The events in the Aurora movie theatre are heartbreaking and shocking, and our hearts go our to the families of the victims, and the extended family that is the United States.
Everyone in Canada is just sick about this. Just like you, we realize that there is little protection against a deranged person who wants to commit widespread mayhem. If someone is truly intent on committing horrible, unthinkable crimes, they’ll find a way to do it.
But, may I ask, why make it so damn easy?
American amigos, you can’t just shake your head and say “madness happens” and go about your business. Sorry, folks, but you have to ask yourself some hard questions, specifically. You could have — you SHOULD have — controls on automatic weapons. But the NRA and constitutional purists have prevented even the most common sense gun laws from coming into effect.
I get the whole “right to bear arms” thing. It’s in your constitution; it’s part of your culture. Taking away an American’s gun is like trying to take away an American’s TV. It ain’t gonna happen. And I can see it, in a way. People use rifles for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with killing humans. Canada is swamped with rifles. And as for handguns, while it strikes me as insane to allow such shockingly easy access to weapons designed only to kill humans, the case can at least be made that handguns are used as self-defense. It’s a painfully weak argument, since handguns are used overwhelmingly to commit crimes and not prevent them, but at least the argument can be made.
But assault weapons? The kind of guns what were designed ONLY to kill as many enemies on the battlefield as possible? The kind of gun that is used EXCLUSIVELY to kill other human beings? What conceivable use is there for automatic weapons being available to the average person?
The AR-15 assault rifle police say the Aurora shooter used was capable of firing 50 to 60 rounds a minute. Seriously, America, who needs this? I know lots of you may WANT this — and yes, it would be cool to own something like this, if for no other reason than to just blow tin cans or gophers into oblivion — but nobody outside of the military or police NEEDS this. And yes, according to your constitution, you have the right to bear arms, but the framers of your constitution lived in a world not remotely like our world today. They wrote a hell of a document, but they weren’t psychics.
Nobody believes, regardless of the number of atrocities committed, that guns will be banned. And I don’t hear anybody asking for that, either. But seriously, if you can just agree that there is no reason why anyone should own an automatic rifle, and make it illegal to own them, you will at the very least make it harder for deranged people to go on killing sprees.
Seems to me that’s a small concession, isn’t it? But hey, it’s your business, not mine.