I found myself watching the CBS Q&A with the parents of those children who were gunned down by the homicidal maniac named Adam Lanza. Nobody, including supposed journalist, Scott Pelley, ever took up the defense of the “law of the land” in the United States a brief nine years before–2004 (when the assault weapons ban was allowed to lapse by congress). One brief mention of banning these mass murder machines was stated by one of the mothers who merely mentioned, off-hand that it was an “emotional first reaction” that she thought they should not permit the sale of these assault weapons, but she soon “understood it was too political to be considered as a possible option.”
It was at that moment that I shouted at the TV screen: “You don’t think it is a political act to allow any law-abiding citizen to amass weapons and take them anywhere in the community to kill other innocent and law-abiding citizens?” Death by a gun is by far the highest number in the United States compared to other countries. This site features a comparison/contrast of the U.S. and 10 other countries who still have bans on assault weapons in place. What I want to argue is that the “culture of guns and violence” combined with the “opportunity for using mass-killing machines” like assault rifles makes for this lethal environment in which we wait patiently until the daily headline describes the next shooting at a mall, a school or other civilian area.
In Columbia South America (culture of drugs and violence but still ban assault weapons), there were the most deaths by guns, but I argue that the violent culture was the proximate cause of these deaths. I would wager (I haven’t checked the stats) that most of these deaths were drug and drug cartel related deaths. These kinds of deaths would also happen in the United States if we put back in place the ban on assault weapons, but we would not have the kinds of mass murders by mentally enfeebled inviduals such as we see on the news almost every month now. Also, I don’t believe any kind of background check would be able to stop a person who is mentally imbalanced and set on mass murder. The only way to stop this individual is to not permit him/her to purchase this kind of weapon.
Note that the three killers in the mass killings at Virginia Tech, Colorado “Batman” theater shootings, and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings were all judged “mentally unstable” by professionals in the psychiatric or psychological field, yet each was able to purchase assault weapons without so much as a whimper of protest from any gun dealer. Will these universal background checks stop these killers? No, because the laws right now state that unless you can be proved to be “an immediate danger to yourself or others” you may not be ruled as mentally incompetent. If you are mentally competent, then you can purchase a gun even with a background check. None of these shooters had committed any violent acts or had performed any action that would warrant a “do not permit this person to buy an assault weapon” from a gun dealer selling an assault weapon to him.
Use logic. If Adam Lanza were armed with “only” a pistol or shotgun, he could not have physically been able to load and re-load the ammunition required to kill that many unarmed civilians. However, as the law stands today, as long as a parent or guardian can purchase the guns (as Lanza’s mother did) like the assault weapons used in the crime spree, the danger and temptation will always exist for some permanently or momentarily unstable individual to use these weapons quite easily.
Every policeman I have ever spoken to, and most armed forces veterans (I am one also) know that assault weapons are not meant for hunting, civilian self-defense or any other purpose other than short-range mass killing of other human beings. If we allow anybody (I stress this point in a culture of violence) to have easy access to these weapons, then the only issue we seem to be arguing is the fact that these civilians don’t believe the police or the government can protect them from others or from the government in charge of law and order. If that is a valid argument, then we have agreed that we are living in a chaotic land of anarchy and fear. This may even be so, but does this perpectual state of fear allow us to put our own precious children on the sacrificial stone to be slaughtered so their parents can have their Second Amendment rights? I know people who would, in essence, say “yes.” Hell yes! My freedom to own an assault weapon supercedes the right of the public to be protected from gun-toting psychopaths and criminals. Because why? Well, I’ll just shoot those psychopaths when I see them! But, who is the psychopath in this scenario? Oh, I forgot. We live under the Wild West’s code of justice! The good guys always wear the white hats. Oh, but wait. The police and government employees have become the “bad guys,” right? They want to take my guns away. Ergo, they are also the enemy! Shoot the enemy if they try to take my guns! Goddammit! I’ll shoot them before they shoot me.
Anyway, this argument quickly runs into an emotional quagmire of high bloodpressure and leaps of imagination that loses touch with the reality of how easy it is to pull the trigger on a Bushmaster AR-15. Try using one. It’s easy as hell to swarm a bunch of people’s bodies with rounds of ammo. Why, it’s almost like using the one in the video game Adam Lanza was playing. It’s as easy as putting a gun to your controlling mother’s head and pulling the trigger. It’s as easy as laying out all those “normal” kids in that school that treated you like a retard because you didn’t socialize well with them. Get your gun and go at it, son! Be a man, my boy! Nobody in this country’s gonna stop ya anymore! God save the Second Amendment, and goddamn everyone else who wants to make an exception for 26 kids!
No, there will be no new dawn of gun control that forbids the purchase of assault weapons by the civilian populace. Oh, maybe Vice President Biden has a good old shotgun, but we’ll have those cool assault guns the Army and Marines use on those terrorists. Terrorist. I wonder who defines who a terrorist really is. Could he be me? Not a chance!