By Alan Bean
A shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school this morning has left 27 people dead, 18 of them children.
What is there to say? We ask why anyone would want to carry two automatic weapons into a public place and start shooting. There is no good answer to that question. But we know that every so often somebody does just that. The public place might be a theater, or a mall, but schools seem to have a particular attraction for young white men with guns.
The Connecticut outrage may be the worst such event in American history. Unfortunately, that record won’t stand for long.
According to FOX news personalities it is tacky to argue for gun control in the wake of yet another tragedy. We shouldn’t make important decisions while we’re still reeling in shock. If people want to kill they will find a way. After all, guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
But the people intent on killing people make a much better job of it if they can get their hands on an automatic weapon. I have no problem with the guy next door having a hunting rifle under lock and key, but there is no justification for any American civilian owning a weapon designed for killing lots of people quickly.
That’s all they’re good for.
And that’s why they should be banned.
13 thoughts on “Connecticut shooting rampage could be the worst yet”
Here we go again!
Take it a step further. Ban all lethal weapons. We have the technology now to create non-lethal means of defending ourselves. You can stun or incapacitate a person trying to attack you, then run away, and everyone lives another day to try to work out the problems in their lives.
Then again, what kind of world do we live in where you have to convince people by legal force to stop using lethal force? Wouldn’t it be nice if people freely chose not to be violent? I’ve personally never bought any kind of gun because the idea of shooting someone just seems unpleasant.
I bought, legally I suppose, my first gun when I was 12 years old. (I’m 79 now). I ordered a 12 gauge, J. C. Higgins bolt action shotgune out of the Sears Roebuck Catalog. I had my own checking account and sent a check with the order. I bought it for a duck hunting gun. I never killed a duck with it but did kill a rattlesnake, maybe a jackrabbit or two, and a nuisance stray tomcat that was killing chickens and baby kittens. I lent that gun to a neighbor boy who was shooting jackrabbits at night from the back of a pickup. He dropped it and broke it and gave me another 12 gauge shotgun to replace it. I don’t remember ever firing a shot from that gun. I sold it to a guy in Tulia, for $20. I think, when I went off to study for ministry some 54 years ago. I have not owned a gun since.
When Alan and Nancy Bean lived inTulia, the son of the warden at the Tulia prison resportedly told one of Alan and Nancy’s sons at school, “My dad says your dad and Charles Kiker are the most dangerous people in Swisher County.” Our two households were two of the small minority of Swisher households where no firearms were present. But in some sense the warden was right. We were very dangerous people to the status quo in Tulia. The pen is mightier than the sword.
The Incarnate Word is mightier still, so Herod wanted to destroy all the baby boys around Bethlehem, trying to get that One who might bring in the kingdom of God on earth. And Matthew remembered a passage from the prophet Jeremiah:
“A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children . . .”
A note, more on subject: Connecticut has fairly stringent gun regulation laws. The guns the shooter had were all apparently properly registered in the name of the shooter’s mother, who was herself a victim of the crime. Why did she need two handguns and a semiautomatic rifle? Apparently she died at the hands of her son, part of the price she paid for the right to bear arms. Twenty children and six adults at that elementary school also paid the ultimate price. To say nothing of the other children and adults at that school who may well experience some kind of post traumatic stress syndrome. To say nothing of twenty sets of parents who have lost their children.
We need to take a careful look at the second amendment, including that “well regulate militia” phrase. When studying the Bible, I always try to keep in mind the context in which it was written. What did it mean in that context? What does it mean in our context? I think jurists should follow that principle when interpreting the Constitution, especially the second amendment. What did it mean in that context? And what does it mean in our context?
We are living in a society where murder,rape and numerous degenerate activities are presented as entertainment 365 days a week, along with video games that extoll mass murder so this is just the natural culmination of it. I’m watching this in tears. As a mother of two children I can’t even imagine what I would do in a similar situation. What immediately came to my mind was an article I read a few days ago on my native Vancouver which is often presented as one of the most liveable cities with the safest neighborhoods in the world but only now I realize that you are never truly protected anywhere especially when children are exposed to this kind of evil from their early childhood.
I agree with Dr. Kiker. I come from Michigan where everybody has a gun, including me once upon a time. I would like to add that we need more Mental Health facilities. We spend so much on military camps around the world and aircraft carriers and on and on. We need Mental Health facilities.
Just as there are two clauses in the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law . . .” and the clause establishing freedom of religion, there are two clauses in the Second Amendment: the freedom to bear arms and a well regulated militia. I think, politically and practically, we should begin to talk about regulating firearms rather than controlling them. We should appeal to the Second Amendment and appeal to the regulation clause. We are not overturning the Second Amendment, we are seeking to bring its intent to bear as interpreted from its context to ours.
I have long thought about the WELL REGULATED MILITIA phrase as it was intended to apply to arms and found no justification for individual possession of rapid fire automatic weapons.
Gene, I agree, but SCOTUS by 5-4 disagreed.
I am trying to make sense of this from a civil libertarian perspective in the midst of the noise being made on every extreme, but few voices seem to have addressed Southern Urban Reality. FoJ readers should be quite familiar with life in the Deep South, where there is a decades-long campaign to disarm – Well! – shall I say ‘brown people’ [usually with the euphemism du jour, and any Southerner knows that those making the calls for many such policies are the ones who will, certainly, never be disarmed.
Even though I left the area at the time of his death, I had been somewhat acquainted with Ronald Madison, one of the many reasons I am painfully aware a total breakdown of government can occur, even in 21st Century America.
I just really see a problem with approaching this with naïvety , considering that within 40 miles of my adopted home in central Mississippi, there are likely multiple million dollar marijuana grows and moonshine operations. The manufacture of even heavy weapons/ammo is not all that complicated, even the Soviets could do it.
There are good arguments all views of this issue, but color me ‘dubious’. Although I am never quite sure what to think of him, perhaps there was a reason Mr. Justice Thomas reached past the 14th Amendment, to the Civil Rights Act of 1866, in Heller and McDonald.
From Nick Gillespie at Reason Magazine:
”Few good policies come from rapid responses to deeply felt injuries. Many of the same people who are now calling for immediate action with regard to gun control recognize that The Patriot Act, rushed through Congress in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, was a terrible piece of legislation that ultimately did nothing to protect Americans even as it vastly expanded the state’s ability to surveil law-abiding citizens. There’s no reason to think that federal, state, or local gun control laws promulgated now would result in anything different.”
Another recent Reason article: Controlling Guns, Controlling People: A new history shows how gun control goes hand in hand with fear of black people—and The People.
Dennis, Some of us readers are not from the South and we don’t know the code words. I have no idea what your comment is all about but it sounds interesting. Up North we don’t think about racial issues all the time, except in Detroit.
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