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Second Article on these Shootings

Second Article on School Shootings

By: David A.W. Hittle

December 15, 2012

I was going to wait a few days in order to write another article about these events, however, I continue to see liberals yelling for gun control as though that will cause bad guys to turn their guns in. So what I want to do in this article is too look at the laws in place in these states and localities as well as at the federal level. I’m going to start in order and I’m first going to begin with religion and work my way into everything else.

I personally believe that one of the problems with our society today, is that we have taken God out of schools; we have taken all respect for life out of schools. Kids are not taught about mortality or taught about respect for others.

In 1962, the Supreme Court of the United States officially removed God from the schools. In its decision Engel v. Vitale 370 U.S. 421 (1962), the Court ruled 6-1 that “state officials could not compose an official school prayer and encourage its recitation in public schools” (Wikipedia Contributors 1962). While in my opinion religion shouldn’t be forced upon students by educators removing any thought or idea of a God, isn’t a good idea.

Five years after this decision a man by the name of “Charles Whitman, climbed an observation deck at the University of Texas-Austin and killed 16 people and wounded 31” (Wikipedia Contributors 1966).

Eight years after that decision a protest on the campus of Kent State would end when National Guardsman would open fire on a group of unarmed students killing four students and wounding nine others (Wikipedia Contributors 1970).

These are not all of the school shootings of course, but these were the two of the worst situations provided. On September 13, 1994, Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed into law the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. This law prohibited the manufacture for civilian use of semi-automatic firearms. This law would last 10-years until it expired on September 13, 2004 (Wikipedia Contributors 1994).

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban, didn’t make any difference at all when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold would use Tec-DC9’s (banned), Hi-Point 995 (sort of banned), shotguns, including a sawed-off shotgun (illegal), 99 explosives (ILLEGAL), and four knives. So, even with a federal law, which banned “assault weapons” like what were used in this massacre were still able to be used. The law obviously didn’t matter to these murderers (Wikipedia Contributors 1999).

One year before the Columbine massacre, was the Westside Middle School Massacre. Again, even after a Federal Assault Weapons Ban, the students in this massacre were still able to use an M1 Carbine banned by the assault weapons ban (Wikipedia Contributors 1998).

Again, there were many, many shootings that I have not named or listed here, according to the count Wikipedia has published there were 23 school shootings. Not all school shootings are listed on Wikipedia but 23 shootings even after the federal government institutes gun control is outrageous. If gun control worked, would these school shootings have happened? If the Assault Weapons Ban actually worked wouldn’t these students have not been able to use those weapons?

Looking at recent incidents, the Empire State Building shooting, the Aurora shooting, and the latest Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting; I will explore the various state laws that each of these locations have.

First off the Empire State Building shooting, the Empire State Building is located in New York City, according to the Wall Street Journal, the shooter used a .45cal handgun to commit his crime (Tamer El-Ghobashy 2012). According to the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, in order to purchase of possess a handgun in NYC you must have the “approval of the Commissioner, for each handgun license. All carry licenses are restrictive, and you must have a permit to purchase of possess other types of weapons as well” (National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action 2011). These Gun Control Laws, didn’t seem to stop this man from entering the Empire State Building and shooting employees inside. Again, if gun control worked, wouldn’t the man be repealed from entering the city limits? Wouldn’t he have been immediately arrested as soon as he left his home? No, because someone who intends to do bad things, will do bad things, whether the law says it’s bad or not.

The Aurora shooting, which occurred in Aurora, Colorado at a movie theater; a gunman armed with an AR-15 style weapon, shotguns and tear gas grenades opened fire in a crowded movie theater. According to the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, it is unlawful to carry a concealed firearm on or about one’s person without a permit. It is also unlawful to have a firearm other than a handgun in or on any motor vehicle unless the chamber is unloaded (National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action 2011). So the laws in Colorado already covered this, and the laws in Aurora are even more restrictive. Again, if gun control worked, wouldn’t the man be repealed from entering the city limits? Wouldn’t he have been immediately arrested as soon as he left his home? No, because someone who intends to do bad things, will do bad things, whether the law says it’s bad or not.’

Finally the latest shooting in Newtown, CT, while the details are very meek and the incident just occurred hours ago, according to the Brady Campaign, Connecticut is ranked #5 for being the best when it comes to gun control laws, they were also given three stars by the Brady Campaign, and were only beat by New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and California. Again, this guy should have been arrested. As soon as he entered the state he should have been arrested. And being that he is from New Jersey, he should have been arrested. After all New Jersey is ranked #3, beating #5 Connecticut.

My point in all of this, is this, we will never be able to prevent insane people from snapping. We can make our “safe” places such as schools more secure, with better security, more identification, etc. But we will never be able to 100% prevent situations like these.

Like Mike Huckabee said on Fox News Channel today: “If you could take away all guns all over the world, the bad guy would just use bombs.” This is what happens in Israel, the bad guys have found that they cannot attack by conventional means i.e. guns, they now use bombs. But Israel does something that the United States has never done, Israel arms their teachers. When a teacher takes his/her students on a field trip, that teacher is armed. Whenever the students are in class, the teacher is armed. Israel deals with the type of stuff we dealt with yesterday, every day. Should we not take examples from places that work?

My point is, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban didn’t work, there were still shootings, and there were still shootings with “assault weapons,” the local and state gun control laws as are in Chicago, New York, New York City, Connecticut, haven’t prevented crime. There is only one thing that is certain when you enter a state or locality like that, and that is, not very many people are going to return fire.

We have a second amendment right, so we can protect ourselves, the government needs to stay out of the way, and let the people protect themselves.

Works Cited

National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. New York City Important/Relevant Gun Laws. Fairfax, December 5, 2011.

National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. Colorado Important/Relevant Gun Laws. Fairfax, December 7, 2011.

Tamer El-Ghobashy, Sophia Hollander, Pervaiz Shallwani. Murder at a New York Icon. New York, August 24, 2012.

Wikipedia Contributors. Columbine High School Massacre. Littleton, April 20, 1999.

Wikipedia Contributors. Engel v. Vitale. Washington, D.C., June 25, 1962.

Wikipedia Contributors. Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Washington, D.C., September 13, 1994.

Wikipedia Contributors. Kent State Shootings. Kent, May 4, 1970.

Wikipedia Contributors. School Shootings in the United States. Austin , August 1, 1966.

Wikipedia Contributors. Westside Middle School Massacre. Jonesboro, March 24, 1998.