I have spent a lot of today listening to people who disagree with me. It's not that my position on guns has changed since the Connecticut massacre, I've always felt that guns were bad and should be banned. A lot of people today have explained to me that they shouldn't have to give up their guns because they are "responsible" gun owners.
Years ago, the argument for having a gun was so that you could shoot someone who broke into your house while one was sleeping. This never made sense to me. Do you sleep with the gun on the bedside table so you can grab and shoot? What if the person you think is a robber is actually a friend or family member to whom you gave a key? If you leave your gun out, how responsible are you if your child wakes up in the middle of the night and decides to play with said firearm? If you don't keep the gun right next to you, how do you get the gun out of the gun safe, load it and then kill the intruder? And basically, wouldn't a dog and a alarm system work better?
Years ago, someone actually did come in through the back door while I was asleep. The cops were able to get the piece of bloodied blue jean Olivia chomped off of him when she heard someone approaching, ran downstairs silently and protected her home, as any good dog would. When they caught him, they had DNA. Good dog.
I keep reading statistics that where gun laws are more lax (like in the south) more people die from shootings. Not to mention the inner city communities where kids often have PTSD by the time they're teenagers from the constant gunfire outside. Having to sleep in a bathtub will do that to you. It's like a war zone.
But these people, whom I know, defend their rights to have their guns. They don't use them for crime, and often they don't fire them on a regular basis. They just like having them. I don't get it.
They say they're responsible, but mental illness is not something one is born with: it develops later, and the statistic is that more than 10% of people will get some form of mental illness over their lifetime. You don't know when you buy that gun that you WON'T end up with depression, or bipolar disorder a year, or 10 years, down the road.
And what about alcohol. How many gun owners drink? Could that affect their "responsible-ness"?
As I write this, the details of the Connecticut "why" are still evolving. We probably won't know for at least a few days. But it's obvious that Lanza was mentally ill. Why is it so much easier in America to get an arsenal than treatment for mental illness?