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Colorado Shooting Renews Calls For Gun Control

I have hesitated to write about this subject for one main reason. I wanted to show respect to the victims of the shooting in Aurora, Colorado, and to their families and not make this about gun control. What James Holmes has done is an unspeakable tragedy. No matter his motivation, there is no excuse for what he has done. No matter if he claims insanity, he has no real defense to explain the cold and calculating manner in which he planned and executed the shooting that left 12 innocent people dead, and many more wounded.

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In the wake of the shooting, there have already been attempts to politicize it. Namely, to renew the calls for stricter gun laws in our country. I hold the opinion that the first and only response liberals are capable of to a tragedy such as this is to call for more laws that will do nothing to ease the suffering, or prevent this from happening again. Nevertheless, they continue that response. The shooting in Aurora is no exception.

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As I said at the beginning of this post, I have hesitated to write about the renewed calls for gun control, but after being alerted to a cover story in the NY Daily News by Pirate’s Cove, I felt I needed to put words to paper, or fingers to keyboard, as it were. I could not believe the ignorance and the stupidity that would drive any responsible media outlet to publish a headline that says “How many more must die, Mr. President?

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In the article, the Editorial Board of the NY Daily News says James Holmes was not acting alone.

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The police chief in Aurora, Colo., said he is confident that massacre gunman James Holmes acted alone. The police chief was dead wrong.

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Standing at Holmes’ side as he unleashed an AR-15 assault rifle and a shotgun and a handgun was Wayne LaPierre, political enforcer of the National Rifle Association.

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Standing at Holmes’ side as he sprayed bullets and buckshot into a crowded movie theater were Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, a President and a would-be President, who have bowed to the NRA’s dictates and who responded to the slaughter Friday with revolting, useless treacle.

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In no way am I trying to diminish the tragedy of this shooting, but for the NY Daily News, or any other responsible media outlet to try to lay the blame at the feet of President Obama is past ludicrous. Just because he has not pushed hard enough for stricter gun control laws to suit them does not make him responsible for the shooting in Aurora. Just because the NRA has stood in the gap against stricter gun control laws does not mean they should be demonized for the actions of James Holmes. Neither is Mitt Romney responsible because he hasn’t called for strict bans on guns in the aftermath of the shooting.

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There is a gun culture in America. Many of us own guns and use them regularly. Some of that use is recreational, some of it is for self-defense. We were given that right by the 2nd Amendment and it spite of the attacks on it by the liberal anti-gun crowd, it was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2010. Individuals do have the right to keep and bear arms. The NRA is trashed by the liberal media for standing up for that right, but that doesn’t make what they do any less important.

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There is also an anti-gun culture in America. Many people believe guns should be completely outlawed, except for law enforcement. I can not understand that sentiment, as such a law, if passed, would only prevent law-abiding citizens from exercising their rights under the Constitution. It would not keep guns out of the hands of criminals. The only way to even come close to accomplishing that is to pass such strict gun control laws as to ban the manufacture and sale of all guns. We all know that isn’t going to happen.

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TGun Controlhe anti-gun culture has been successful in declaring certain areas as gun-free zones. Schools are supposed to be gun-free, as are many government buildings. Some business owners have also declared their place of business to be a gun-free zone. No guns allowed, they say. Such was the theater in Aurora, Colorado. No one had a gun, except for James Holmes.

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Let’s look at James Holmes just for a moment. Information about him is still sparse, as the police are releasing very little of what they have learned. We do know he legally purchased every gun he used in the shooting. They were not black market weapons. The clip he used on the AR-15 rifle was a high-capacity clip, but as those kinds of clips are apt to do, it jammed in the middle of the shooting. That must have been why he came prepared with another weapon. Again, this clip was purchased legally, as was the Remington 870 Pump Shotgun he was carrying.

