Hi, fans, I'm back! Did you miss me? Oh, well anyway, here I am again. Seriously, things got a bit hectic with the holidays and all and with my caregiver responsibilities. I just lost the incentive. So, herewith I will make a few concise comments--yes, I can do that--on a current subject that bothers me. More to come, Lord willing.
Gun Control and Mass Murder: The recent rash of multiple shootings involving individuals not normally considered mentally deranged has inspired the gun control advocacy community to again rail against assault weapons--which they are not--and guns in general. First, the so-called assault rifles used in some of these incidents were not assault rifles. The actual assault rifle that these weapons resemble is the military M-4, a selectable full or semi-automatic weapon chambered for a high-velocity .223 caliber--about the size of a .22--high-velocity cartridge.
The AR-15 is an M-4 lookalike that is only semi-automatic, firing once for each trigger pull, just like all modern handguns. It is mostly a status symbol or souvenir-type weapon, not really very suitable for hunting. (The .223 bullet is fairly light, not much good in brush found in many hunting environments. A leaf will deflect the bullet.) The classic .30-06 is a much better hunting weapon.
Having said that, banning this and similar rifles will do little to deter mass shootings. There are plenty of other hunting-appropriate weapons available as well as myriad handguns. Banning any specific weapon type is a futile gesture designed to harass gun-owners. Even though the AR-15 is not a very useful weaon except to defend against terrorists, lack of legality would have a negligible effect on mass killings such as Sandy Hook.
Banning a weapon type would only result in shifting to another for someone impelled to commit mass murder. So, what is my solution? Believe it or not, I am not in favor of the NRA aproach of arming the schools. While this might well prove effective in deterring or neutralizing a perpetrator--think if the Sandy Hook Principal and/or Psychologist had been armed and trained--I think it creates an unacceptable atmosphere of schools as armed camps. (However, I have no problem with individual school authority figures availing themselves of concealed carry under the law, just not requiring it. "Gun Free Zones" only advertise vulnerability.)
The problem, as I see it, is the nature of the society we have created. There is a clear perception of entitlement and equality, as advertised by our President during his inaugural speech, that results in much frustration among certain individuals who for personal or circumstantial reasons are frustrated in their desires. Some of these folks, suffering from a total lack of moral scruples, will react with anger at any convenient target, resulting in apparently unexplainable atrocities. They are simply motivated by mindless anger at their percieved misfortune and lash out at totally innocent victims.
This is the concequence, unintended of course, of our government's misguided attempt to "fix" everything. When "everything" isn't fixed for someone, the result is often anger and sometimes mindless rage. Until we instill a more realistic concept involving personal responsibility for one's situation in life, I'm afraid the ground will remain fertile for evil.
Sounds too simplistic? Got a better Idea? I'm listening.