The shootings in Aurora, Colorado have stirred up a lot of emotions about gun control. People are having flashbacks to the shootings in Columbine 14 years ago and naturally want to point fingers and do something. But rather than taking a rational look at the issue, it’s once again being turned into a political debate and people are taking extreme stances.
My greatest fear isn’t in tightening up the sale of weapons to people who would stockpile it for the sole purpose of engaging in acts of terrorism (and no you don’t have to be a Muslim to be a terrorist, i.e. Tim McVeigh, Andres Breivic, James Holmes). My fear is the extreme to which many would respond to these situations. For example:
- The movie theater turns into another TSA run nightmare. Now before you can enjoy your movie you must wait to go through the metal detector, then “at random” you could be patted down by someone with a high school education and 30 minutes of training. Finally, just for good measure, your bags are searched (there goes sneaking in those gummy bears from home).
- But why stop there? 10-15% of murders each year are caused by stabbings. Maybe we should have a 15 day waiting period for you to purchase that new butcher knife at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
- Maybe we need stricter regulations on movie violence. After all, James Holmes called himself “The Joker” and opened fire dressed as an armed vigilante at the premier of a movie whose hero works outside the realm of legislation.
It never ends. Stricter regulations on the chemicals Osama Bin Laden needed the first time he bombed the World Trade Center, simply resulted in him finding planes for 9/11. You can’t just start pointing fingers and writing laws. The solution isn’t that simple. The simple truth is that those who wish to do harm to themselves or to others will always find a way to do so. Since when do terrorists and gang members abide by regulations restricting the sale of firearms, explosives, or drugs?
A friend of mine responded this way:
“There are so many murders that are committed during crimes of passion, etc. That could be prevented. And tougher gun laws would help keep guns out of the hands of guys like this. True, he was making bombs and all of that but he did not use that to murder….he used guns. I am sick of protecting the NRA’s thousands of members right to bear arms over the rights of millions of innocent people who happen to be at the wrong place during tragic situations such as this. I have never heard of an innocent victim being killed in a drive by knifing by gang members, etc. It is most likely, but not always, caused by being shot by a gun. “
The actions of the few, do not represent the actions of many.
How would tougher gun laws prevent what happened in Aurora? What is the proposal from people who are “tired of the right to bear arms”? Are you saying we need to get rid of guns? Maybe you’re only allowed to own one gun and one box of ammunition. But how do you enforce that? Are we talking gun prohibition? Look at how well prohibition worked the first time. That simply made more criminals.
There are a lot of people with a lot of guns in their basement, but they aren’t walking around shooting up shopping malls. I’ve never heard of a law abiding NRA member involved in a drive-by shooting. And believe it or not, the NRA does support stricter gun regulations for just that reason. And the fact is that gun registration and confiscation laws do not reduce crime or homicide (see Gun Facts online). That is a larger societal problem.
It doesn’t matter how many guns James Holmes owned, he can’t carry them all at once. It doesn’t matter if he had 60,000 rounds of ammo, cargo pants aren’t going to hold it. There will always be “Innocent” victims and crimes of passion; and guns won’t change that. Cain didn’t have a Glock for his crime of passion against Abel. Changing the laws to protect the innocent most often leads to making the innocent defenseless.