In the meantime, let me point you to several exceptional pieces on the Internet. The first is from Say Uncle:
A 20 year-old had a couple of handguns (illegal). And, depending on the press report, had an assault weapon (illegal), automatic rifle (illegal), or machine gun (illegal). Shot his mom in the face (illegal). Stole his mom’s vehicle (illegal). Transported the gun in the vehicle (illegal) within 1,000 feet of a school (illegal). Carried it onto school property (illegal). Broke and entered (illegal). Carried a gun in a school (illegal). Discharged a firearm (illegal). Shot at people (illegal). Killed some people (illegal). Killed himself (not sure if illegal).The next is from my good friend Paul Markel, host of Student of the Gun:
Society’s well meaning, but totally deluded sheep, are obsessed with their little white signs and placards declaring this building or that to be a “No Gun Zone” or “No Weapons Permitted”. (Unless of course you are a homicidal maniac and don’t give a damn about the sign, then feel free.) Ask any cop how effective a civil protection order or restraining order is. It’s a piece of paper, nothing more. Shiny placards, clever little signs, and policy papers don’t stop crime. They might give the prosecutor one more charge to hang on the guy if he’s ever brought to trial, but they don’t stop crime. You can’t sterilize the world.From Jeffrey Goldberg writing in The Atlantic:
People should have the ability to defend themselves. Mass shootings take many lives in part because no one is firing back at the shooters. The shooters in recent massacres have had many minutes to complete their evil work, while their victims cower under desks or in closets. One response to the tragic reality that we are a gun-saturated country is to understand that law-abiding, well-trained, non-criminal, wholly sane citizens who are screened by the government have a role to play in their own self-defense, and in the defense of others (read The Atlantic article to see how one armed school administrator stopped a mass shooting in Pearl Mississippi). I don't know anything more than anyone else about the shooting in Connecticut at the moment, but it seems fairly obvious that there was no one at or near the school who could have tried to fight back.From Reason.com, another intelligent analysis:
The general decline in gun-related violence and the inability even of mental health professionals to identify future mass killers should be the essential starting points of any serious policy discussion generated by the absolutely horrific slaughter at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. We should also add a third starting point: Few good policies come from rapid responses to deeply felt injuries.This is from John Fund at National Review Online:
Almost all of the public-policy discussion about Newtown has focused on a debate over the need for more gun control. In reality, gun control in a country that already has 200 million privately owned firearms is likely to do little to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals. We would be better off debating two taboo subjects — the laws that make it difficult to control people with mental illness and the growing body of evidence that “gun-free” zones, which ban the carrying of firearms by law-abiding individuals, don’t work.This heartfelt piece from The Truth About Guns publisher Robert Farago, a person I with whom I often take issue:
A good man will do the right thing. It is his nature. But if you disarm him (or her) you make it more difficult for the good man to confront and defeat evil. You allow evil to fester, spread and destroy all that is good in our world, if not the world itself. In just three minutes, Adam Lanza destroyed the safe little world of Newtown Connecticut. In truth, it was never safe. In truth, none of us are safe. All of us, especially those caring for our children, should be prepared.Finally a quote from the Internet that is being attributed to actor Morgan Freeman, although I cannot find the direct attribution (and given his views on guns, unlikely)...the words are true, regardless of who said them:
You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why. It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single victim of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.
So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next. You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.