First, we’ll add to the outpouring of support and prayers for the community of Aurora CO, scene of the latest senseless gun violence.
Why does this type of abomination continue in American society? The lone superpower. Middle of the pack in educational achievement. Among the poorer performers among rich nations in infant mortality. Highest per capita incarceration rate in the world. Maybe I just answered my own question.
Various reports earlier this morning discussed the weaponry the shooter had. NBC’s Today Show host Matt Lauer even got into an arcane discussion of what type of ammunition was in the shotgun with a correspondent—single bullets or the more traditional pellet-loaded “shot.” And since two hours needed to be filled, there were a lot of speculative opinions and not a lot of real reporting.
But my purpose here is to raise again the issue of gun control. The alleged CO shooter wasn’t in any databases. If we assume all his weapons, including the tear gas, were purchased legally, why were there no warning flags raised? This guy had at least three guns, gas masks, and tear gas with him. As of the time I’m writing this, the search of his apartment was proceeding but speculation on the tv hinted at booby-traps there and more weaponry. How many weapons can a person own before some government entity charged with the safety of our citizenry investigates?? I’m sure many such intrusions would come up negative, but if even one Columbine or Aurora were prevented, would not the cost be worth it?
Please don’t assume I’m anti-gun or anti-hunters. Growing up, we knew where our father kept his gun and the ammo. Our childhood obsession was finding the Luger pistol that family legend reported our father took from a German soldier and hid in the insulation of the attic. I fully appreciate that different types of legitimate hunting require different types of rifles. But unless one is the worst shot this side of the “gang that couldn’t shoot straight”, I can see no rationale for automatic weapons in the hands of the general population.
Don’t buy the NRA argument about personal defense either. Automatic weapons, discharged in say a condo or apartment complex, could do severe damage to other residents as the sprayed bullets power their way through adjoining walls into the domiciles of the innocent neighbors. Better as a defensive strategy would be a good handgun or rifle, accurately sighted in, with long hours at a target range spent by the owner, effectively aimed at the attacker.
So let’s all hope that this latest tragedy removes the inertia of our government representatives and a reasonable approach to gun control can be enacted. It’s too late for so many victims of gun violence. But that is no reason not to continue the struggle for rational policies to protect the citizenry.