Years ago, by bitter coincidence, I went to a Gun Control Panel, hosted by Melissa Kane and Rob Simmelkjaer, who were running for Westport, CT Selectmen (mayors). Connecticut Against Gun Violence (CAGV) was there, as well as Newtown Action Alliance, and Sandy Hook Promise. Congressman Jim Himes showed up, as well. While we lauded CT’s great work in gun control, we realized that our state is not insular, and much work lies ahead to improve the safety and security of gun usage across our country. Meanwhile, I thought to myself, “Wow, we haven’t had a public shooting in a while”.
This Monday morning, that insight expired. Fifty-eight dead, 515 wounded, 10 rifles found in the shooter’s room, and automatic shooting for “five to ten minutes”. What should have been a fun night for 22,000 people turned into the biggest nightmare for them.
Don’t blame poor security at the Mandalay Bay for this. There’s a lot of everything going on in their 3,300 rooms.
The blame is on Nevada’s gun laws for allowing this man to not only purchase all his ammo, but somehow take regular guns and make them automatic. I’m not a gun expert, so I don’t how that happens. And you don’t even need a damn permit to buy a gun there. Yes, I’m going to compare this to getting a license to drive a car.
I get that people want to own guns. My ex-stepfather owns a gun store. He supports gun permits, licenses, and safety equipment. He abhors gun show sales, as they require less paperwork, and slack purchase transactions. I know gun owners, with children. Most are extremely careful with their weapons’ storage; others I’m not so sure. I understand the sport of hunting. Well, I feel better about it if you tell me you actually eat what you shoot, and it’s not endangered.
But “The right to carry” and “Second Amendment” and “Our forefathers’ intention” excuses are stale. Ninety percent of Americans believe there should be universal background checks. Yet, when this was presented in Congress, it didn’t pass. Why are assault weapons and high capacity magazines still available? What good are they to anybody outside of military or professional security? Why is there currently a Hearing Protection Act that allows anybody to purchase a gun silencer to protect their hearing? I mean – come on – get earmuffs. Why can’t the senate ignore the NRA’s alibis, excuses, and pandering so that we can drastically reduce the number of gun deaths (500,000 last year)?
Next ridiculous argument – criminals will always find a gun. Ok, great. But do we need to make it easier for them?
How many people have to be affected by this to improve our Second Amendment? Why can’t the NRA take a stand to make gun ownership a more serious responsibility? Hiding behind the Second Amendment is not maintaining our liberties. It’s taking them away, as our nation has to become more vigilant with metal detectors, increased security personnel, and the fear of walking into a concert and hope no one’s going to freely shoot at you for five minutes. Own up on who is really to blame for this.