First it’s God, who let the shootings happen because he was pouting at being banned from schools. Now, from Salon, we hear that the murders are the result of the bleeding-heart liberals who have banned guns from school zones:
The advocacy group Gun Owners of America [GOA] know exactly how the Newtown massacre might have been averted: Guns in schools.
And in the hours after the tragedy, Larry Pratt, the group’s executive director is calling on state and federal lawmakers to overturn any bans on guns in schools. More hauntingly, he is suggesting gun control advocates “have the blood of little children on their hands.”
Here is his statement [JAC: I've embedded the full statement from the GOA website]:
“They have blood on their hands
A gunman whose name we do not need to memorialize took advantage of our gun control laws to slaughter some 20 children and seven adults in a Newton, Connecticut elementary school.
In addition to the gunman, blood is on the hands of members of Congress and the Connecticut legislators who voted to ban guns from all schools in Connecticut (and most other states). They are the ones who made it illegal to defend oneself with a gun in a school when that is the only effective way of resisting a gunman.
What a lethal, false security are the Gun Free Zone laws. All of our mass murders in the last 20 years have occurred in Gun Free Zones. The two people murdered a couple of days earlier in the shopping center in Oregon were also in a Gun Free Zone.
Hopefully the Connecticut tragedy will be the tipping point after which a rising chorus of Americans will demand elimination of the Gun Free Zone laws that are in fact Criminal Safe Zones.
One measure of insanity is repeating the same failure time after time hoping that the next time the failure will turn out to be a success. Gun Free Zones are a lethal insanity.
We must tell our elected officials that they are acting as the criminals’ friends as long as they continue to support legislation that only protects criminals, not decent people
Oh, and we must also insist that these criminal friendly elected officials not even try to blame gun owners and our “gun culture” for what a criminal did. Had a few of us been available with guns at the Newton school, most of the victims might still be alive.”
The GOA uses as its slogan Ron Paul’s endorsement as “the only no-compromise gun lobby in America.” That’s for sure!
For those who say, “banning guns won’t keep them out of the hands of criminals,” I say, “Bosh!” Make it illegal, as it is in Britain, to own a handgun of any sort, and rifles will be for target shooting only. The Second Amendment to our Constitution was for an armed militia, not for citizens to carry weapons around whenever they feel like it. And I don’t care what the Supreme Court says; there is simply no need for citizens to possess handguns, semiautomatic or otherwise.
Will it work? I think so. Many murders or accidental deaths are caused by the presence of easily-obtained guns lying around, and if you can’t get them, the average citizen won’t bother. Of course there will still be a criminal black market in guns, but with sufficiently tough legislation that should abate.
Here’s what The Economist says:
After a couple of horrible mass shootings in Britain, handguns and automatic weapons have been effectively banned. It is possible to own shotguns, and rifles if you can demonstrate to the police that you have a good reason to own one, such as target shooting at a gun club, or deer stalking, say. The firearms-ownership rules are onerous, involving hours of paperwork. You must provide a referee who has to answer nosy questions about the applicant’s mental state, home life (including family or domestic tensions) and their attitude towards guns. In addition to criminal-record checks, the police talk to applicants’ family doctors and ask about any histories of alcohol or drug abuse or personality disorders.
Vitally, it is also very hard to get hold of ammunition. Just before leaving Britain in the summer, I had lunch with a member of parliament whose constituency is plagued with gang violence and drug gangs. She told me of a shooting, and how it had not led to a death, because the gang had had to make its own bullets, which did not work well, and how this was very common, according to her local police commander. Even hardened criminals willing to pay for a handgun in Britain are often getting only an illegally modified starter’s pistol turned into a single-shot weapon.
And, to be crude, having few guns does mean that few people get shot. In 2008-2009, there were 39 fatal injuries from crimes involving firearms in England and Wales, with a population about one sixth the size of America’s. In America, there were 12,000 gun-related homicides in 2008.. . .
I am willing to believe that some householders, in some cases, have defended their families from attack because they have been armed. But I also imagine that lots of ordinary adults, if woken in the night by an armed intruder, lack the skill to wake, find their weapon, keep hold of their weapon, use it correctly and avoid shooting the wrong person. And my hunch is that the model found in places like Japan or Britain—no guns in homes at all, or almost none—is on balance safer.
As for the National Rifle Association bumper stickers arguing that only an armed citizenry can prevent tyranny, I wonder if that isn’t a form of narcissism, involving the belief that lone, heroic individuals will have the ability to identify tyranny as it descends, recognise it for what it is, and fight back. There is also the small matter that I don’t think America is remotely close to becoming a tyranny, and to suggest that it is is both irrational and a bit offensive to people who actually do live under tyrannical rule.
Is there any credible justification for allowing Americans to own guns and carry them around concealed? I haven’t heard one.
Sadly, the author (they’re anonymous at The Economist) pulls his/her punches at the end, saying that America is a democracy and we love our guns and therefore nothing is going to happen:
I personally dislike guns. I think the private ownership of guns is a tragic mistake. But a majority of Americans disagree with me, some of them very strongly. And at a certain point, when very large majorities disagree with you, a bit of deference is in order.
Deference? This isn’t religion—it’s guns! People are getting killed by guns, and at the same rate now as that cited above for 2008-2009: about 33 per day—add another 55 per day if you include suicides committed with guns. Now’s not the time to say “guns will always be with us” (a mantra similar to that used by accommodationists, and just as false). Now is the time to fight, and get Obama to take serious action about gun control. I don’t for a minute mean to use the slain of Newtown as political capital, but the national sentiment for gun control is going in the right direction, and that means we should apply pressure. I’m deeply embarrassed by the failure of our government to ban guns (and really, what excuse is there for semiautomatic weapons?), and even more so by the yahoos that defend their right to have as many guns as they want, and to take them into school zones. What fulminating idiocy!
One of my personal Rules for Living is that if more than one friend tells you you’re behaving badly, they’re probably right. Now we have nearly every democracy in the world telling America that we’re wrong on gun control, and yet those benighted folks fond of their Glocks won’t listen.
UPDATE: See the powerful article about America’s obsession with guns in the Telegraph, pointed out by a reader below.