Let me first say that my thoughts and prayers go out to all those involved in the shooting… There are truly no winners in this tragedy.
Several people have asked me what my views are on the shooting. Obviously, I am a outdoorsman and guns are a tool that I often use. I will be honest in saying that I have always had some internal strife regarding handguns and guns like the AR-15 for personal use. Handguns were developed to conceal, bottom line. Military style guns were developed to kill people, bottom line.
That being said there are a lot of people that are using handguns for person defense. I am one of those people. I very regularly have a handgun on me, a Taurus Judge if you are interested. For me, the bottom line is that if I am with my loved ones and all hell breaks loose I would feel guilty if I couldn’t protect myself and my loved ones. It is a choice that I am making to be proactive in my personal defense. I hope that I never have to pull my handgun in personal defense but if I am forced to, I am prepared to use it. IMO, the ability to take the life of another human being isn’t something to be proud of or even brag about but given the choice of me or an assailant, the assailant is will loose every-time.
Now what about military style rifles like the AR-15. I think that there is a lot of bravado and machismo with these rifles. They are intimidating and I deal with guns just about everyday. Do I have an AR? No, I don’t. My logic is that in an event of a home invasion or a situation where I could use an AR. I would use my handgun to buy me enough time to get to my shotgun. IMO a shotgun is a much better self-defense tool than a AR. Now what about as a hunting weapon? Well, I think that they would be a GREAT predator weapon! As far as a big-game rifle? I guess, but as a general rule these rifles are not as accurate as a bolt-action rifle. What about the ability to send numerous rounds downrange? Personally, I have never seen an animal that gives you more than 5 shots before he has moved out of the country.
So, where does this leave us? I completely support the way the current laws are completely written. So now you are going to ask, “Would additional legislation have prevented the shootings in Arizona?”. To this I say, Hell No!!!! This isn’t a failure of guns laws this is a failure of our Mental Health System. This guy was the typical “Lone Wolf” that was spurred into action by the prodding of a larger group. This was bound to happen, there is NO DOUBT that groups like the Tea Party and certain elements of the Republican Party have absolutely been ratcheting up the rhetoric. This guy was nuts and he didn’t have the ability to separate the “Rallying Cry” from the actual “Battle”. I am not saying that this guy should be let-off the hook, he should be held accountable. What I am saying is that those that that consider themselves leaders need to realize that people really take their rhetoric to heart and they must choose their words carefully.
This guy was hell-bent and crazy, if it wasn’t a gun it would have been a car, if it wasn’t a car it would have been a knife, if it wasn’t a knife it would have been his fists. In other words, you can’t fix crazy, this guy should have been institutionalized way before this happened.