There is no information we have at this time that leads me to believe red flags should have been raised by Holmes’ purchase of these guns. He wasn’t on a watch list and had no history of mental problems. He never acted out and was considered a brilliant science student. Should we have such strict gun control laws that would have prevented James Holmes, an otherwise law-abiding citizen, from purchasing a semi-automatic shotgun, a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle, and two semi-automatic Glock pistols? If such gun control laws are the wish, where will it stop?

For some reason, the anti-gun culture has a special hatred of guns. Any criminal act perpetrated by the use of a gun has a special stigma attached to it. Such crimes are given a special significance in the crime statistics that are studied so thoroughly. As if the crimes committed with guns are more evil or more criminal than the crimes committed with a different weapon.

What about the stabbings that are committed every year? Are the persons responsible any less evil for having used a knife to commit their crimes? Are the victims of said crimes any less dead or injured? Do their families suffer any less because a gun was not used to kill or injure their loved ones?

What about the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing? Are those 168 people any less dead because a gun was not used in the bombing?

What about the people who are beaten to death every year? Over 5 children are killed every day in America because of abuse. That is over 1800 children each year. Most of them are physical abuse cases, with no weapons involved. Are those children any less dead because a gun was not used? I think not.

My basic point is this. Guns are not evil and they are not the cause of the violence problem we have in America. They are no more evil than knives, cars, alcohol, drugs, etc. People are the ones committing these acts of violence, not guns, or any other weapon. Passing gun control laws that are even more restrictive is not the answer to the problem.

What we have in America is a people problem, not a gun control problem. If guns are banned, will we then ban people?

About LD Jackson

LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

  • We knew this was coming, didn’t we? I wonder if the gun control advocates would have been happier if Holmes had thrown a bomb into the theater and killed a hundred people instead of twelve? This was a terrible tragedy carried out by someone with serious mental problems. There is no way for society to ptotect themselves from insane people. More gun laws will not reduce insanity among the human race.

    • That is exactly my point. Strict gun control laws would not have prevented James Holmes from doing what he has done.

      • I totally agree with both of you!

  • When you have ABC News blaming the Tea Party within hours of the shooting, you had to figure it would be politicized all the way around. If Holmes had been successful at blowing up his apartment, would we ban household chemicals? Why aren’t we blaming violence in movies and comic books? After all, Holmes seems to be getting his motivation from Batman comics and movies more than anything else.

    It’s only guns that the left wants banned because they want us dependent on government rather than ourselves and they’re willing to sell dependance as a matter of safety. That we won’t be any safer doesn’t matter to these people. It’s all about appearances.

    • The entire argument of the anti-gun culture is based on the theory that guns are somehow inherently evil, when in fact, it is the people who are evil. The guns are just the tool and if they are not available, they will find something else to use.

      • Exactly. In Switzerland everyone is required to own a gun and know how to use. The anti-gun crowd never seems to have an answer for why guns aren’t a problem there.

      • Yes Larry, this is it. He could have used a car. Or he could have used the bombs he made. He is the exception not the rule.

  • Mike

    There’s a gun culture and an anti-gun culture; but by far the biggest “culture” is those who support the Second Amendment along with the right, and responsibility, of inidividual states to impose restrictions within limits set by the Supreme Court.

    Somebody please tell me why high-capacity magazines shouldn’t be banned? It’s certainly possible both Holmes and the shooter in Arizona would have been able to get their hands on mega-round mags anyway but why do we need to make it so easy for them? Isn’t is reasonable to think that without them the damage may have been considerably less in both situations? I just don’t get it.

    • Yes, the states do have the right to place restrictions on certain items. As you said, the Supreme Court has placed limits on those rights.

      Let’s say we ban the high-capacity magazines for weapons such as the AR-15 and possibly, some semi-automatic pistols. What’s after that? Should we ban the Remington 870 Pump Shotgun he switched to, after the AR-15 jammed? What about the Glock .40 caliber pistols?

