In the wake of the recent horror in Oregon, NRA activists immediately (and I mean, the instant it hit the news, before anyone knew anything) began jumping on the “It’s anything but the fact that guns are so readily available fault” talking point. The idea that the campus was a “gun freeze zone” was disproved. The campus allowed concealed carry, just not within it’s buildings. “Well, students and teachers should be allowed to carry guns in the classroom!” Some student just walking into class with a gun, completely unquestioned, is a recipe for disaster. A couple people suggested that this was all the media’s fault and they need to stop covering these stories. One person actually used the term “censor these stories,” thereby stating that they were willing to give up their First Amendment Rights to Free Speech in order to keep what they perceived their Second Amendment Rights to own a gun.
Ben Caron even went so far as the state that guns should not be registered to owners at all. I’m sure being completely unable to track a firearms would make the lives of the police so much easier.
The other usual arguments have sprung up: “Knives can kill.” But you rarely hear of people going on a “stabbing sprees,” or at least not ones that injure or kill more than a couple people. “Cars can kill.” But we regulate the hell out of who can drive a car, we register to the car so we know who owns it, we make them carry insurance so they are liable for any damage, injury or death they cause, and take away their license to drive if they have repeated proven themselves a danger to others on the road.
There has been bill introduced in Congress that gun owners would be required to have insurance against injuries to themselves and others. I think that is a pretty reasonable idea.
Then there is the “mental healthcare issue” which as some validity. Some. Reagan did gut the mental healthcare system 1980’s, which put a lot of mentally ill people on the streets.
But one is reminded that the VA Tech shooter of 2007 had a court ordered psychiatric evaluation that ruled him as “a danger to himself and others” and treatment on his record (which made it a felony for him to own a firearm) before he began buying his guns from a gun store, pawn shops and the internet. Whenever he encountered a background check, he passed. Is the idea that we need a background check system that actually works such a horrible thing? The NRA thinks so. They have fought tooth and nail for people to be able to walk into a gun store and walk out with an AR15 in ten minutes. Guns matter more to them than human lives.
I have no problem with responsible gun ownership, but the fact is too many people that are irresponsible or just damn crazy can easily get get their hands on guns “over the counter.” Yes, criminals will always be able to get their hands on guns, but they don’t sell them to any mook who walks up to them on a street corner. A background check system that actually functions would not only make it much harder to felons, drug addicts, spousal abusers and the mentally ill (all of which are forbidden to own firearms by federal law) to get their hands on firearms, every time they tried, it would alert local authorities as to what these people are trying to do and give the cops an idea that maybe they should check on this person.
And frankly, all these gun nuts that have this idea that if a madman starts shooting where they are, they will suddenly become John McClane. That’s almost as scary as the murderous loonies are. The majority of these people have no tactical training (playing CoD doesn’t count) and can’t possibly do any more than add to the chaos, if not injure to kill innocent bystander just trying to get out of the line of fire. Secondly, for cops walking into that situation, how are they supposed to know who is “the good guy with the gun” vs. “the bad guy with a gun?” All they will see are two shooters.
This is the 45th school shooting in 2015 alone. There have been 134 mass shooting between 2009 and 2015. How much longer are we going to let these tragedies happen to our families, our children?