They had more in common than unleashing carnage _ nearly every gunman in this monthlong series of mass killings was legally entitled to fire his weapons.So what does that say about the state of gun control laws in this country?
The answer is obvious. The state of gun control laws in this country is poor. As much as the gun enthusiasts lament all the gun laws, there doesn't seem to be much difficulty for anyone who wants guns to get them.
Ms. Hastings lists many of the attempts currently in play to lessen the restrictions including the fact that last month, 65 House Democrats said they would block any attempt to resurrect an expired federal ban against assault weapons. In Texas and Arkansas, for example, legislation is pending to loosen gun restrictions.
Jeffrey Chamberlain, a former Rochester prosecutor and chief counsel to the New York State Police says, the answer to gun violence lies not in stricter regulations, but in answering the question, "Why are we so tolerant of having guns in this country? The answer to that is historical. We've had guns for a very long time."
"I can't think of any sweeping law change that would address that."
The answer to why atrocities happen in places such as Binghamton, and before that Washington state and Santa Clara, Calif., lies in sheer numbers.
The number 280 million, to be precise, the estimated total of every gun in this country.
"When you have that many guns, those guns are going to be used in horrific ways," Vogel said. "There's just too many. Inevitably, somehow, some way, those weapons are going to be used in an egregious way."
Now we're talking. Now we're talking about the real problem: too many guns. I've been saying it for months, and it seems I'm not the only one. But, what of the solution? Is there no legislation that could address this problem? Mr. Chamberlain's comment is that no sweeping laws can answer the question why are we so tolerant of having guns in this country?
Could the answer lie in the fact that the NRA and the pro-gun lobby are extremely powerful and block every attempt at improving the situation as far as gun violence goes? Could it be that gun owners individually resist such ideas as "gun flow" contributing to the problem, "gun availability" being key in many incidents and in the much-maligned idea of their sharing in the responsibility for this violence?
If the gun owners are wrong, and the anti-gun folks are right, why doesn't the situation resolve itself naturally? Well, I have a theory about that. A very high percentage of gun owners are passionate about gun rights. A very low percentage of folks who don't own guns are passionate about the debate. The results are apparent on any google search you can think of. The proportion of pro-gun to anti-gun comments on such blogs as my own also tells the tale.
Unfortunately for the pro-gun crowd, having the greater visible numbers on the internet, just like incessant repetition of their claims, does not mean they're right.
I say there are too many guns and something must be done about it. If that means taking another look at the 2nd Amendment and how we interpret it, then good, if that is what's necessary before we can have the types of federal restrictions that would reduce the total numbers.
What's your opinion? Do you think the gun lobby is too strong in America? Do you think in spite of the incredible number mentioned, 280,000,000, the pro-gun folks represent only a minority? Which direction do you see it moving, towards increased gun restrictions or away?
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