By now I'm sure all of you have heard about the 20-year-old man who took his mother's high-powered assault gun, killing her, and then going to an elementary school in Newton, CT, and killing 20 little kids and several adults.
Pundits and talking heads on TV, radio, and the Internet, and the president himself, have noted that this goes on far too often in this country. We keep asking about the solution and the cause. I may be oversimplifying things, but I would propose two things be done right away.
1) The shooters in all the cases that have come about this and other years were all emotionally or mentally disturbed. Our "wise" government has repeatedly chosen to cut mental health care and counseling services, leaving these people with nowhere to turn for much-needed help. The result is that we now have more people who are not in their right minds wandering the streets and committing crimes, hurting themselves and others, winding up in already-crowded prisons or in hospitals. Let us restore funding for these services to what they were back in the 1980s and before.
2) Guns. The U.S. Constitution provides rights for us to bear arms "in a well-regulated militia." This is to protect ourselves from the possibility of hostile attacks where no immediate government help was available (back then, I think they were thinking of native attacks or possibly British invasions on unprotected territories) and against our own government should it become despotic (almost there, by the way). Also, the Founding Fathers would never have conceived of the advanced weaponry we have these days that is capable of shooting hundreds of rounds per minute. They had muskets.
The solution is not to take weapons out of citizens' hands. The solution is to regulate weapons better. Why did this shooter's mom own military-style guns? Adam Lanza had tried to buy a rifle at a sporting goods store but was turned away, so he just stole his mom's gun, which became the weapon that killed her. While the law prevented Adam from getting a gun himself, a law should be in place where entire households should not have guns should one or more family members not be eligible to possess one themselves. In other words, to get a gun license, every occupant of the household must also qualify, even if they do not plan to use the weapon.
Private citizens should not possess guns that even police officers don't go near. Single-shot rifles for hunting and possibly home defense should be enough. Australia is one country that bans automatic weapons from being privately owned. When was the last time you heard of a mass-shooting in Australia? That's right, never.
A Congresswoman recently made a good point: she noted we regulate things like food and cigarettes and liquor for the protection of citizens. Why don't we do the same for guns? Adam Lanza was not even old enough to legally drink, yet he could get his hands on a weapon a terrorist would enjoy.
You cannot protect the world from itself, but our "leaders" need to screw their heads on straight and realize that the "right to bear arms" is not a blank check to do whatever we want with them. They assumed we would be wise enough to put some regulations on gun ownership. Guess they were wrong.
We have a lot of dead, innocent kids on our hands now. It's not just Adam's fault or his mom's fault. It is the fault of a society that is crazy for guns, that glamorizes violence, and that refuses to help those in need and stigmatizes them as "moochers."
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