Let’s not count the mass shootings at offices, shopping malls, theaters or other general places. And we’ll certainly ignore all the gang-related shootings and murders on public streets. Let’s just take a few massacres at schools in the past couple of decades. After all, up until 1970, most of the shootings at schools were relegated to one or two victims killed with standard hand guns or .22 caliber rifles-with the exceptions of Jackson State University and the Kent State shootings, which were performed by uniformed servants of the citizens. Here’s a list:
1974, Olean, New York; 1976, California State University, Fullerton; 1985, Goddard, Kansas; 1985, Spanaway, Washington; 1987, Detroit, Michigan; 1988, Winnetka, Illinois; 1988, Greenwood, South Carolina; 1988, Virginia Beach, Virginia; 1989, Stockton, California; 1992, Olivehurst, California; 1995, Seattle, Washington and Blackville, South Carolina; 1996, Moses Lake, Washington; 1997: Bethel, Alaska; Pearl, Mississippi; West Paducah, Kentucky; and Stamps, Arkansas; 1998: Jonesboro, Arkansas; Edinboro, Pennsylvania; Springfield, Oregon; and Richmond, Virginia; 1999:, Littleton, Colorado (Columbine); and Conyers, Georgia; 2000, Flint, Michigan; 2001, Santana, California; 2003, Cold Spring, Minnesota; 2005, Red Lake, Minnesota; 2006, Burlington, Vermont; and Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania; 2007, Virginia Tech University; 2008, Northern Illinois University; 2012, Chardon, Ohio. Now Newtown, Connecticut.
There have been many, many more shootings at schools in the United States, and a few elsewhere in the world. I only listed those where more than one person was shot, with the notable exception of the Flint, Michigan, the murder of a 6-year old girl in Buell Elementary School; that’s because it was 6-year-old boy who pulled the trigger, the youngest-ever school shooter. A 6-year-old with a handgun?
Absolutely, people committed these mass killings. But they were people with guns … many of those guns that were specifically designed for killing people. I’ve never heard of a hunter using an assault rifle or a machine pistol to track down a deer. In fact, hand guns of any sort are not very efficient for game hunting.
The argument is that we all need “protection” from criminals with guns. All we have to do is look at the gun control laws in most countries and look at their murder statistics. The countries where guns are rampant, including much of the Third-World (yes, I’m including Central and South America), have murder statistics that rival the United States. Countries where guns are illegal have very low rates.
There are criminals everywhere in the world. There are insane people everywhere, including terrorists. But the difference being able to kill one or two people before you are stopped is generally the type of weapon you have in your hand. And, to my knowledge, most of the actual murders committed by criminals (certainly not all) are against other criminals, including gang- and drug-related murders.
Even after Newtown, President Obama says “There are obstacles” to creating laws regarding gun control. Really? What are those obstacles, lobbyists and powerful organizations such as the NRA? Does our society really need assault rifles?
I am not a hunter, but I can tolerate weapons specifically designed for the hunting and killing of animals, if that is really what you need to do to get your thrills. But weapons designed to kill humans have no place in non-military hands (and not there either, but that’s another story). Only insane people in an insane society allow weapons to abound that are used to kill innocent humans.