Colorado rampage: guns are too easy to get and too deadly not to be controlled

Why wasn’t there a red flag in the system that this guy was out there buying guns and ammo with abandon? Photo: A friend grieves for Alex Sullivan killed on his 27th birthday AP

MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, Md., July 20, 2012  – In the early hours of Friday, a graduate student went into a movie theater and coldly shot 71 persons. As of late today, 12 people are dead, seven are still in critical condition and 19 are still hospitalized. The victims’ ages ranged from 4 months to 45 years old. How does one take apart such a horrible tragedy?

The alleged shooter, whom I refuse to call by name, was apparently an honor student and after not being able to get a job, decided to continue for his Ph. D. at the University of Colorado. Details are sketchy, but there are reports that a couple of months ago he decided to abandon his studies. At the same time he went about buying the four weapons, three of which he may have used to shoot the 70 innocent victims. All weapons have been reported to have been purchased legally.

Coincidentally, the great hype for the opening of “The Dark Knight Rises” included death threats to a critic that dared to give it a bad review. Reviewing the comments from the review, one has to be amazed at the insane response by some to a simple movie review. Maybe this was foreshadowing the events of early Friday.

The first thing that one has to wonder about is why would anyone go out and buy four weapons over a short period of time. In the current time of relational data bases and instant communications, why wasn’t there a red flag that something was going on with this person?

It is hard to believe that whatever system Colorado uses to register guns and provide information to dealers on gun buyers that it does not keep track of the frequency of purchases. Maybe there is some state law that prohibits such monitoring, and if there is, it is easy to guess what gun lobby is responsible for it.

Makeshift memorial for the shooting victims AP

In the last year we have seen several episodes of shooters killing innocent persons in the US and Canada. While the frequency may be higher than normal, the amazing thing about it is that we have seen very little response by our authorities with regard to the most obvious reason, the predominance of guns in our society. One can only assume that all of us, especially politicians are held hostage to the gun lobby.

We are hostages because we, in the person of our Congressional representatives, are coerced to accept a situation that makes us vulnerable to erratic episodes of insanity. We are put in danger because of the real or perceived belief that gun ownership without restrictions is the constitutional right of all Americans.

This coercion is effective because of the voting power that gun owners have in this country and in the fact that they will defeat any candidate that is perceived to want to limit gun ownership. Even the liberal Democrats, that at one time tried to limit gun ownership, have abandoned any plans in this respect, especially during an election year.

Reasons that gun enthusiasts give for demanding unrestricted exercise of their gun rights include:

* Americans have the right to protect themselves from crime;

 An AR15 was used in the attack - Washington Times

* Communist governments succeeded in the past by collecting all weapons from the citizens;

* In case of a foreign invasion, having a weapon would provide a good defense;

* If the government decides to ignore our freedoms, we can defend them with our weapons;

* I enjoy fire arms and the Constitution gives me the right to have as many as I want;

* I like to hunt;

* I may feel threaten by an African American in a hoodie that says he has candy and a drink in his pockets;

* If I have a weapon I can stand my ground.

Most of these reasons are garbage. While having a weapon may protect some persons from crime and hunting is legal, one can implement other protection methods or take up a different hobby. The balance of the reasons is not logical and is in fact dangerous to the gun owner and the innocent bystander.

In the 200+ years since we became a country, our government has never decided to ignore our freedoms or establish a tyrannical regime. I trust that in the hundreds of years of the future of our republic, it also will not happen.

While taking guns away from its citizens might have made it easier for Communist regimes to keep power, it was also a slight advantage that would not have changed the end result.

Enjoying guns is something that most people get over when they become adults. Like toys, we may miss them, but most of us stop playing with them.

Finally, remember: in case of a foreign invasion, citizens with guns have very little chance to overcome an organized armed force.


Mario Salazar, the 21st Century Pacifist, is a bleeding heart liberal, agnostic, exercise fanatic, Redskin fan, technophile, civil engineer, combat infantry veteran, jewelry maker, amateur computer programmer, Environmental engineer, Colombian-born, free thinker, and, not surprisingly, pacifist. You can find his articles - ranging from politics to cooking a mean brisket - in 21st Century Pacifist <> at The Washington Times Communities. Follow Mario on Twitter @chibcharus #TWTC and Facebook at Mario Salazar.


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Mario Salazar

Mario Salazar is a combat infantry Vietnam Vet, world traveler, renaissance reconnaissance man, pacifist, metal smith, glass artisan, computer programmer and he has a Master of Science in Civil/Environmental Engineering.  Now retired from the Environmental Protection Agency and living in Montgomery County, Mario will share with you his life, his thoughts, his musing on living in yet another century of change.  He will also try to convey his joy of being old.

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