We have recently seen an outburst of violence in the world—not just in America. In Germany, a young man shot and killed a number of people with his father’s legally owned pistol. There seems to be a flood of violence all over our country and the world, especially involving guns.
The public reacts predictably to all this, much of it not much help: the knee-jerk variety such as drill-baby-drill, burn-baby-burn etc., or just the mob, venting.
In our area lately, a man shot to death many people in his family, and in another case a father was charged with child abuse because his son injured his brother with Dad’s gun. Both cases involved sport guns, the first with what the newspaper called a hunting rifle and the latter with a shotgun (also popular among hunters).
Not all, but most of these crimes have involved handguns, like the situation last year at VPI. My position has two parts: First, handguns are inherently dangerous; and second, we have gun laws on the books that don’t seem to be vigorously enforced. It appears that no one has ever sat down and carefully, patiently thought out this complicated problem. We are continually learning about crimes committed with firearms in the hands of a felon. Have we thought through that part of the problem? We have laws to prosecute someone who purchases cigarettes for a minor. What is to prevent someone from purchasing a firearm for a felon—or a nut?
True, we have seen an outpouring of violence by people with guns, but we have also seen an outburst of tornadoes, floods, volcanoes, earthquakes—and now, piracy. The people who are instructed to “get a grip” should be reminded the grip isn’t intended for handwringing.
— Allen Thomas