The right wing claims such ownership is a Constitutional right which if anybody reads the Second Amendment, they can see says no such thing. Do you see the right to have cannons or any specific weapon?
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.Some say militia means our national guard and the second part of the statement doesn't mean our own right to have guns, but to me, that's not a logical interpretation. Most probably it took into account that at the time often all able bodied men could be called upon by their government to be part of a defense. This was a government without the kinds of arms that it has today.
America has a long history of gun ownership and trying to eliminate all guns not only won't happen, but isn't going to stop mass murderers. Assault rifles though, that's a different story altogether. Seriously you can't stop an intruder threatening your life with a regular gun? If you can't, you shouldn't have it either.
Assault rifles have been used over and over again to shoot so fast that no one can stop the shooter. It enabled 70 to be shot at that theater-- and more would have died had it not jammed. No routine handgun (with a regular magazine) or rifle could do that.
I've heard the arguments why assault rifles are needed-- what if the citizen has to fight their own government? The NRA is supporting a bill in one state that would allow for the times when a citizen has a right to fire on the police. I didn't read the details of the proposed bill but that's the kind of thinking that convinces yahoos they do need an AK-47.
For Obama or Romney to suggest (what both have said before) that there should be a ban on assault rifles would require the kind of courage that I haven't seen in either these days. Because the NRA is so powerful, they can stop Congress from proposing anything with no chance for more draconian measures. The NRA is supported by a very powerful guns and munitions merchandizing business-- around the world.
Farm Boss was in the NRA when we were a young married couple. He and I were both gun owners when we married, and he was in favor of supporting not only the right to own guns but also be well trained in their use. He quit it for some years, but then joined again when there was talk of taking away all guns probably twenty five years ago or more. Then he got so disgusted by how the NRA promoted the right to own human killing weapons that he got out again-- that was about twenty years ago. It looks like they have only gotten more mercenary in the years since.
Some are saying we shouldn't even talk about solutions right now as this is a time to mourn. Or get more clear-headed. Or wait until nobody is talking about it, then discuss solutions. The some who are saying that want nothing done as people in this country only operate under drama queen/king times.
So we are bombarded by who this guy was, as we were after Tucson and after Virginia Tech and after _____________. Fill in the blank as it's been all around the world including that horror in Norway. Does the media realize that they only exacerbate the problem when they give these shooters fame? When they go into their family history back to the Mayflower? Media, despite what they say, doesn't care that they may lead to copycat killers because, as much as arms manufacturing is a big business, so is media.
I don't really care who this guy is. I don't want to know anything about him except one thing-- what can we do to catch someone like him before midnight in a crowded movie theater? At first it sounded as though he was so intelligent, such a successful person, that there were no tell-tall signs; then other information trickled in like--gun club turns down membership request.
As with many of these shooters, it is beginning to sound as though a few people did see something was out of whack with him, but what could they do? What options are in place to look at this kind of person and evaluate what's going on? Our fear of offending someone's rights is running smack into our desire to not see carnage in a mall.
Right now-- pretty much nothing can be done even knowing that schizophrenia does develop at about this age. The thing is most untreated schizophrenia, although hard for the family, difficult to be around, is not deadly. 10% potentially is. Seriously we cannot get a grip on finding these people first for their sake and ours?
Some are suggesting that more people owning guns would be a solution and would have stopped the shooter after only a few deaths. How exactly? Say 20% of the people in that theater were carrying guns, would a shootout have saved lives or cost more? Nobody was going to the theater with an AR-15 at their side.
This man was thoroughly armored. Who would know that when they started shooting at him? The gas canisters he threw out doubtless confused vision (what's with permitting just anybody to buy those?). In a shoot-out, how many more would have been killed by friendly fire which happens even with our trained police and military?
If it's unrealistic to think the government could stop all gun ownership and confiscate what is out there, what about evaluating those who are trying to purchase a gun-- especially the kinds he bought? From what we heard at first, it sounded as though this guy would likely have passed all tests... except now we read this from the shooting club, and it sounds like his problem wasn't so deeply underground as it at first sounded.
Somehow he went into stores, maybe stayed very quiet while doing it and didn't ring any bells. Should it have rung at least one that he purchased so many?
With generally no waiting period to buy a gun in most states, there are no phone call checks which again might've stopped a purchase as it stopped his right to be in that gun club. The NRA, with the support of the right wing, rebel at any waiting period to buy guns, any check on background but they don't over the same kind of thing to get a concealed weapon permit. What's with that?
Another thing that could have helped (besides a ban on assault rifles) would be a computer system that could catch when someone bought so many 'war' weapons within a short period of time as well as all that ammunition online.
Suppose we had the manpower to investigate that kind of mass purchaser (even when he didn't have a Muslim sounding name), maybe do an onsite interview or at least a phone call? Talk to those who know the person? Or have we cut budgets so much that isn't possible?
The thing is a lot of us already worry about 1984 and a police state. Do we want to head further in that direction? Well when it stops the killing of children, I think we should be at least thinking about options. Next time it could be our child or grandchild.
So some potential steps that don't seem draconian to me:
mental health checks on weapon purchasers (phone calls would be good)
no assault rifle purchases to civilians
limits on rifle and gun magazine sizes
Not so much but more people would be alive today if they had been in place. Do we have the courage to stand against the NRA? Our Congress doesn't. But maybe we need to make them more afraid of us than them!
And for god's sake what will it take before we start finding better ways to deal with mental illness? When Gabby Giffords was shot, I said the same thing. What has happened since? Nothing that I know of!