I haven't posted anything about the Newtown massacre, as I don't think I've got anything to say that hasn't been said many times.
One thing was kind of weird, though. When I first read about it, at work that day, it didn't really register what had happened. It was just... another school shooting, I guess. But then they talked about it on the radio on the way home, and it really got me upset. I started thinking about my own kids (not quite that old), I guess, and I got a lot more emotional than I usually do.
The whole thing just seems so senseless, and my heart goes out to the parents and friends of those children. And the staff killed, as well.
The NRA's suggested response, putting armed guards in every school, seems stupid, at best. Meeting violence with violence has only succeeded in stopping violence when one side has nothing left. Given the supply of crazy (or sociopathically desperate for attention) people around, there will never be nothing left.
But we should be cutting down on the supply of guns. The number of people killed is tragically high. In fact, I didn't realize how high until the last week or so, but it's over 10k people a year. There needs to be regulation, maybe similarly to how cars are regulated.
It's just... this can't go on.
I grew up in a house with guns (not a lot, but they were there). I learned to shoot at a young age. I've never owned a gun, but in high school I had a couple of guns on long-term (I think it ended up being a couple of years) loan. For all intents and purposes, they were my guns for that time period; nobody told me when or how to use them, and I took care of maintenance and care. I even bought the ammo.
More recently, I've fired fully automatic submachine guns. It was fun, but it was in a very controlled environment, and that was definitely a good thing.
And I've even considered buying a pistol for target shooting and home defense.
But this easy access to weapons made solely for killing people (there's a big difference between a hunting rifle and an AR-15) is just crazy. It's too easy, and too many people are dying. Something has to be done. I think there are a number of steps that can easily be taken. One, modernize what records ATF keeps (ie: not on cards). Two, 100% background checks (yes, it isn't perfect, but it'll help). Three, get rid of easy access to large-capacity magazines (5-10 rounds is plenty, even for self-defense situations). Four, these "stand your ground" laws are nuts; they're just designed to make it easier to escalate a situation to where someone gets killed. Five, limit the number of guns people can buy in a small timeframe. One a month is plenty for any sane situation
I'm sure there are even better ideas, but that's some easy, low-hanging fruit that will cut down on deaths.