For all of the idiots arguing that people who grab the gun for their killing needs would simply do it some other way, I have this to say.
The chart below, adapted from the Firearm Injury Center at Penn‘s 2011 resource book, shows the breakdown of weapons used in one year of homicides in the United States. (Thanks to a lack of funding, FICAP was unable to do a 2012 resource book, but we tend to use the same weapons to kill each other year after year.) The smaller pie chart at right breaks down the firearms portion of the larger chart. While interesting to look at, this just confirms what we all kind of knew: Guns are the homicide weapon of choice—handguns in particular, since they’re so easy to conceal.
Nowhere else in the civilized world will you find these kinds of numbers. And clearly, we know just from the sheer numbers of these incidents that people would NOT just find another way to do their deeds. Guns are impersonal. The knife, or the rope, or the bare hands… they require hands-on. They require you to feel the warm blood, or to watch your victim fighting for breath. The gun gives you the chance to detach yourself from the horrors of what you’re doing. A lot of cowards among us simply would NOT do these things if the gun wasn’t such a handy way to get it done.
The young man who murdered those children in Connecticut had a gun nut for a mother. A conspiracy-screeching gun nut. She knew this kid was in a bad way. And yet, she didn’t do anything about him. Nor did the authorities, since it is perfectly legal to stock your house up with high firepower as long as the mental case living there hasn’t yet been adjudicated. The idiots clamoring about “well if one of those teachers had been armed” can just shut the hell up, right now. As a matter of fact, one of those teachers WAS armed, quite heavily. That’s why she’s dead. That’s why her son is dead. That’s why a lot of her students are dead.
It is past time where gun owners went to a licensing system similar to that we use for drivers, except that questions about the mental stability of those in your HOUSEHOLD should be an additional part of the gun licensing form. And if someone with a screw loose is found to be among those living in your house, then your license ought to be pulled at once. Your “freedom” to pack heat shouldn’t supersede my freedom to have my children go to school and stay alive.