Before I begin, let me get this out. I’m not against gun ownership. Hunting? Fine by me as long as the animals aren’t endangered and you don’t waste the meat. Sports shooting? It’s a lot of fun. Self –defense? If you feel the need but purchase appropriate guns, get trained, and don’t leave your weapons where kids can find them.
All right, I’m not looking to take away people’s guns. I am interested in looking into measures that make it a bit safer for my kids and everyone else’s to watch a movie, take a class, sit in cubicle or eat in a cafeteria without the fear that someone can walk in and within seconds kill or wound dozens of people with legally purchased weapons.
Based on currently available information, the Aurora murderer legally purchased the weapons used to kill and wound his victims, including an AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle with a 100 round drum magazine. I performed a Google search using the terms, “guns for sale” and within less than a minute I found:
Ok, it’s only a 75 round drum mag but it’s been tested and the seller is throwing in two 30’s for nothing all for $750. I can even use PayPal and found no restrictions on purchasing this, “hard hitting and accurate for an assault rifle.”
I cannot think of any hunting, gun sports or self-defense related purpose for owning this weapon. Yet, the NRA spends its enormous political capital ensuring it legality. I understand the NRA’s position that any restriction initiates a ride down the slippery slope of outlawing guns of any kind. However, that’s an unfounded and disingenuous position which survives due to the NRA’s ability to wrap its narrative around a perverted notion of American Freedom.
Freedom to own reasonable and appropriate guns does not mean that outlawing AK-47 assault rifles and similar devastating weaponry is a limitation on that freedom. We should also be free to go to movies and school without undue fear of attacks by unstable individuals with access to legal weapons capable of instantaneous mass murder.
I am not naïve to suggest we can protect ourselves from every individual set on randomly killing people. I am suggesting we don’t make so easy for them.