      My point is this. Where will the bans stop? I have no doubt you would use common sense with any ban you would instigate. The trouble is, the anti-gun culture can’t be so trusted. Little by little, they would strengthen and widen the ban until the 2nd Amendment was no more. I choose to not let that happen.

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  • Mike

    That’s a really weak argument Larry. You’re saying that even if you agree with a proposed limitation your bigger concern is with the slippery slope. If we pass any single limitation that will lead to other limitations until finally guns themselves are banned. You’d rather allow these types of situations to perpetuate than risk even a single limitation that an enormous percentage of citizens support. So it’s okay to allow the NRA to continue to eliminate any and all limitations but God forbid we take a single step “backward” and eliminate high-capacity magazines whose only purpose is to kill more people more quickly. That’s surely the definition of a lost society.

    • Actually, high-capacity magazines have a purpose beyond being able to kill more people more quickly. There are many gun clubs who specialize in weapons capable of using high-capacity magazines. They are using them as recreation, ie. they like to shoot them.

      I like the strength of my argument just fine. Look, I get what you are saying, but you have a much greater trust in the anti-gun crowd than do I. You may call it a slippery slope theory, but I call it reality. Once they are given an inch, you can rest assured, they will take everything they can get, up to and including banning all private citizens from owning guns.

      Honestly, do you really believe banning high-capacity magazines would have stopped James Holmes from committing this unspeakable act?

    • I don’t think the “slippery slope” argument is weak at all. Banning all guns is a long-time goal of the left, and they have shown a patient gradualism to achieve their ends, a kind of “chip away” method of slowly imposing their will.

    • Mike, the NRA doesn’t “eliminate limitations.” They are not the government, they do not dictate gun control laws. They are not the bogeyman or a Rule 12 item from Alinksy’s Rules for Radicals. Stick to the facts.

      We do need to solve the problem of “maniacs with guns.” How can we keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill without infringing the 2nd Amendment rights of most Americans? The problem is complicated by the perfidy and treachery of the left, who will attempt to whittle away those rights under the guise of doing what’s “best for us,” whether we like it or not.

  • Mike

    Excellent. We’ll keep high-capacity magazines so gun enthusiasts can have fun shooting them at their private clubs and we won’t worry about the risk that perhaps banning them might have saved a few lives in Aurora and Arizona.

    This isn’t about trust in the anti-gun club. I trust them about as much as I trust the NRA. Do I think the anti-gun movement will stop trying to outlaw guns if gun supporters agree to ban high-capaciaty magazines? Of course not! They will be emboldened and will try for the next ban — gun shows, assualt weapons, whatever. What I “trust” in is that the power of the NRA will not falter and the ability to stop further “encroachments” will dominate the argument.

    People are dying Larry and your argument is that gun enthusaists have fun shooting high-capacity magazines??!!!

    • No, my argument is not that gun enthusiasts have fun shooting high-capacity magazines. I merely pointed that out to show that this magazines are not used just to kill more people, more quickly.

      My argument boils down to this. Go ahead and ban the high-capacity magazines. It will not stop someone who is determined to carry out a shooting such as what has happened in Aurora. James Holmes would have proceeded, no matter what size of magazine he had for his AR-15. Creating more gun laws is not the solution to this problem.

      • bill

        my apologies to mike and mr. jackson for appearing to be the interlocutor in this debate, but the sincerity, compassion and refreshing absence of rhetoric in your arguments compels me to add my 2 cents as it were.

        there are only two forms of recourse a society owns with which it can elect to ‘regulate’ an existant, potential danger. one is to mitigate the magnitude of that danger and the other is to ‘limit accessibility’ to the threat. a quick example would be automobiles. while we strive to reduce the ‘magnitude’ of danger vis~a~vis air-bags, we also limit access by forbidding the legally blind a license. kudos to both of you for making a case for the former with respect and restraint.

