The Wall Street Journal headline reads: “Battle Lines Drawn Over Stricter Gun Laws”; it could just as well read: “Once Again Politicians Manage to Make Nonsense out of Common Sense”.
Proponents of stricter gun laws feel that making it even harder for the average citizen to purchase a gun will somehow stop violent people, who don’t care about gun laws or any other laws, from obtaining guns. That, like so many things proposed as law, makes no sense. No restrictive gun laws will EVER prevent another mass shooting tragedy.
We already have laws on the books that make it very hard for anyone to buy a gun. Stricter anti-gun laws will simply discourage law abiding citizens from going to the trouble of legally purchasing a firearm while the people who intend to use guns to perpetrate violence on other people will still be able to purchase their black market guns, or steal other people’s legally obtained guns, and they will continue to use them to commit crimes. In a most recent case, William Spengler, a convicted felon who could not legally own a gun, set a fire to draw volunteer firemen to the scene and then shot four firefighters, two fatally and two seriously. No gun laws could stop him or will stop the others who will certainly follow. Gun violence is a social problem not a gun problem.
There are knee-jerk reactions in the aftermath of every mass shooting like Colombine, Aurora and Newtown but Newtown, because it was a senseless slaughter of innocent children, has caused the halls of Congress erupt in debate and, as the WSJ headline tells, battle lines have been drawn. There are those who want tougher gun purchase/licensing laws; those who realize that our current laws are sufficient and tougher laws will not reduce the body count or prevent the next mass shooting; those who realize that even this elevated discussion of gun rights is an attack on our Second Amendment rights; and those very few extremists; some who would love to have every gun in America confiscated and melted down and others who want every citizen to have a gun strapped to his or her leg.
It should be obvious to every thinking citizen that the old saying “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is absolutely, unquestionably true. The only effect of keeping the guns out of the hands of normal, stable people is to make them defenseless victims. Our laws should, and do, restrict the legal purchase of guns to American Citizens who do not have criminal records and who have not been adjudged mentally ill or incompetent. What more can we do without tearing the Second Amendment to shreds (not that many of our Senators or Congressmen truly care if the Second Amendment is shredded, as long as they get good publicity and lots of votes the next time they are up for election).
Recommended Reading: “The Face of Evil” by Leona Salazar.