My Take on the Newtown Massacre
Intially I wasn' t going to say anything. The event was too
terrible to describe and brought me to tears, As time goes on
many talk about "assault weapon" bans and gun control as the
answer. lam extremely knowledgeable in firearms, I know bow
they work, their history, and the laws that pertain to them. I' m also
a moderate libertarian who' s willing to tell the truth with no spin.
There' s two issue I want to discuss: "Assault Weapons" and
The first thing I need you to understand is there' s no such
thing as an "assault weapon". It is literally a term made up by a
politician, There IS such a thing as an assault rifle. An assault
rifle is a rifle that fires an intermediate cartridge, using a
removeable box magazine that normally holds 20 or 30 rounds,
and can be switched from to burst and/ or fully-
automatic fire, That' s it. It' s a pretty vague definition.
So most people don' t own assault rifles, After 1986
ownership of rifles became very restricted and
generally only firearm dealers, police, and people with a lot of
money, who can also find one for sale currently own them. It' s a
selective club and some states ban the ownership of fully-
Because ofthe vague definition efan assault rifle politicians
had trouble putting a ban into law. The firearms looked menacing
for sure, but functioned similarly to traditional rifles, The 1994
Assault Weapon Ban tried to ban the features of an assault rifle, It
was like a doctor treating symptoms, but not being sure what the
disease was, A rifle could not have more than one of these
features: A folding or telescoping stock, a pistol grip, a bayonet
mount, a flash suppressor or threaded barrel, Grenade launcher,
and all new magazine were now limited to 10 rounds (magazines
made before 1994 were still legal).
That had to stop people from buying these weapons, right?
Rifles went from this:
Nothing had really changed. You don' t need a flash supressor and
the Army no longer even trains soldiers on how to use bayonets.
You could argue that the magazine would reduce
carnage during a massacre, but someone who is well trained in
firearms can change magazines in less than one second.
But those guns are so powerful and dangerous!
No, they are not powerful. While it is true that most rifles are
more powerful than most handguns, "assault rifles" the an
intermediate cartridge. That means they are less powerful than
rifles used during and after World War 11.
Why would you make guns that were less powerful?
Because militaries realized that people weren' t shooting each other
over open fields hundreds of yards away. They were shooting at
much closer ranges and usually less than 300 yards away. It was a
sign of the times, like when people stopped using muskets, Most
hunting rifles are more powerful than an "assault rifle."
The real problem with firearms is we' never reconciled, as
a nation, if we are a nation that allows its citizens to have firearms
What do you mean? Millions of people own firearms,
Yes, but in recent decades many states have drawn a line were
their second amendment rights existed. In places like New York,
New Jersey, California, Illinois, and Massachusetts most people
could own firearms, but only in their home, Somehow a
distinction was made that they had a right to defend themselves,
but only in their home and no where else. It was going halfway.
Most people are law abiding citizens and would not violate the
law, but anyone who choose to ignore this law could now be the
only one in an area with a firearm,
On December It* there was a shooting at an Oregon mall. It
received much less media attention because a small number of
people were killed in that incident. The reason only a small
number of people were killed is because a second person with a
firearm decided to intervene. He didn' t personally kill the shooter.
He simply scared him away and the shooter later killed himself.
The second person refuses to give interviews and the media
generally ignores the fact this happened.
I believe we, as a nation need to decide whether or not we are
a nation that allows it' s citizens to protect themselves with
firearms. Either most people should have firearms or no one
should have firearms. When a state tries to go it leads to
a maniac that can go unopposed for a long periods of time.
So that leads me to my second point: Mental Illness, In the
United States if you told someone you had a problem with your
heart they were be very understanding of your condition. If you
told someone there was something wrong with your brain they
would think something was seriously wrong with you.
There is a stigma against people with mental illness, It is not
acceptable to have a chemical imbalance in your brain, but it is
okay to have a chemical imbalance in your blood.
We need to be more accepting of people with mental illness
or else people who need help will be less likely to seek it. I
believe this stigma against the mentally ill is what is most
responsible for events like the one in Newtown,
Over the last few years in China were has a been a series of
attacks against schools, In China gun laws are much more strict,
much fewer people own firearms, so these people are going into
schools and stabbing people to death, The same day as the
Newtown massage a man went into a school and stabbed 24
To be fair, no one was killed in that incident. You can more
easily kill a larger number of people with a gun than a knife, I
won' t deny that. But it show that in all parts of the world them are
people who need help they are not receiving it.
I would like people to calm themeselves down and think
about what is most important in stopping incidents like this from
happening again. We need to be more concerned about the people
performing these attacks, than the things they use to do them.