I've waited a fair bit of time since the heinous affair that occurred in Sandy Hook Elementary School, for no better reason than it seemed a good idea to wait until more the the facts are in and emotions weren't ruling the day. It seems however that with the death of the perpetrator, that few additional pertinent facts will come to light. It also seems that there's little chance that emotions regarding this case will not settle down until the next such horrific event.
Now let me begin by saying two things:
1. I can't begin to imagine the loss that the families of these 26 victims are feeling. While I too have lost family members at far to young an age, such losses can never be comprehended by those not intimately involved with them (and eventually time begins to heal such wounds), and no rain-soaked stack of flowers and teddy bears will compensate them for their loss.
2. I have not only never owned a gun, but in fact have never even fired one. My opinions therefore, are not of the Charlton Heston 'prying my gun from my cold, dead hand' variety.
I do submit the following for your consideration however:
* Before we ban these so-called assault weapons, should we not recognize that more murders are committed with hand guns? Are we therefore going to ban hand guns as well?
* If the fault is not the gun, then certainly it must be the size of the ammunition clip or magazine, which allow those committing such acts to shoot more people without reloading. We should therefore ban those which hold more ten bullets.
OK, but if you're in a house at night that's being broken into and you don't know by how many individuals, how many bullets would you like in your gun? Considering what an emotionally charged situation this is, how close would you like more bullets?
* We currently have some 20,000 laws on gun ownership in this country, which is probably more than any level of law enforcement can remember, let alone enforce. How many more unenforced or unenforceable laws would it take then to stop such events.
* These kinds of activities are not perpetrated by the average law-abiding gun owner, but by those suffering from some form of madness or delusion, or those who are just plain evil. Even if you could get the medical profession to release private medical data to those doing the background checks (a dangerous situation in and of itself), do you really think that you can legislate against madness, evil, or even against stupidity for that matter.* If we're going to ban certain types of guns, or types of bullets, or the size of certain bullet containers; because of their contributing factor to a culture of violence, what else are we will to or should we ban? Violent movies or TV shows (whose standards are increasingly relaxed), violent video games, books with violence (comic or otherwise)? We've banned dodgeball in most schools because of its violence; should we add tag, cops and robber, and Cowboys and Indians to that list as well?
Sure, we could place armed guards in our schools and that would provide a modicum of safety, but how many should that be if all are to be held safe. What implications would there be in the schools to the latent paranoia that accompanies the maturing process if such watchdogs were present in our educational institutions.
Of course there's always the inconvenience of the 2nd Amendment. Say what you will about the Founding Fathers, but they did a pretty good job in setting a government that was capable of lasting over 200 years, even with generations of politicians attempting to re-interpret them. They were by no means perfect, but one could easily make the case that they did a far better job in writing it, than we've done in the last couple of centuries attempting to amend their original thinking (and in the end, doing damn little of that).
Like I'm sure all of you, I deplore what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. What I deplore equally as much however, are the sorry solutions that many in government and the media try to put forward in the wake of such a tragedy.