When I see tragedies like that occurring in Connecticut yesterday, it becomes somewhat difficult to defend my thoughts that limiting gun ownership only hurts legal gun owners, and not the criminals…who tend not to follow the laws of gun purchasing anyway (see: "Gun Control...No! Responsible Gun Control...Yes?"). But with 27 people killed by one lone gunman—including 20 children and 7 adults, including the shooter’s own mother—we are left with nothing but questions instead of answers.
Unidentified Sandy Hook Elementary School staff member leads students to safety
What can we do when our resources for mental health are being limited by cuts, and money becomes the primary concern over potential public (or self) safety? How do we balance privacy laws with the public's right to know when dangerous mental illnesses are a factor with unstable individuals? How do we compel those with mental/emotional issues to seek help when such issues are so stigmatized that individuals who suffer from them—both marginally and extremely—would rather embrace denial than assistance? How can we balance the right of individuals, particularly those with mental and/or emotional illnesses, and the greater good?
What do we do when legitimate gun owners reflexively scream, “My rights..!” in defense of their legal right to own a weapon…no matter how ridiculous some of the gun laws are? How can we maintain the balance of gun owner’s rights to potentially defend themselves, while limiting the number of guns on the streets?
Is it healthy to create a siege mentality within our public school in the name of safety?
How can we craft gun crime laws in such a way as to make any act by gun-toting criminals prohibitive by way of punishment?
As I said a couple of posting ago, sometimes our “rights” get in the way of the greater good (see: "Too Many Rights Make Wrong."). And maybe as individuals, we should start considering focusing less on our individual wants and likes and more on what’s best for everyone involved.
No matter how “pro-gun” you are, the deaths of 20 young children is just a little hard to defend, either politically, ideologically, or realistically.
Concealed gun laws, state-by-state (click to enlarge)
Maybe there should be a means testing for gun ownership...the weapons and amount of weapons one is allowed to purchase should be in proportion to the threat of one's environment or their actual profession...it would maintain gun ownership, BUT limit the amount of available weapons in the streets possible criminals and nut-cases to acquire. Maybe under such a policy, people living in the violence in gang-infested Chicago would have the means to defend themselves, while the George Zimmerman's of America wouldn't have to overreact to imaginary threats!