Scarcely a day goes by that we don’t hear in the news of another gun rampage. The latest, on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, caused me to have more than the usual pause about such incidents.
It was personal for me. I did my graduate work at MSU, lived on campus and worked in those buildings. To read of shootings, injuries and death to students in those same buildings that I had been in many times, gave me more than the usual chllls I experience when reading of such incidents.
The loss of life and the injuries to those still fighting for their lives must be more than traumatic for their families and the classmates of those students who are still on campus.
But what about the killer/shooter? He was well-armed, and reports are that the guns he had were held legally. What does that fact do to people who are pressuring for states to impose more stringent laws concerning gun ownership?
What it does is make it more difficult for them to get such laws passed. The truth is, if a person wants to have a weapon and plans to use it to kill wantonly, there isn’t much the law can do about it. We try to limit ownership to people who are “safe and sane,” but if they are not, the only recourse is to follow up on another grisly crime.
California is in the midst of gun ownership arguments – again. A bill introduced in the legislature last year didn’t pass – it failed by two votes. Assembly Democrats objected to a provision that would have allowed it to go into effect immediately rather than the usual waiting period.
The new version, SB2, bans concealed firearms in hospitals, churches, parks, public transportation and private businesses that do not allow them and post a sign declaring that.
Under the bill, to get a permit, a person would have to be at least 21 years old, pass background checks and be prohibited from consuming alcohol while carrying.
These issues are not so different from prior regulations, so I really don’t see what the problem is. California allowed local sheriffs to issue such permits to people working in high-risk businesses, for personal protection and for people in the judicial system and police officers.
According to reports, California is one of six states with “may issue” licensing regulations that were struck down by the Supreme Court ruling last summer. The court ruled that states could prohibit guns in schools and such, but the list should not be overly expansive.
The main critique of California’s system was that sheriffs “too often” took advantage of that system and gave permits too generously. It is a debatable issue, and in fact, even if it were true, it does not mean that those people would use their guns in a killing spree.
The feeling in California is that gun violence is out of control in the state. The big problem is HOW to prevent it. It isn’t possible to outlaw guns, and regardless of the restrictions on gun ownership, the fact remains, if a person has the intent, he’ll find a way.
Perhaps I am too basic in my thoughts. I believe that if a person is inclined to shoot and kill, they will find a way to do it, and the law be damned.
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