Commenters on my previous post are accusing me of politicizing the horrible carnage in Aurora, CO. I wasn’t doing so in that post. But it’s not wrong to have a political discussion in the aftermath of this senseless attack. What happened in Aurora is a symptom of a societal problem which can only be solved with a political solution.
Our problem is it’s simply too easy to assemble an arsenal of weaponry in this country. Our gun related death rate and injury compared to other first world countries is absurd. Other countries number in the tens, while we number in the thousands. These countries all have stricter gun laws. Similarly within the US, gun related deaths and injuries are lowest in the states with the strictest laws. And these mass murders mostly occur in the states with the most lax regulations. These things are not unrelated.
To be clear, I’m not against responsible gun ownership. I come from a family of gun owners. I’m the only one who has never so much as picked up a gun. I don’t think we should ban them, but we clearly need better controls on purchasing them when a kid like the Aurora shooter can assemble an outfit like this in only two months.
Which should also put the rest the misguided notion of the gun rights people who claim if only there had been more armed patrons in the theater, they could have taken out the shooter before he killed and injured so many people. More people shooting guns in a darkened theater, filled with acrid smoke and a panicked crowd would unlikely have led to less mayhem.
What would have lessened the death toll would have been if it had been more difficult for the shooter to obtain rapid fire weapons and 6,000 rounds of the kind of ammo that makes it possible to injure close to 100 people in just a few minutes. Certainly these guns have no sporting purpose. These are military grade guns which were designed to do one thing. Kill people. There’s no reason to allow anyone to carry them on our streets or use them outside of a firing range. [graphic via]