Holy Smokes Batman! Government Overreacts by Proposing More Control

You cannot open a newspaper, turn on the television or stumble across an online news source without hearing the latest details about James Eagen Holmes, 24, dubbed ‘The Batman Killer’. By now everyone knows that Holmes attended the movie The Dark Knight in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colorado. Mid-point through the movie, he left through an emergency exit, blocking it open. He then went to his car, put on body armor and grabbed weapons. When he entered the movie theater he then began shooting, injuring 58 people and killing 12. Holmes was found by his car and surrendered to police without a fight. People are reeling to understand why someone would do such a thing and news outlets are busy looking into Holmes’ past to discover a cause. It has been determined that he received one of only five annual National Institutes of Health grants to cover his full tuition, which comes with an $26,000 annual living allowance. We also know Holmes was doing a doctrinal program in neuroscience. To put it bluntly, this kid was brilliant, but troubled. Some have suggested that he had or was going to fail his first round of exams, which is why documents show he filed to withdraw from the program at the end of his first year, in June 2012. We may never understand the reasoning behind Holmes actions, but we will continue to feel the effects.

As our government began to immediately take reactionary measures to prevent another attack like the one in Aurora, American citizens saw another attack on their civil liberties. The assumption Democrats immediately made was that tighter gun control was needed and more strictly enforced. They, however, neglected to ask one vital question: how could this have been stopped at the theater? Liberals rushed to the conclusion that the only way to stop an attack is to prevent someone from obtaining a weapon and/or ammunition. On July 30th, Democrats announced a new bill which would effectively ban regular American citizens from purchase weapons online. New York Rep. Carolyn McCarthy and New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg are calling their bill the Stop Online Ammunitions Act and hope to limit online sales to dealers only. Their bill will also require that sales of more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition be reported to the government and require licensed dealers to keep records of who they’re selling to.

Perhaps the Stop Online Ammunitions Act sounds like a good idea. After all, we don’t want just anybody being able to buy thousands of rounds of ammunition for their guns, do we? Oh wait, that pesky 2nd Amendment to the Constitution says that citizens have the right to bear arms, which implies the right to have and use ammunition in those arms. What’s at stake here isn’t just our ability to defend ourselves from a tyrannous government (which our forefathers were worried about), but our privacy as well. As there is no correlation between number of rounds and likelihood to attack another human being, the government does not need to know how many rounds one has.  Their logic is faulty because the number itself does not indicate how likely one is to attack another human being. They seem to have forgotten that it takes only one bullet to end a human life.

So back to the question that Democrats missed: how could the shooting have been prevented from within the theater? By having an armed public. Google the words “concealed carry saves” and you will find numerous news articles that reveal an armed public is a safer public. The New York Daily News states that “with a single exception, every multiple-victim public shooting in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed since at least 1950 has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry their own firearms.” The article goes on to cite several specific examples of armed citizens who reacted when a gunman showed up, saving lives while doing so.

Statistically speaking, an unarmed citizenry is actually less safe than an armed one. You may have seen the debate on CNN featuring Piers Morgan on July 23rd. Morgan (who is from the UK) argued that more control is needed in the US. However, his guest- academic John Lott Jr. pointed out that England had fewer gun deaths per year before they implemented their gun control than after. Germany provides yet another sad, but real example that more gun control does not keep the public safe. Germans have to wait an entire year for a gun after undergoing extensive psychological screening. Yet, in the last ten years, “three of the worst five multiple-victim K-12 public school shootings in the world” took place there (NY Daily News). It is not an armed public that the government should be afraid of, but the armed criminal. Having an armed public actually makes law enforcement’s job easier because a person with a concealed carry permit is able to react and end an attack minutes before police arrive (or in some cases are even called).

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