The rash of shootings this last year or so, is not the result of a lack of gun control. There are an estimated 300 Million guns in our country, not counting antiques, war momentous, and other firearms. Justice Scalia and the Supremes have extended the Second Amendment to protecting yourself, your family, and your home. We all know that criminals have easy access to guns and rifles and that there is not enough law enforcement to protect all of us, also taking into consideration that many experienced law enforcement officers are retiring. That being said, the tragic shooting in Connecticut has brought gun control issues to the forefront of our national consciousness which also conflicts with a core American value, which is the right to bear arms and the right to own as many weapons as one can afford.
This means that a ban of weapons is unlikely as is a ban against assault weapons. Assault weapons are typically rifles with large capacity magazines that utilize military ammunition, such as .223 Remington or the NATO round which is 7.76 mm. These weapons are plentiful as are AK-47's which also shoot a military round. These weapons were readily available in California until the year, 2000, but the law did not stop manufacturers from selling less lethal military like weapons. Big 5 Sporting Goods regularly advertises assault type weapons which shoot the less lethal .22 LR round. These rifles can be mistaken by law enforcement for their military counterparts as well.
The solution is not gun control. The national conversation about gun control by control advocates honestly misses the reasons for these gun related atrocities. It seems that many of these events involve 20 year olds who are disenfranchised from reality, either by mental illness, personal issues, or perhaps subliminally by the culture. We see violent video games getting great play in the last few months. The violence may be desensitizing to many of the last few generations, giving those with violent propensities the ability to enact the violence they see on the screen. Violent movies seem to do well at the box office, even those that do display the blood and gore resulting from weapons.
Another factor is just plain mathematical probabilities. We have 260 Million people in our great country and a certain percentage are statistically going to commit evil and heinous crimes using guns. If we look at the instances of gun violence today, these occurrences are much less than .1 per cent.
What all this means to me is that gun control is an emotional issue which could have harmful effects both ways. A vast majority of gun owners are responsible people and we do not hear about them, ever. They lock their guns in gun safes and use their guns responsibly. Perhaps a deterrent would be a national or statewide Concealed Carry Permit akin to those issued by the Texas Division of Safety. The statistics bear out that if criminals know that a citizen is carrying his or her weapon it acts as a deterrent. These permits would require insurance and hours of firearm safety, which would be renewable on a bi-yearly basis. But does this provide a solution to all gun violence? I think not as we do have those who are mentally driven for whatever reason to commit horrific crimes. We have seen this all over the world and the tragedies are amplified when children are the victims. The gist of this is that gun control is not the issue with the greater issue being the culture we live in. Violence has been desensitized by media and video games. We have at least three generations that are being frustrated by the lack of access to our society and its successes that many of us in our 50's and 60's have enjoyed. There is a lack of respect for personal rights and property rights as well. Our technological age seems to enable immediate gratification which also include immediate violent responses. The music scene, popular to many has also provided an air of lack of responsibility as well as recent events involving NFL players.
The solution to gun violence in our country is that there is no solution. We, as Americans, enjoy so many freedoms, that there is no way we can legislate away weapons or gun violence. What we can do is keep an eye on our culture, a culture that once enveloped respect, that now invites immediate satisfaction at everyone's expense. The events in Connecticut have struck us like a swift slap in the face and we will have a national debate about guns and the right to bear arms, however the debate will subside, hopefully leaving us with the solace that these children and their heroic teachers did not die in vain.