first off, let me just start by saying that the shooting in aurora, co that occurred thursday night was horrific. i cannot imagine sitting in a movie theater and having some lunatic walk in and open fire. i just...i can't.
but this has obviously opened up that good old can of worms called gun control. gun control advocates are pointing to it as an example that we need stricter gun laws. gun advocates remain firm in their stance that people have the right to bear arms.
here's how i see it. i agree with the right to bear arms. i think people should be allowed to own shot guns and rifles for hunting and handgun or two for personal protection. but why in the world would a private citizen need an automatic assault rifle? and 6,000 rounds of ammunition?
according to reports, he bought 4 weapons - an assault rifle, 2 glock handguns, and a shotgun - within the past 60 days. he ordered 6,000 rounds of ammuntion from the internet. all of this was purchased and procured legally. he applied for the guns and was approved because the only scar on his record was a traffic violation. the assault rifle he'd purchased was, at one time, illegal, thanks to the assault weapons ban instituted in 1994, but unfortunately that ban expired in 2004 and congress didn't reenact it due to pressure from big-money gun advocates. and i don't even want to think about how he managed to get all the explosives and incendiary devices that he had set up in his apartment.
therein lies my problem with the current gun laws. i get that he purchased them legally, but that shouldn't be legal. the government will track how much sudafed you buy, but not how many bullets you buy? it makes zero sense to me.
the assault weapons ban needs to be reinstated - there is no need for a private citizen to ever own an assault rifle. there should be waiting periods between weapons purchases - 30 days, at least. there should be a way to track ammunition purchases. i agree with the old saying - guns don't kill people, people kill people. but the system our country has in place makes it far too easy for people to kill people. someone this deranged and disturbed should not be able to buy 4 weapons in 2 months. actions like that should catch someone's attention and cause a red flag to go up on this person.
i think our gun control laws need to be seriously re-examined. like i said, if the government can track the amount of sudafed you purchase, they ought to be able to track the amount of ammo you purchase. same with guns - i can only buy one box of sudafed per month, but this guy can buy 4 guns in 60 days? something just doesn't smell right here. there has got to be a better way to allow our citizens to arm themselves, while at the same time protecting the rest of us from the ones who want to harm us.