Following Parkland Shootings - Finding Real Solutions

By Dan Schmitt |  February 23, 2018 |

Kids have backed President Trump into a corner.  At least for the moment, our president is listening to the young voices of sorrow, the young voices of hurt, the young voices of anger.

And our president is offering up possible solutions to decrease this curse of mass killings plaguing our country. He’s suggested that the age to buy a rapid-fire weapon like the AR-15 could be increased to 21 rather than the current 18.  But, will it help if the age to buy a rapid-fire weapon like the AR-15 is raised?  

Right now, a part of me says, “I’ll take any step, no matter how small, if it stops even one new mass killing from happening.”

Another part of me says, “This is a ruse, nothing more, nothing less.”  

Most of the mass shootings in our country over the past 30 years or so were done by males using an AR-15 style rapid-fire weapon and high-capacity magazines. And, the overwhelming majority of those mass killers were over the age of 21. Take a look at some of the tragedies:

October 1, 2017 – Las Vegas, Nevada:  58 dead; the killer was 64 years old

June 12, 2016 – Orlando, Florida:  49 dead, the killer was 49 years old

April 16, 2007 – Blacksburg Virginia:  32 dead; the killer was 23 years old

December 14, 2012 – Newtown, Connecticut:  26 dead; the killer was 20 years old

November 5, 2017 – Sutherland Springs, Texas:  25 dead; the killer was 26 years old

October 16, 1991 – Killeen, Texas:  23 dead, the killer was 35 years old

July 18, 1984 – San Ysidro, California:  21 dead, the killer was 41 years old

February 14, 2018 – Parkland, Florida:  17 dead, the killer was 19 years old

December 2, 2015 – San Bernardino, California:  14 dead, the killer was 28 years old

July 20, 2012 – Aurora, Colorado:  12 dead, the killer was 24 years old

Maybe, in a perfect world, a world where the age to purchase an AR-15 rapid-fire weapon was 21 and those under that age had no way to gain access to such a weapon, the Newtown and the Parkland slaughters would not have occurred. But the facts suggest that increasing the age to purchase such a weapon wouldn’t have stopped most of these tragedies.  

Maybe it’s time to take a look at a real solution:  keeping instruments of war like rapid-fire weapons and large-capacity magazines out of the hands of the public at large.

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Tracy said...

I would like to see similar calls for action on determining why four parkland deputies waiting outside the building while the shooting was occurring? In the 6 minutes the murder took to slaughter those kids, 4 of those minutes the school resource office waited outside the building.

When you have a hue and cry to ban all semi-automatic firearms as a solution to these massacres, there is no hue and cry regarding placebo laws like gun free zones. You cannot provide me one example of this las preventing one shooting.

Why should I surrender my firearm to the very authorities who wait outside while lives are being taken. Why should I allow my right to self-defence be removed or diminished when not one gun control advocate questions the ability of these same authorities to protect me?

Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

Mr./Ms. Fong, your point on the cowardice of the law enforcement professionals at the recent event is well taken. It seems you are conflating two separate issues though.

As a lifelong hunter and gun owner, I see no need to possess a rifle that is designed for military use whose sole purpose is to kill as many of an enemy in a battle situation as possible. Simply stated, this rifle is designed for the battlefield, not for the schoolyard or movie theater.

To the best of my recollection, in the aftermath of any of the recent mass murders over the last several years, the calls have been for reasonable measures. Any responsible gun owner will understand this is not an attempt to disarm and strip you and me of our Second Amendment rights.

Put in simple terms, as adherents of the First Amendment well tell you it is understood it does give a person the to run into a theater and yell "fire" or intentionally slander or libel someone. Yes, there are even limits to the First Amendment.

Should not the same logic apply to the Second Amendment?

Tracy said...

What in the world does it matter what kind of weapon a mass killer is using when you have an armed uniformed officer who has the ability and training to engage the maniac?

The CNN town meeting gun control advocates called to the ban on all semi-automatic guns. Not military styled weapons, ALL semi-automatics...not just assault rifles. They volunteer to be police officers. They sworn an oath.

LTC Tracy Fong, US Army ret.

Tracy said...

Why support any ban when the people sworn to protect and serve, fail to protect and serve?

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