First off, I would like to express my condolences and sadness for what happened to the people in Sandy Hook Elementary. NO excuse for such ridiculously insane violence.
Now let me surprise you a little bit….I am an NRA member. However, I am also open to dialogue about guns (see other post with “Dialogue” in title).
It’s been a good while since this totally aberrant violence occurred. However, I am sure that for the relatives of those killed, it is still very tender and painful. I understand that because I am a husband and father, and I have a concept of how I would feel if I lost any of my family members in any way, especially in such a senseless, random act of violence.
I am soooo very sorry that this happened.
I am NOT trying to use it as a springboard to elevate my views on guns, gun control, or anything else. However, I do have some observations that I wish to respectfully share regarding this horrid massacre of innocents.
Guns were wrongly accessible to a young (killer) who was already known to be “disturbed.” That access was stupid and it costed the lives of innocent children and educators. I still personally and sincerely mourn this loss myself I assure you. It was soooo unnecessary and just plain awful!
Second, I do have a beef with the school itself. Their access was not regulated well enough because they probably didn’t think they needed heavy protection. Well, looks like they were wrong doesn’t it?
Ok, now, some misperceptions regarding the actual weapon used….the AR-15 is actually a small caliber rifle (.223 / 5.56 NATO). Although it did a TON of killing that day, I can assure you that there are a vast amount of other weapons that could have easily matched or outmatched said damage. So, it just does not make sense to me for anyone to fixate on the weapon used, as if it were the root cause of the problem, and as if banning it will prevent attacks of this nature in the future.
That being said, the AR-15 is NOT the most accurate rifle in the firearms realm, nor is it the best firearm for anything, including military combat. They use M16A2’s last I checked. That may be different now, but I have been retired from the military for a while and therefore cannot be totally certain. In any case, to say it is a weapon that is designed “just for soldiers” is inaccurate. The rifle, to a sportsman, is a “plinking” toy, meaning that it is used to hit small targets at short distances. It is not suitable for small targets at long distances. I know because I bought one, owned it for about 3 months, and took it back because it’s accuracy at 100 yards just didn’t suit me. I’m personally a precision rifleman, and this AR-15 is anything but a precision rifle. Oh, it was ok to play with at the range, where I safely take my firearms for target shooting, but beyond the 50 yard line, it was doggone useless except for large targets which required little discriminatory aim.
Anyway, the AR-15 was used in Newtown, and has since been vilified, and people want to ban it. Go ahead and ban it if it makes you happy. To me it is a piece of crap firearm anyway. As a well trained soldier type person, I can tell you that just as much damage could have been done at Newtown with a pistol with several pre-loaded, LOW capacity magazines. It takes but a second to drop and reload a magazine you see? Heck, one can drop the shells out of a revolver and use a speed loader to reload nearly as fast as a semi-auto magazine anyway. But, that one second I mentioned, multipied by let’s say an average of 3 shots per person that tragically lost their life in this school, would end up being around 4-6 seconds different total than the AR-15. So the magazine capacity MAY (but probably not) have changed the death toll by -2 people at best. Yes, those 2 lives are worth more than any firearm! I’m just saying that all the hubbub and carrying on about “Assault Rifles like the AR-15” is sort of not very logical. To me, the fuss should be about proper and responsible weapons storage in a private home. That woman’s firearms should have been locked in a gun vault, and on top of that, keyed, over-the-trigger locks in place. Had those weapons been stored in such a manner, that loon would have not been able to use her weapons to kill her and others. Period.
I have heard that the lunatic boy had been basically locked in his room by himself for around three months before the tragedy, and that he had only spoken to his mother on the cell phone. Tell you what — if that were one of my kids, they would be hauled to the closest mental health facilities as quickly as possible, and would certainly have no way of accessing my firearms. Again, a missed responsibility of the mother. Sad. True. Tragic.
ALL of that stuff being said, I have seen movements in our country that want to do things from tightening laws, to a total gun ban.
A total ban isn’t going to happen folks. It just isn’t. You see, the Police Officers who would have to confiscate all the weapons, are citizens too, and I’m sure that they have extended family members who own weapons. In my opinion, a vast majority of officers asked to perform mass firearms seizures, would probably just walk off the job and go home. If I were a policeman, that’s exactly what I would do. Sorry, but it is simply the truth.
So what is after that? The national guard? The military against citizens? Do you have any idea what a Nationwide riot would occur if that happened??? Sure, the military out-arms the citizens, but are they willing to shoot their families in a conflict driven by a simple fear and (I say this respectfully) “ignorance” regarding firearms? I’m here to tell you that all hell would break loose in America in such a case. Do we really want to go there? More people killed? For what? For owning a gun?
No, a ban isn’t the way to go. Progressive change is the answer my friends. Open dialogue between actual gun owners and actual anti-gun activists, in a respectful manner where people hear each other, give due consideration to everyone’s thoughts and opinions, and then work out a compromise of some sort.
Just because I am an NRA member, does NOT mean I am not open to discussing progressive changes to gun laws. I do not feel additional stacks of legislation is really needed, but rather that the current stacks of laws needs to be modified a bit. Look around this blog and see my suggestions for such modifications and then tell me I’m a close-minded, gun toting, knuckle dragging hick. Go ahead, have a look and then evaluate objectively what you see, and then respond in kind. THAT is how it all begins to diffuse…when citizens of different opinions can have an open dialogue about an obviously important issue, then we can move forward to ensure that criminals and idiots/hotheads/druggies/alcoholics, etc., cannot obtain firearms, oh, or youth who have been locked in their room for 3 months….
Again, you who were affected directly by the shootings in Newtown, I am sooooo very sorry for your loss(es), and I pray that you can heal from them. However, I recognize that these were your children (for the most part), and your wives or husbands or (x) people you knew….it was senseless, could is just so utterly mean and hateful and violent and sad that I wish I could resurrect that woman AND her son just so I could kill them again. And I live in Ohio and was not even directly affected….so I really honestly can’t even imagine how YOU must feel.
But seriously folks, regarding the guns and gun control and all that stuff, how about we discuss it instead of simply throwing demands and trite rhetoric about guns at each other?
Tell me your story. Tell me your opinion on what I have said. Tell me your opinion about gun laws in general (or in specifics), or whatever else you wish to say. Feel free. I will not moderate out any posts on this particular topic. You have my word as a man, and as a Patriot, and as a soldier.
May the Peace of God that surpasses all understanding be upon you all as you continue to grieve your losses and try to go on with your individual lives as best as you are able.
Blessings and Prayers,