Here we go again – or rather, “here we still are.” The news is filled with horrific reports of what they are calling “mass shootings.”
Yes, we had two instances in the last few days of two individuals who each took a gun and used it to shoot and kill innocent people. One at massage parlors in Atlanta which ended with eight people dead and the other at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, which left 10 dead.
Apparently, neither shooter had any problem buying a weapon. Did they care who the victims were? Apparently, no. Did they have a “legitimate” reason (whatever legitimate might mean) for the gun rampage? Apparently, no.
The just did it, and judging by comments from their family and friends – after the fact – that they used such violence really didn’t surprise any of them.
Take, for example, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa. He’s the 21-year-old man accused of killing 10 people during his shooting rampage at a King Soopers Market in Boulder, Colorado. One of the dead is 51-year-old Eric Talley, the first policeman to arrive on the scene after word of someone with a gun a and shots being fired.
Alissa, who lived in the Denver area, was born in Syria, is an American citizen and a Muslim. He bought the gun he used in the shooting just six days before the massacre.
His family says he had a history of paranoia – he was convinced people were following him and had it in for him. Investigators say his family believed Alissa suffered from some type of mental illness.
To hear the comments of the family, the rampage didn’t surprise them, and in fact, they almost expected it.
To make it worse, it’s reported he often declared that people had it in for him because of his religion, calling them “racist white people.”
Our media, avoided those facts until they became impossible to ignore. It’s as though we’re afraid of putting any responsibility for violence on the back of a Muslim.
Let me correct that, we ARE afraid to accuse a Muslim – because in our society these days, Muslims and Islam are untouchable. They are not responsible for any violence or wrongdoing, and anyone who makes such an assertion is a racist.
But the evidence is there, and Alissa appeared in court Thursday in a wheelchair. He had been shot in the leg during the violence in the store. His mental state was an issue, and the court ruled the trial would not proceed for three months while his mental health is evaluated.
One hopes the public and the media will remember the horror of this crime when the court finally decides what will happen to this killer – and he IS a killer regardless of what decisions are made.
It seems to me there are some other issues that need to be considered. WHY didn’t his family get some “mental health help” for him before this crisis? They could see he was troubled.
And, in light of that, there’s a legal question: Should his family be help partially liable for the crime for not getting this guy off the street earlier and ultimately away from a gun store. If they had done that, perhaps the whole tragedy could have been prevented.
Hindsight is wonderful.
Needless to say, the politicians jumped on this horror, and the usual cries for “gun control” are now the main media story. The idea that “no one needs” an assault rifle is the mantra – although the underlying idea is that despite the Constitution, no one “needs” a gun at all.
I listen to talk a radio a lot, and needless to say, where I live most of it is liberal. That means the demand is to get rid of guns – big ones and small ones – and, as the thinking goes, if that happens, such horrific crimes will disappear.
I would refer them to London, England, where now that guns are outlawed, knife crimes are epidemic. Even Mayor Sadiq Khan says things are out of control, and the number of such attacks is the highest on record.
As for the United States, proposals for new gun legislation are swirling on both the state and federal level. They range from age requirements to extensive background checks being required for any weapon purchase or transfer, to a waiting period for purchases beyond the background check time.
In addition to restrictions on purchases, there are politicians who are demanding that certain weapons be banned outright and others who really want to ban ALL guns.
Unfortunately for them, the Second Amendment to the Constitution presents a real roadblock to that: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Despite that, their efforts continue. They also face the fact that they may not have enough votes in the U.S. Senate to get what they want.
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer insists this Senate will “debate and address the epidemic of gun violence in this country.”
Among the states, there are bills for various restrictions – from more extensive background checks for all guns, to bans on high-capacity magazines, to outlawing open carry of any guns, to identification on bullet casings.
On the other hand, not all states are tightening gun laws. In Tennessee, most adults over 21 would be allowed to carry firearms, concealed or not, without a permit. Fifteen states allow permitless carry for concealed guns, and nine others, including Oklahoma and West Virginia, are considering expanding that rule – and Montana just approved it.
The “Stand Your Ground” laws are also being strengthened in many states. In Ohio and South Dakota, the changes are about to be approved – bills which eliminate an individual’s duty to retreat before using force.
Needless to say, all of these and more face lots of controversy, but this is the bottom line: While gun crimes continue, average citizens need and want and deserve a way to protect themselves.
I’ll tell you what my bottom line has always been: No one has the right to tell me I can’t protect myself and my family.
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