Couldn't agree more. While hunters and home protection really don't need assault rifles, there is no law that could have changed these awful events. Until people learn compassion and respect, then atrocities will continue.I normally stay out of political discussions, so first I just want to say that it is difficult for me to put my thoughts down.
We are a gun owning household. My husband has several. Most of them are for hunting, I've talked about him being a hunter before. He has a couple that belonged to his grandfather, and they never get used. We have 2 handguns. I have recently learned how to handle one of them, because he is gone so much at night. He has always wanted me to learn, but I resisted. I could never imagine any situation where I might need to know how to use one. But my opinion on that has changed in recent months, my faith in the goodness of people has wavered. So I am now comfortable and knowledgeable enough to protect myself and my children if, heaven forbid, the need ever arose.
They are all legal, registered weapons. We take the precautions necessary to keep our children safe, and they have each seen, not only what a gun will do to a paper target, but also what a gun will do to a living creature. They have all been along on hunting trips and have seen what happens when you point and shoot at a living thing. They are locked in a gun cabinet in our bedroom and no one goes down there unsupervised. But, we have been rethinking even that...and as soon as we are financially able, we will be buying a gun safe. We do have a small one for the handguns, but the rifles are on clear view, the gun cabinet is glass fronted. So we will be taking one step further and making sure that they are even more secure than they are now.
I am torn between wanting to support what my husband believes in so very strongly, that it is his right to own them, and wanting to never, ever have to watch an event like Friday's unfold on the news again. Or like what happened in the mall earlier last week, or Aurora, or any of these terrible incidents. I know we are responsible owners, and would never do anything to hurt another human being with one of them, short of protecting ourselves and our children, but you don't know about the person next to you. How do you make sure the people who wish to do harm do not get their hands on a gun without also punishing the good, law abiding citizens? And here in Wyoming, the gun laws are pretty lenient. Anyone can carry without a concealed permit, although there are places, like schools where you cannot. Yes, there are background checks run when a purchase is made, but it takes 5 minutes, and you walk out with your gun.
3 weeks ago, there was an incident at a Casper, Wyoming college, which is about 100 miles from us. A young man, who was also diagnosed as being autistic, killed his father's girlfriend with a compound bow, and then went to the college, where his father was an instructor and walked into his classroom and shot him with the bow, then stabbed him and then killed himself. His motive? He blamed his father for having him and "making" him autistic. People who want to cause harm always find a way.
Whatever happens, whatever changes are made, I hope that good, law abiding citizens will not be punished for the actions of some who are not. But that is the problem...making that distinction. You just never know what the person next to you is thinking or will do.
I apologize for the long post. I feel like I rambled without really saying anything. (Told ya...I'm no good at this stuff) Somehow, things need to change...but I think the very first thing is to reinforce in all of our kids respect and compassion for their fellow man. Without that, nothing is ever going to get any better, with or without guns.