Every time there is a tragedy like Connecticut or Portland or Columbine takes place the call goes out to ban guns. Restrict guns. Ban automatic weapons. If not now, when?
And the argument has merit
As an avid hunter and the owner of several guns – both rifles and hand guns – I agree with the idea of restricting the ownership of guns. Fortunately, we already have rules/laws regarding the ownership of weapons. There are a few places those restrictions could be enhanced, such as gun auctions and gun shows, but for the most part, guns are restricted in this country.
If you want to carry a concealed weapon in America, you have to be licensed by the county or state you live in. Some restrictions in this area are pretty stiff. You have to have a good reason for anyone to license you to walk around with a pistol in your pocket. In Idaho, however, you can buy groceries in Albertsons with a Glock 9MM strapped to your belt in clear view. Yet, we have little or no problems with people carrying weapons in businesses here, unless you pay attention at hunting season. I carry a pistol sometimes when I'm going into a store because it's a pain to take it off.
Guns kill people, sure, right...well, actually bullets kill people, but guns are the delivery system. However, people are killed with hammers, screwdrivers, saws, boards, bats, poison, cars, TNT, fertilizer, gas. Almost anything you can think of has been used in the demise of some citizen. Do we ban these instruments and tools? Of course not, and we shouldn't ban guns either. Guns are tools in the hands of someone who knows how to handle them. That's the key, knows how to handle them. Put a screwdriver in the hands of someone who doesn't know how to use it and h/she will probably injure h/herself. With proper care and handling, guns are tools and just that, nothing more.
When we get over the sorrow and outrage at the mass killings, we are going to find out that the people responsible were disturbed and should have gotten psychological help long before those terrible events occurred. I am saddened like everyone else. I am angry right along with everyone else, but I still don't believe my guns should be taken away and neither does any red blooded hunter or gun owner in America [and there are whole bunch of us].
Next, let's look at the weapons these people used. First of all, they were not automatic weapons. They were 'semi' automatic weapons. I know that sounds like quibbling and nitpicking, but there is a reason to define them correctly. Semiautomatic means that the shooter has to pull the trigger every time the weapon fires. The gun still fires pretty quickly, but not automatically. We have all kinds of semiautomatic weapons today, including shotguns, pistols, and rifles. They are used for hunting and target shooting and professional shooting. In the hands of people who know and use these weapons, they are nothing more than tools...in the hands of criminals and disturbed individuals, they are deadly. Neither criminals nor disturbed individuals should have access to weapons...OF ANY KIND. That is what happened in Portland, Colorado and Connecticut. Those individuals had no business with weapons in their hands had them in their hands.
The knee jerk reaction to this is to restrict all guns. Take 'em all away that way there will never be another one of these incidents. But this is not the answer. You can no more stop us from having guns any more than you can restrict people from making bombs or distributing poison [remember the medicine poisonings that brought about more safety measures in the making and distributing over the counter meds?]. There are also ways of killing people en masse using water or air as distribution points; hard to ban those.
My point is, if someone wants to kill, it's very difficult to stop h/her. All we can do is try to keep these individuals from going over the mental deep end and that's not always possible.
So, let's take a breath. Let's settle down. Let's start looking at the individual with the weapon rather than the weapon itself. By itself, the weapon kills no one. Only in the hands of someone bent on destruction does a weapon do damage...and that weapon could be almost anything.