After the recent mass murders in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and at the Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh, solutions for preventing such horrific events were abundant —stricter background checks, requiring a license to own a firearm, expansion of mental health services, especially for those prone to violence, and many more. While these corrective actions all have merit and should be taken seriously, they all have flaws and do not get at the heart of the problem. Unlike all other first world countries, we are awash with guns. It’s not just revolvers and hunting firearms, the casual fare of the average person. The most imminent danger seen in the vast majority of mass murders is the frightening proliferation of military assault-type weapons capable of firing 50 to 80 rounds or more without stopping to reload. You don’t see these massive numbers of gun ownership and military weapons in other first world countries, especially those in Western Europe, thus the rarity of mass killings there.
This is why all guns capable of firing more than a limited number of rounds should be illegal for the average citizen to own. So what should that “limited number” be? I don’t have the answer, but it should certainly make any type of military assault rifle illegal for the average person to own. Some would say that we don’t need such a law. Just make sure any person prone to violence is prohibited from owning a firearm. But how do you identify such individuals? People prone to such violence can easily escape mental health screening. It is not hard to conceal one’s hatred or violent intents from therapists and the law enforcement community.
Some would say just limiting the number of rounds that can be fired would not stop a killer. True, in some cases, but we need to get into the mind of the killer. He is red-hot with anger and hate. His intended targets represent all those who, he thinks, have treated him unfairly over the years and have prevented him from achieving success. It will not do to kill just three or four, which would probably be close to the limited number he would kill if his weapon was limited to, say, six rounds. No, he wants to make sure his message, name, and grievances are heard throughout the country. The best chance he has of achieving this goal is arming himself with a military assault-type rifle, which will allow him to achieve maximum carnage. His revenge is now complete. And as a result, Congress and all those who refuse to support sensible gun laws have blood on their hands.