A friend posed this question after learning of the recent shooting in Connecticut.
I’m going to unapologetically go all liberal here and ask if anyone that is SO offended by the notion of stricter gun control laws could look in the eyes of a parent that just lost their CHILD to a bullet and tell them that it’s your ‘right’ to own assault weapons? If that was your kid, would your position change? It’s shamefully appalling that as a country and society we allow the circumstances for this to happen over and over again.
I step through a rip in the space-time continuum to offer an extremely conservative-like viewpoint on this topic.
It doesn’t take a gun to inflict mass casualties, as we saw in China this morning.
It also doesn’t take a gun to inflict one casualty, as I experienced over this past weekend when a friend and former colleague was murdered by his girlfriend’s 17 year old son. In the past, he expressed concern for his safety. During one online conversation on a day when he was sick and not at work, he wrote something like, “I’m sick and stuck at home with three sick children and a teenager who wants to kill me.” I suggested that he move out or take defensive measures when around the child. A little over a year later, he was stabbed to death after an argument with the 17 year old child. He leaves behind a 7 year old daughter who likely witnessed the attack; a child who he truly adored, who will now have to grow up without a father and with the horror of having witnessed his murder.
If we’re going to talk about gun control, we should also be talking about identifying and treating mental illnesses in children and adults before it is too late, and about economic recovery. However, that is the topic for another post.
We should also be talking about identifying when friends and loved ones are in perilous domestic situations and how to address those situations with them. Regardless of how the individual ended up in the situation, it will still need to be addressed by those who know and care about him/her. It might only take one conversation with an uninvolved friend to open the individual’s mind to the dangers and consequences, and to influence change. Now, all we can do is live with the knowledge that there were warning signs, and that we ultimately didn’t do enough to help him change the situation. This, too, is a topic for another post.
Shifting back to gun control, if everyone was armed, a shooter would think twice about walking into a crowded square and opening fire. Even if he/she were able to take out a few targets, he/she would probably not survive the return fire, or would probably be wounded.
However, that would change the tactics that insane people use when attempting to inflict mass casualties. It would become more about hit and run attacks rather than suicide attacks. We would probably see more sniper attacks, which can only be so effective. People will run for cover, and the shooter will expose his/her position and only get a handful of good shots in before he/she would have to move to avoid being hit by return fire, which will increase the risk of being spotted and taken out or neutralized.
If a truly insane person wanted to plan out an attack and eliminate a bunch of people, it would happen. It doesn’t matter if there aren’t any guns. Bombs are just as effective, and can be carried into a crowded location and inflict many more casualties, and the planter would probably be able to remain anonymous and escape without injury. Nothing is stopping people from doing that except their own ignorance. It is more likely that the shooter wanted the victim or victims to know who shot them, and was not thinking about consequences, or intended for it to be a one-way trip, which we are now seeing is the case in this morning’s tragedy.
Someone with a CWP who carries and is a skilled shooter could draw his/her weapon and fire at a hostile target before the hostile even knows about it, especially if the hostile is fixated on one or a set of targets and is not paying attention to the entire field. Even if the shooter is pinned down until backup arrives, it will hopefully save lives. Indeed, this is why I think more people should be weapon trained and why we need to accept this as a culture and why weapons should be readily available, although with a limitation on the availability of assault weapons through regulation and market control.
If you’re protecting your home, you probably won’t know that someone is breaking in until they’re too close to use an AR to fight them off. You’d be better off with a handgun or a shotgun. If you’re preparing for the zombie apocalypse, or you expect there to be a full-blown liberal revolution, then an AR is probably the way to go, except that liberals are more likely to peacefully protest and stand in the way of a physical location (aka the Occupy movement).
This discussion isn’t only about insane people on suicide missions. What about desperate people who rob convenience stores or individuals, or break into occupied homes?
When the Republicans, ONCE AGAIN, ruin the economy for political gain, there will be many more desperate people who will turn to crime and violence to make ends meet. These aren’t people on suicide missions; they want to stay alive. Those that are desperate will turn to any means at their disposal to stay alive. If they sense that the risk of using a weapon to forcibly obtain resources is minimal, then they will use the weapon, and might kill anyone who stands in the way.
