Since the olympics are going on it seems reasonable to use at least one sports metaphor in a blog. Hence, the title. I am sure that most know what I am referring to — the shooting in Aurora, Colorado and then the recent shooting in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and, of course, the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida.
From what I have seen so far, the shooter in Oak Creek, Wisconsin was a retired Army man. He was 40 years old, was given an honorable discharge but his army records shows “patterns of misconduct”. He has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as, “a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band.” Certainly one cannot penalize him for his military training, but the combination of that training and white supremacist tendencies warrants some special care by society before a gun license is issued.
The shooter in Aurora, Colorado was obviously having some mental problems. Why not simply have a national database that can keep track of what types of firearms you have plus the bullets? I don’t know how many guns the shooter in Colorado had but if it were more than one, well, in my mind an attempt to purchase a second one would call for an interview — a very serious interview — with someone from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
If you go shooting, you would need to have some sort of proof that you really did expend your ammunition before you could buy more. Possibly the shooting range would be the only source of bullets — and you had to use them there! Why do you need them at home?
Surely this country has enough wise men and women who could put together some reasonable laws so that someone who likes to go target shooting can have his/her fun, and the rest of us can feel safe.
In some states, such as Texas, if you are in your house and see someone stealing, for example, a lawn ornament you can go and get your trusty AR-15 and blow the fellow away. The untrained gun-owning citizen can do things with his gun that a trained police officer would not be allowed to do with his.
If we look at Florida and, specifically, the George Zimmerman – Travon Martin case, we see that Martin is dead because of the abominably low standards of gun laws in Florida. Zimmerman had a record of violence, but was allowed to walk the streets with a loaded gun. What kind of stupidity by the state is that? Now, Zimmerman, who, as we know, had admitted killing Martin but claimed self defense had previously been charged with resisting arrest with violence and battery. These charges were dropped, but he was also charged with domestic violence. We all know about “plea bargaining” and other legal tricks that lawyers do. It would seem to me that, even though the charges were dropped, the gun permit for that individual should either be suspended or revoked. We need to be erring on the side of public safety, not on the side of the NRA!
Florida gun laws ban cities and counties from regulating firearms without the state’s permission, prevent police from collecting data on firearm sales at pawnshops and forbids adoption agencies from considering gun ownership when looking at placing children. What kind of nuttiness is this!
Don’t we have our priorities just a bit mixed up? In a civilized country there is no room for “stand your ground” laws or buying lethal weapons, bullets, etc., without any sort of responsible record keeping and without very stringent rules as to who can own a gun. I don’t want to hear from anyone who is simply going to quote the 2nd amendment to me. We’ve amended or repealed amendments before.
There is another solution. If we look at recent shootings in Norway and the United States, we find that they were almost all done by White Protestant Males. Maybe all we need do is keep guns from White Protestant Males. But I guess that would be called profiling, wouldn’t it?