Monday, January 10, 2011

Gun Rant Du Jour

Earlier I posted that it is too soon to judge the impact of political rhetoric on the shootings in Arizona.  It is not too soon to suggest that lax gun laws helped turn an attack into a mass casualty event.  The combination of concealed weapons and a Glock with a 30 bullet magazine made an assassination attempt on one politician result in twenty people getting hit.

It may or may not be the case that this particular gun was not prohibited by the Assault Weapons law that expired in 2004, but it seems abundantly clear that we should have laws that do prohibit the sale of guns with such large magazines and also ban the sale of large magazines.  Hunters do not need to have large mags, nor do they hunt with handguns.  These guns are really good for killing lots of people, fairly indiscriminately, from close range.  And anyone can go to a gun store and grab one, apparently. 
 The 9 mm pistol used in Saturday's shootings was purchased at a gun store in November, FBI Director Robert Mueller told reporters Sunday. And a law enforcement source said the suspect tried to buy ammunition at a Walmart store, but was turned down because of his behavior. Another Walmart store later sold him the ammunition, the source said.

In Arizona, they can even carry it concealed.  Anyhow, we are not going to stop all crazy people from doing crazy things.  But we can limit the harm such people can do.  This is a lesson we have learned again and again at great cost.  Jared Lee Loughner did not have to go out of his way to find this gun, but just went to a store.  Let's make it hard for these guys.  Let's separate out the dedicated, disciplined people with mental problems from those who are less motivated.  Let's make it just a bit harder for them.  Yes, banning various kinds of guns does not make it impossible for people to get these kinds of weapons, but it increases the likelihood that the next person who decides to assassinate someone will have harder time getting the means to do so and perhaps will do far less damage.

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