        in-as-much as ‘most’ americans would be comforted by any resolution that insured less innocent blood shed; i’d argue that ‘limiting access’ is the more attainable solution, considering all the political, profiteering, and ideological headwinds. my reasoning; for all of our ‘consideration’:

        there is one proponent and relentless promulgator of ‘bigger, better and more. that’s the profiteering lobby; and they are supported by the ideological base through the rhetoric of fear that ‘we the people’ might lose the ‘second’. our lawmakers are the passive enablers’ of this canard and together they represent an immovable force. if the gun lobby’s established success continues we’ll soon be seeing merkava mk 4’s in our neighbor’s garage. if we accept that as a possibility (and this is my point) i’d much rather someone like mr. jackson be ‘licensed’ for a tank than a mr. holmes.

        granted (as was pointed out) mr. holmes was a one-off in the existing vetting procedure; but this anomaly shouldn’t be used as a got’cha against intensified comprehensive background checks. personally i woudn’d mind if the entire procedure lasted 3 months. the gun lobby would howl but if we allowed them to sell tanks? maybe not so much. that’s what i believe it’s come to and the sooner like-minded people get on the same agenda the more likely our constitutional rights will be preserved and the evil among us compromised.

        given that we always have to settle for the least of two evils, this seems the best gambit; to get the money-makers on our side, appease big govt. through more regs, and in doing so, subvert the will of the of ‘those’ who would render the american peoeple defenseless…b

        • As always, you bring a little common sense to the discussion. Maybe it is time we “gave” a little ground in this debate and allowed something like a ban on high-capacity magazines to go through. I still believe we should keep a watchful eye on the left. I don’t trust them an inch.

        • Mike

          Thanks Bill. You’ve said it more eloquently than I did. I have not heard a single argument FOR the legal sale of high-capacity magazines that is in the least bit convincing. I reject the idea that the slippery slope argument trumps the safety of our citizens and I’m disappointed that others see it differently. I try to put myself in the shoes of a hard core gun supporter to gain their perspective but I’m unable to read the newspaper and come to any conclusion other than that these large magazines have no place in our society. I absolutely concede that such a ban may have had no impact at all on the outcome of either the Arizona or Aurora shootings; but in the absence of any sound argument to continue their legal sale that is just not a compelling reason to continue to do so.

  • I read that article yesterday as well Larry and I was appalled by it to see the way the shooting was politicized. James Holmes is responsible for this action alone and we already know that the theater was a gun free zone so he knew he would be the only one with a weapon because by definition the law abiding gun owners would be following the law. What the gun control advocates fail to admit is the fact that places like Obama’s hometown of Chicago which have strict laws are some of the most dangerous places in the country. Gun control laws make the law abiding gun owner less safe and actually embolden those who do not care about the law in the first place.

    • I believe gun-free zones are a sham and a travesty, for the most part. Criminals just love them and they do nothing to protect from harm.

  • It’s interesting seeing the responses here from a different culture. And in this matter, Australia is vastly different from the U.S.

    We’ve never had a war for independence, or an civil war. We started out convicts and have never even had a successful uprising.

    As such, we have no history of requiring weaponry to defend ourselves from government oppression.

    As a result, we have nearly no gun culture at all; certainly not in our cities. They are tools for farmers to keep down pests.

    For quite some time we have been limited to single shot weaponry – no automatic weapons, as responses to tradgedies like what has just occured.

    The roof hasn’t fallen in.

    Part of it is that the limitations imposed really impact very few people. We don’t have a cultural concern that government will abuse its power in a way that physically threatens its people. We don’t have a huge sport shooting culture, and what we have is able to be expressed in clubs where these things are managed professionally, or out bush where no one cares.

    To most Australian’s, American’s are simply wierd about guns. It’s an almost incomprehensible cultural difference.

    It’s only in the context of our different histories that it makes sense.

    To be clear – it’s only in the context of a people with both an ongoing concern regarding government abuse of its people, and a history of successfully resisting that abuse through the possession of adequate weaponry and skill – that it makes sense.

