Sunday, February 18, 2018

Trying to Get A Handle on Guns

Intellectually, I find it hard to support gun laws as written in much of the country.

I mean, I can understand Trump voters. I understand (even though I don't agree with) voters that want to outlaw abortion or even contraception. I understand voters that believe the tax changes will positively benefit them.

But I have a hard time getting into the mind set of the NRA. Not the members, most of whom seem reasonable, but the NRA itself.

It you look at the laws and responses to gun accidents.

Some outspoken critics say that outlawing guns on campus makes the campus MORE susceptible to mass shootings.  I EVEN understand their thinking.

But an AR-15 is not a sporting weapon. I know that some ex-soldiers, having trained on that weapon, like to target shoot with it. That particular argument does not convince me. Once they leave the army they can't target practice with grenades, tanks, artillery shells or planes anymore. Limiting their access to AR 15s won't hurt anyone.

But even if I buy that argument. Can I limit AR 15 ownership to veterans?

You see, we allow AR 15s (the American answer to AK47s) to anyone, since 2004. Congress let the ban on them expire, saying it hadn't helped. And now, here are all the places where AR 15s have been used in mass shootings in the last three years (link USA Today):
  • March 19, 2015: Justin Fowler, 24, used an AR-15 to kill one and injure two on a street in Little Water, N.M., before he was killed.
  • May 31, 2015: Jeffrey Scott Pitts, 36, used an AR-15 and .45-caliber handgun to kill two and injure two at a store in Conyers, Ga., before he was killed.
  • Oct. 31, 2015: Noah Jacob Harpham, 33, used an AR-15, a .357-caliber revolver and a 9mm semi-automatic pistol to kill three on a street in Colorado Springs, Colo., before he was killed.
  • Dec. 2, 2015: Syed Rizwyan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, 28 and 27, used two AR-15-style, .223-caliber Remington rifles and two 9 mm handguns to kill 14 and injure 21 at his workplace in San Bernardino, Calif., before they were killed.
  • June 12, 2016: Omar Mateen, 29, used an AR-15 style rifle (a Sig Sauer MCX), and a 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistol to kill 49 people and injure 50 at an Orlando nightclub before he was killed.
  • Oct. 1, 2017: Stephen Paddock, 64, used a stockpile of guns including an AR-15 to kill 58 people and injure hundreds at a music festival in Las Vegas before he killed himself.
  • Nov. 5, 2017: Devin Kelley, 26, used an AR-15 style Ruger rifle to kill 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, before he was killed.
  • Feb. 14, 2018: Police say Nikolas Cruz, 19, used an AR-15-style rifle to kill at least 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
AND, because Obama was for it Congress and the administration reversed a rule that prohibited bans based on mental illnesses.

I don't get it.

No comments: