Mike Seebeck at Liberty For All:
It’s been three weeks since Adam Lanza killed his mother, stole her guns, and massacred two dozen innocent children and teachers in Connecticut. In those two weeks we’ve seen the usual hysterics from the anti-gun lunatic fringe and after a delay, similar posturing from the pro-gun right. It’s now time to put the situation into proper perspective.
First, everyone agrees that the massacre was a tragedy, and our hearts and prayers go out to the families of those affected by it. No child should have their innocence forever shattered by watching their classmates, friends, and teachers die. No family should have to bury their child. I know how that feels, having been there and having had to bury my own child. It’s simply Hell.
Second, a disclaimer: I support the Second Amendment, and I firmly believe that attempts to limit its application are both unconstitutional and morally reprehensible. People have the obligation with their right to keep and bear arms the responsibility to do so safely and responsibly, and failure to do so causes tragedy and death. Willful failure to do so should be dealt with severely.
Now onto business. Let’s start with the guns and get that hoplophobia issue set aside.
Guns are simply a tool. They are a device: nothing more, nothing less. Yes, they are a device whose purpose can be lethal (but not necessarily so). Nobody denies that. Guns come in a large variety of shapes and sizes, from the single-shot Derringer like Booth used to assassinate Lincoln, to muzzle-loading black-powder rifles like those used in the American Revolution, to modern hunting rifles and pistols, to machine guns, from small-caliber to large-bore. There are estimates that there are over 300 million firearms amongst the 330 million populace in America. People use them to hunt for both sport and food, to teach hand-eye coordination, marksmanship, and even in Olympic events. And yes, they are used in, and as deterrents to, crimes.