Would they take the chance to commit a home invasion or a robbery if the chances of there being armed people around was very high? As long as people are openly wishing and hoping for an immediate transformation into a utopian society free of weapons and violence, violent criminals will operate with impunity. The best defense is a good offense, which is why we need more people with guns, not less.
To address his original point, I agree that it is appalling that we allow this to happen over and over again.
Why aren’t there multiple heavily armed guards in every school?
Aside from no one wanting to pay for it, the number of incidents compared to the population is so low that an extreme measure like this will never be deemed worth the cost by those making the decisions.
Instead, if more regular people carried weapons, there would be a lower chance of inflicting mass casualties in situations such as these. This shooter would never have been able to kill 26 people using multiple weapons before being pinned down or neutralized. All he would have to do is empty a clip and need to reload or switch weapons to open the window for the defender or defenders to take him out. If he is facing down a hall and firing, someone can walk up behind him and put a round into the back of his skull, and he is finished. Even if the defender used a combat knife of some sort, all he would need is an opportunity. Hide behind a corner, wait for the shooter to pass, sneak up behind him and shove the knife into his brain stem, rampage over.
Some have suggested that friendly fire is a real concern if there were more armed people in public. Those are valid concerns, and any injury or death caused by friendly fire is a tragedy. However, lives will be saved even with friendly fire considered.
Here’s an example: The hostile starts the attack and kills six targets before running out of ammo and reloading. If a defender shoots at the target and kills two friendlies, but takes out the hostile before he can reload and start killing again, then the total number of fatalities is 8, not 26. We tend to focus on body count and not the horrific nature of the incident and what could have happened given the facts.
If this scenario had been what happened in Sandy Hook, or Aurora, or any other mass shooting, we would probably not even be talking about gun control, as we have seen with all of the recent incidents where an armed civilian or off-duty officer was in the right place and the wrong time, and acted with courage to stop an attacker. You hardly hear about those.
I apologize for the graphic details, but we will never live in a progressive utopia, free of weapons and senseless violence, and we need to take the steps to be prepared to deal with these situations when they happen.
Perhaps principals, secretaries, and janitors should all be trained and armed. We already live in an age where many additional responsibilities are piled on people in these roles with no thought given to the quality of their output or the time required to fulfill these responsibilities.
The only real issue with this idea is that school districts are closely tied to their communities, and parents making decisions about where to live and where their children should go to school will probably not like that the community is deemed dangerous enough to require armed guards for protection, which will negatively impact tax revenue as residents leave the community. This is why you will never see anything like this happen.
Indeed, it seems as though the best way to handle this, for now, is to put more covertly armed people on the streets, and to be more accepting of gun culture while addressing the root causes of this issue according to a UN study: economic despair, inadequate healthcare systems, and a stigma regarding mental illness and treatment.
This is going to be quite chilling, but it doesn’t take much to walk up behind someone and place him/her in a grasp and snap the neck.
People have been killing each other for millions of years (or thousands depending upon your beliefs) before guns existed.
This is not a gun control issue; this is a senseless violence control issue, which will encompass a wide array of mental health and domestic violence prevention topics among others, the least important of which is gun control.
We cannot skip steps in this journey. We have a dangerous situation in our society right now, and before we can change directions, we have to address the present situation and realities.
If we want to decrease gun violence rates, put more guns into the hands of the people, and make the punishments for gun violence more severe and immediate. One way to do that is for perpetrators to have the possibility of being killed immediately during or after the attack by bystanders, which will only happen if there are more armed and trained individuals around.
We also need to focus on economic recovery without obstruction, and on improving our ability and willingness to seriously address mental health issues without social denigration and further obstruction. We can naturally decrease demand for weapons and the rate of gun violence when these critical issues are addressed.
However, when it comes to our current situation, the best defense is a good offense, which is why we need more people with guns, not less. These types of tragedies should serve as ever-present chilling reminders that the only change to “gun culture” should be a giant increase in the number of people involved in that culture.