Sandy Hook Gun Control Aftermath: Ideologues Butting Heads
There are a lot of things that I don't particularly like. Guns are one. So are cars and many mechanical and electrical devices too numerous to mention. But unfortunately, most of those devices are necessary to a great extent in today's world, or they at least provide a convenience, and in the case of guns, the means to defend one's self.
I don't trust certain people with guns just like I don't trust certain people with cars or trucks or boats or cell phones or airplanes or snakes. All of the above, if in the wrong hands, or used in the wrong manner, often result in injury and/or death. The problem for gun control advocates here in America is that every time there's a highly-publicized and horrific shooting incident, such as the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, and a corresponding call for stricter gun control measures, more and more Americans go out and buy more and more guns and ammunition.
As many of you are aware, when President Obama was first elected in November 2008, guns and ammunition sales rose exponentially due to the fact that many Americans perceived Obama as a wild-eyed gun grabber and presumed that he was going to set about implementing much stricter gun control measures. Obviously, that didn't happen. But it made no difference because the perception (and in some cases paranoia) was there--indeed well established--in many Americans' minds and they acted upon it. A similar thing occurred during prohibition. When the Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act went into effect, booze sales soared, even though it was illegal to sell booze, and so did alcoholism, organized crime, and murder. In other words, it was a prime example of the law of unintended consequences and the aphorism, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
Too many folks, in my opinion, on both sides of the gun control issue, are approaching the issue in emotional, unrealistic, and ideological terms. As such, no progress will be made on the gun control front, especially in regard to keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and those who really have no business owning guns. I'm a gun owner myself. I have a Florida concealed weapons permit. I've been around guns since I was a kid. I've fired all different types of guns and ammunition thousands of times throughout the years. I believe that the Second Amendment serves a purpose and was justified back in the day when the U.S. Constitution was written and it's justified today.
With the above said however, I've come to the conclusion, based on my experience and observations throughout the years, that gun owners themselves need to be subjected to tighter standards and controls and there need to be laws put in place which require gun owners and those who plan to purchase guns to undergo mandatory and fairly extensive training and education as a condition of keeping their guns or purchasing guns. As it currently stands, virtually any non criminal here in America can purchase a gun whether they know how to use it or not and whether they're mentally ill or not. I'm of the opinion that a mandatory six month intensive gun education course will be of great benefit on all fronts and that it will also serve the important function of weeding out those folks that are not mentally and/or emotionally equipped to be responsible gun owners. It's not a silver bullet, so to speak, but I honestly believe that it's a good and, above all, viable and sensible step in the right direction.
In the case of schools, they need to be more secure. Anyone can walk onto virtually any school campus here in my state of Florida and linger about before any school personnel notices and questions their presence. And at that point it's too late, anyway, in the case of an intruder with a gun hell-bent on murder, because the only one at the school who has the means to prevent a gunman from going on a shooting spree is the school resource officer (SRO). And the SRO could be at the other end of the campus or out on the football field behind the school. There's a reason why shooters choose the locations they choose. They know that there's no one at those locations with a gun that can shoot back.
In other words, I have no problem with certain highly trained school personnel carrying concealed weapons. In the case of the Sandy Hook shooting, the probability is extremely high that had the Principal or school psychologist, or any other school personnel had a gun, Adam Lanza would not have been able to kill 26 people and perhaps he wouldn't have even been able to kill anyone.
Unfortunately, there are too many ideologues and extremists on both sides of the gun control issue butting their heads together. As result, mass shootings will continue. Those on the left can't understand why law-abiding Americans feel the need to have assault weapons and semi-automatic pistols and law-abiding Americans on the right can't understand why anyone would want to take their guns away. It's a no-win situation that will never be resolved even if law enforcement and the military went door-to-door throughout America in an effort to confiscate all guns. And quite frankly many, if not most, law enforcement and military personnel would probably balk at any effort to confiscate guns en masse.
In Florida, for example, there are over one million citizens with concealed weapons permits and millions more who don't have a CWP, but who own all types of guns including assault weapons and semi-automatic pistols such as Glocks and Sig Sauers with high capacity magazines. Add to that tens of thousands times more rounds of ammunition. It's a fact! Guns are engrained in the American culture whether one likes it or not, and as a result there's no practical way to implement and carry out the kind of strict gun control measures which those on the left would like to see. And if both extremes of the gun control debate are not willing to compromise and they continue butting heads, then the status quo will prevail and we can expect to see more death and carnage.