was he was able to use an assault weapon to execute his victims.
Now gun manufacturers will say that the AR15 isn’t an assault weapon by their definition. But I’m going to take some license here, if the weapon serves no useful purpose other than to kill as many people in a short period of time as possible, it’s a weapon of war and thereby an assault weapon. You wouldn’t use this weapon to hunt unless you are a very bad shot and you don’t mind grinding your meat in the woods before you even approach it.
No, this is a weapon of war that was legally purchased by a woman, who by all accounts was convinced she would be at war if the economy collapsed. She appears to have bought into the fear that the NRA likes to instill in people, so they feel the need to buy these weapons to remain safe. Unfortunately for her, as with many gun owners, she was killed by her own weapon by someone she knew.
So many things can be responsible for the evil in the world and the motivations for those who would commit such acts. It happens in this country and in others. The only difference is those so inclined in this country appear to currently have no problems securing weapons of war to carry out their acts. Those in other countries, say China don’t. Nor can they in Europe, Australia or any other industrialized country. The assailant in China only had a knife. Even though he attacked and people were severely wounded, no one died. The children in Newtown each had 3 to 11 rounds in them. They never stood a chance. The available weaponry made this heinous act possible.
So what to do? Those in full support of what they perceive to be 2nd Amendment rights balk at any attempts to ban Assault Rifles and high capacity magazines. They cite that “gun free zones” are “targets of opportunity” for those so inclined to carry out murderous acts. Since we can’t ban the weapons, the only solution from their point of view is to arm the schools, arm the amusement parks, arm all public meeting places, give everyone the right to carry a concealed weapon everywhere to dissuade those who have bigger and meaner weapons from doing anything. Hell it works in the movies or on “play station” or whatever, it should work in real life. However even after saying this, they don’t want guns in State Houses, Governor’s mansions, any place of government and the GOP also banned any firearm at their convention in Tampa.
They, and many of the lemmings who speak for them say that if the teachers (who they lambasted during this last election cycle) were armed, this would have never happened. Of course Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich have added that the “secularism” of our society, taking God out of the schools, is also responsible for what happened in Newtown. But that is another rant where I’ll explain to Mike Huckabee that per his logic, the church burnings and shootings would also be because God isn’t there. But to continue.
Here’s the problem with bringing more guns into the picture. Peer reviewed studies clearly show that the simple act of bringing a gun into a home, business, facility dramatically increases the odds of being shot by that very same gun. Most murders occur in the home with the owner’s gun being used by the assailant who is more likely to be known to the victim. Further, to effectively use a weapon as a tool of defense, a person must undergo strict and thorough training, both technical and psychological to deal with being in a fire-fight. The military calls it boot camp. They don’t get their guns until they qualify. They need to learn not only to shoot straight, but to do so with the pressure of being shot at. The police do the same and this training is often repeated on a quarterly basis. Oh and by the way, both military and police are required to take and pass psychological evaluations before they can carry on the job. Many say that anyone with a “carry conceal” permit can protect those in the schools, perhaps the teachers. Well in most jurisdictions all that is needed to get a “carry conceal” permit is to fill out a card. There’s no training, no test of skills, no psychological examinations. You just pay your fee and off you go.
So underpaid, overworked, underappreciated educators are to be armed even though they haven’t been trained to properly conduct themselves in a firefight to protect themselves and others. If police officers and military personnel die on a regular basis in such shootouts, how would these teachers do?
The issue isn’t arming the schools; it’s removing the availability of weapons of mass destruction, weapons of war from civilians like they have done in Australia. After their last mass shooting in 1996 with an assault rifle, they were banned and bought back by the government. Guess what? Not a single mass shooting in Australia since then. After our assault weapon ban expired in 2004, the number of mass shootings has increased three fold. See the connection?
Don’t give me the 2nd amendment. First of all it applies to “A well regulated Militia”. If you are a member of a well regulated militia, on duty to keep your state free, then you may have something there. Otherwise, as Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post said in the Editorial (not a leftist rag mind you) the 2nd amendment is outdated in the 21st century. Even Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said after Aurora that the 2nd Amendment leaves room for gun control legislation:
“I believe the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms,” he said. “But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not on the streets of our cities”.
There are over 90,000 public schools in our country. In an atmosphere where those on the right feel we are taxed too much because government is too big with too many teachers, first responders, fire-fighters on the public dole, how will we pay to have armed guards at all these schools?
As I pointed out above, teachers will not be qualified to protect themselves or their students. The best course of action (in the beginning of this process) is to go back to the assault weapon ban and banning the sales of high capacity magazines. From there we can decide what to do with the weaponry already out on the streets. Perhaps just like in “conservative” Australia, we can buy them back.
Either way, more guns does equal more gun violence, fewer guns mean less. Again it goes back to simple math, something those on the right continue to have problems with.