A History of Violence

There are still so many questions to be answered regarding yesterday’s horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.  One thing I know for certain: our country needs a change.

This most recent shooting occurred just three days after our nation’s previous public shooting.  On Tuesday, a man opened fire at a mall in Portland, Oregon, killing two people.

In July of this year, I wrote about the terrifying Colorado movie theatre massacre that left 12 people dead and 58 injured.

The following month a gunman opened fire in a Sikh temple, killing 6 people and injuring four others.

Sikh Temple

Details are still emerging from the most recent event that resulted in the deaths of 20 children and 6 adults, but we do know a lot about the prior cases.

How does this continue to happen?  In the case of the Oregon tragedy, the shooter stole the weapon he used.  Worth noting, the state of Oregon does not require gun owners to report when their weapons are stolen nor does it require a license or registration to carry a firearm.

The weapon used in Oregon was an AR-15 rifle, the same weapon used in the Colorado shooting.  The AR-15 was previously banned under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act.

We have two major issues regarding gun control, and it is time our political leaders began discussing them.  We clearly need stronger national gun laws.  How is it not mandatory in every state for gun owners to file a report when their firearms are stolen?  Or that there is not a national register tracking the amount of ammunition and weapons purchased by an individual?  Neither of which would restrict the right to own a firearm.

As we quickly learned with Colorado shooter James Holmes (and years earlier with the Columbine tragedy), we also need to make healthcare more accessible to those suffering from mental illness.

Last year’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that only 7.1% of U.S. adults received mental health services.

However, a portion of the country is seemingly not ready for an adult conversation on either topic.

Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee appeared on the network explaining Friday’s shooting:

“When we ask why there is violence in our schools, but we’ve systematically removed God from our schools.  Should we be so surprised that schools have become a place for carnage because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, responsibility, accountability?”

I seem to remember the Catholic Church having a MAJOR problem a few years back involving children… and I’m pretty sure God was front and center in that institution.

However, earlier in the day, the network used their detective skills to blame the Sandy Hook shooting as a potential result of video games, reality television and even Facebook.

Our nation clearly has a problem with gun violence, and the most frustrating aspect is watching our Congress stand by and do nothing.  Then again, how can one be surprised when the list of contributions by the NRA reads like a congressional phone book?

Not a single piece of new legislation was introduced after the Colorado tragedy, the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting, or after any of the ten other multiple shootings that occurred this year:

I can’t think of a worse thing of which to make a trend.

Who is the most vocal group after an event like this?  Gun advocates… again.

Their concern is seemingly not to prevent a future loss of life, but to preserve their rights that nobody is discussing taking away or even limiting.

A stop by the National Rifle Association’s Facebook page will have you quickly questioning the sanity of a faction of our population.  A sampling:

  • “I KNEW the liberal anti-gun nut cases would start with the “think of the children, save the children” bullcrap!”
  • “armed citizens freed us from england so we could have the first free country … people who wana ban the constitution should move to a country thats already not free”

The idea that the 2nd Amendment would ever be abolished is simply ludicrous.  What I have trouble understanding is: how can this group go into an irrational panic when nobody is even discussing the subject of reform on a federal level?

To quote Bonnie Raitt, “Let’s give them something to talk about.”

3 thoughts on “A History of Violence

  1. Legalize pot, I’ve never met an angry high person. Seriously though, yes I would say more regulation is needed in terms of gun ownership ranging from purchasing ammunition to what types of guns are legal. However, federal and state legislation, as mentioned is not enough. It has to partnered with responsible ownership, education, mental health awareness by the general public, and preventative measures from communities, businesses, schools and other institutions such as hospitals, gun organizations, community groups, etc.

    Because guns will always be around, preventative measures to such incidents can be practiced. Sandy Hook had procedures in place for such an incident like many schools across the country. Teaches and staff did an excellent job at reacting and following procedures. However, it could have been prevented.

    Sandy Hook was a closed campus, meaning all outside doors were locked at all times, requiring one to buzz in to enter the school. It is my guess that there was no direct line of sight from the main office and no security and the main entrance. I highly doubt that the assault rifle was concealed. This was a very preventable incident in which access was gained to an individual blindly and had he been seen outside of the school during his approach, law enforcement would have been notified even before he reached the door to ring the buzzer.

    • I completely agree, Patrick. We need enforced regulations, new legislation and an emphasis on mental health accessibility reform combined with a cooperation and understanding from the public in addition to other groups you mentioned above.

      I applaud Senator Feinstein for introducing a new assault weapons ban bill so quickly. It is an excellent start.

      After I published this piece, it was confirmed by Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance that the shooter had and used multiple high-capacity magazines… which would be banned under the new legislation introduced by Sen. Feinstein.

      Regarding entry, it doesn’t sound like it was granted by the school staff. According to Lt. Vance, it was forcible but he did not elaborate.

      Going back to policy briefly, i mentioned in a previous post select states that are required to report the sales of two or more semi-automatic rifles larger than a .22 caliber. I would like to see a version of this extended on a national level, amended with a notification of any sale of large quantities of ammunition.

      Thanks for stopping by the site, Patrick!

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