Today is the fifth anniversary of an American tragedy, the senseless mass shooting of 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, yet with the passage of time the “common sense” that gun control advocates continually demand about gun laws still seems to elude them.
Killer Adam Lanza would not have been stopped by so-called “universal background checks.” He didn’t buy the guns used in the attack; his mother – whom he murdered earlier that morning – bought them under the strict gun laws that existed in Connecticut at the time.
The “gun free school zones” law did not prevent Lanza’s attack. In a place where there were no legally-carried firearms allowed, the guns Lanza had were the only guns in the building.
Banning so-called “large capacity” magazines would not have prevented the carnage, as a detailed report at Wikipedia notes that, “Authorities determined that Lanza reloaded frequently during the shootings, sometimes firing only fifteen rounds from a thirty-round magazine.” The shooting began shortly after 9:35 a.m., and the final shot – heard by responding police – was fired at 9:40:03 a.m., according to Wikipedia. Over the course of five minutes, swapping out magazines can happen multiple times.
Banning modern sport-utility rifles will not prevent carnage. A dozen adults were killed during the September 2013 mass shooting at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard by killer Aaron Alexis, who was using a Remington Model 870 pump-action shotgun, plus a 9mm Beretta pistol taken from one of his victims, a security guard. Alexis was killed in an exchange of gunfire with other officers. Good guys with guns actually do stop bad guys with guns.
Incidentally, Alexis passed a background check to purchase the shotgun. Most other mass shooters also passed background checks. A few used guns they “borrowed without permission” meaning that they didn’t bother with such a check.
Every time anti-gunners press for additional gun laws, gun sales increase. The Daily Mail reported that new research revealed that “Gun sales, online searches about guns and accidental gun deaths all surged in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.”
Likewise, concealed carry permit applications skyrocket. For example, in Washington State, there were 392,784 active concealed pistol licenses on Jan. 2, 2013, just two weeks after Sandy Hook. One year later, there were 449,532 active CPLs, according to that state’s Department of Licensing. That’s an increase of 56,748 CPLs. The most recent figure puts the number of active licenses at 591,366. That’s a bump of more than 198,000 CPLs in five years.
Following the terror attack in San Bernardino, and even the attack in Paris, anecdotal evidence showed a spike in carry permit and license applications and gun sales. Talking about restricting access to firearms makes Americans buy more of them.
Today, Sandy Hook memorials are planned in several locations around the country, including Seattle, at the far end of the country. Washington Ceasefire will host a memorial walk along the east side of Green Lake starting at 5 p.m. No doubt gun control will be part of the conversation.
There is no small irony in the fact that Friday, Dec. 15, is National Bill of Rights Day. There are ten amendments in the Bill of Rights, including the Second, which affirms and protects the right to keep and bear arms.