    The argument that needs to be made is that an armed population is required to resist the inevitable oppression of an armed government. That is the only valid rationale for the culture you maintain. It’s an uncomfortable one as it openly declares an ongoing distrust for government, but it is the argument that holds valid in the face of tragedies such as that which has so recently occurred.

    Make that argument, accept its cost, and you can maintain a degree of protection from the overreach of governemnt.

    Here, we’ve got no history to suggest that we need that protection, nor that if and when it may have been needed on a local level, it is of any value. As such, there is no case to be made here. We simply aren’t old enough as a nation yet.

    Your history is different. Remember the reason why you are the way you are.

    • I appreciate your comment, Driftforge. You perspective is unique, coming from another country. You have shed some light on the topic, in a way that I had not thought about previously.

      • Driftforge

        Perspective is interesting as it is almost always illuminating even if you disagree with the assessment made from that perspective.

        Happy to share one from half a world away. I certainly appreciate the perspective you (and others) share here.

  • Regarding clips, why don’t we limit the amount of gas a gas tank can hold? More people die in car accidents that in gun crimes. In fact, why don’t we limit the number donuts a box at a donut shop can hold, because heart attacks kill more people than gun crimes? Why don’t we limit the amount of steps on ladders, because people might fall?

    • Once we start down that road, there is a whole host of things we could decide to ban. Many of them will do nothing but add to the regulations on businesses and very little, if anything, to help the problem they are trying to fix.

    • Mike

      Seriously Matt?! Donuts? Maybe we should extend your argument in the other direction. Let’s end regulations requiring children to get vaccinated. Let’s legalize marijuana and cocaine. Let’s eliminate all speed limits. Let’s end age limits for the purchase and consumption of alcohol.

      Regulations are NOT all evil. People are dying and you come into this discussion talking about donuts and ladders. High-capacity magazines have played a central role in our two most recent high-profile massacres (and in Columbine too as I recall) and they have NO redeeming value except being fun to shoot at gun clubs. I’m still waiting for the argument in their favor and donuts isn’t it.

  • A “Gun Free Zone” is a perp’s shooting range…

    • Pretty much.

      Now if we could only get these people to obey the signs!

  • Why do you think “high capacity” magazines are the problem? The shooting in Colorado is the exception rather than the rule and most homicides involving guns have fewer than 10 shots fired so banning more things wouldn’t really do much.

    Also, Holmes had made numerous bombs which he rigged his place with and he could have just as easily used those at the theater.

    Fact is, anti-2nd Amendment people aren’t into surrendering until all guns are banned. Every concession they gain will simply build their demands.

    And there’s no reason to ban anything further. When “high capacity” magazines were banned under Clinton the murder rate didn’t drop, did it?

    • Mike

      High-capacity magazines are not THE problem they’re A problem. Just because my suggestion might not have stopped Holmes from carrying out his madness doesn’t make it a bad idea. Taking positive steps that may save lives without sacrificing anything at all (other than some fun at gun clubs) strikes me as a no-brainer. The fact that murder rates went up during the Clinton years is completely irrelevant to the argument. The more interesting question would be whether there would have been even more deaths in many of those shootings if high-capacity mags were available.

      You guys continue to argue the slippery slope or the alternative methods by which madmen can kill people. You all seem willing to concede that there is nothing we can do or should do to reduce senseless killings if it might embolden the anti-gun crowd. Your answer is for everybody to carry and let the shooter beware. I refuse to accept that is the only answer.

      • So you argue on the one hand that high capacity magazines might help make things safer on the one hand but the fact they were banned by Clinton yet the murder rate increased is “completely irrelevant to the argument”?

        LOL… okay… sure.

        And I guess the fact that once the assault weapons ban expired and now murder rates are at an all time low despite the worst economy in a generation is just “completely irrelevant to the argument” too, eh?

        Excuse me but I don’t buy what you’re selling… I’m sure the Brady Campaign would love to hear from you.