Why? A question with no answer.

My husband wants to know why a kindergarten teacher in a quiet Connecticut suburb owned two 9-mm hand guns and a semi-automatic rifle. He wants to know why are there no checks for mental stability for gun owners or background checks in most states to make sure that the purchaser is not an outright criminal.

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I want to know how come a relatively small number of gun nuts are able to hold our entire nation hostage. I’m pretty sure the majority of Americans don’t believe that anyone who wants one should be allowed to own an arsenal. Most people have more sense that.

I don’t think people who hunt are the problem, either. I don’t hunt, but I don’t feel I can consume meat while simultaneously objecting to someone else shooting a deer. I am not sufficiently hypocritical for that. In any case, hunters usually respect weapons, were often raised in homes where hunting is a tradition and guns are not considered toys … and they don’t use semi-automatic rifles or assault weapons for deer hunting. Or any other kind of hunting.

So who are these people who have so much more power than their numbers or any commonsense, logic, or reason suggests? Why do they seem to own us? My gut tells me to follow the money because beneath and supporting every evil, somewhere  there’s money involved. Usually a lot of money.

Why do we allow private people to buy these weapons? Why are they not held liable for the damage their weapons do, regardless of who is pulling the trigger?

GUNS-1-popupWhy do we have less oversight of guns than of motorcycles? The odds of a motorcycle killing anyone but its owner are small compared to what a gun — any gun — can do.

Why? Anyone have an answer? Because my husband and I are pretty smart people, well-educated and reasonably sophisticated. He was a reporter for a lifetime and has seen more of these massacres than anyone should ever have to see. I read, research, and spend a lot of  time looking for answers.

But neither one of us has answers this time. We just have questions. There are a lot of questions going around. Maybe it’s time to start formulating a few answers.

22 thoughts on “Why? A question with no answer.

  1. This comment is rather belated, but may still be worthwhile. I read this quote on Philip Yancey’s website just yesterday: “For us who are Christians, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is proof positive that love is stronger than hate, that life is stronger than death, that light is stronger than darkness, that laughter and joy, and compassion and gentleness and truth, all these are so much stronger than their ghastly counterparts.” — Bishop Desmond Tutu. Those words gave me much encouragement. I hope they resonate in your heart as well.

    • The Arabs have an expression that I agree with. “Trust in God, but tie your camel.”

      Most cultures have a similar saying. God is great, but that doesn’t change the need for some laws to control the proliferation of weapons.

  2. Among the craziness amidst all this are gun shows. People walk in with cash, buy guns in a “private sale” without background checks, and walk out. A local news crew was barred from such a show here so they could not see what was going on. It is a way around laws that thumbs its nose at any attempt at gun registration. The NRA supports this.

    • And the thing is, guns are expensive. A lot of the people who own a lot of guns appear to be otherwise poor. Maybe that’s because they’ve spent all their money on guns? If it were me, I’d spend it on a decent place to live, some comfortable furniture, and a good computer. But then again, my idea of heavy artillary is my Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun!!

      On Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 10:32 PM, Serendipity

        • The most frequent victim of gun violence is a family member. Someone is startled and shoots what they think is a burglar … or has a fight with a wife, brother, whatever and instead of stalking off to cool down, gets the gun and shoots. Stupid crimes.

          On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 10:31 AM, Serendipity

  3. Gun control is always a hot topic with stereotypical arguments on both sides. The constitution guarantees us the right to bear arms. The constitution was written by men. Men, with a stroke of a pen can change that constitution. There was a law banning assault weapons that expired. I feel it’s time to bring that law back, with teeth. Nobody needs an assault rifle to go target shooting. A BB gun can do that. An assault rifle is not the correct weapon of choice to protect your home. Ask any policeman about that. A riot short handled shotgun is much more effective because close counts and the sound of a shotgun being racked to load another round is the most distinctive sound in the world, a huge deterrent to anyone breaking in your home.

    My basic questions concerning the Connecticut massacre are, Why the wrong guns were purchased for their intended use and why the hell were they not properly secured in that home? They should have been locked in a gun safe with trigger locks applied, especially with a young man pulled out of school for his inability to deal with social situation. He was a time bomb waiting to explode. Terrible choices were made in this home with terrible consequences.

    • Exactly the same questions we are asking. Why did this womann have all those guns? She apparently had a few more. Why were they not secured? Why should any private citizen need an assault weapon? And how come nobody noticed the presence of a 20 year old man in black SWAT gear carrying a big rifle in an elementary school until he started shooting? Are people really so self-absorbed that they don’t notice that there’s something wrong with that picture?

      I figure we aren’t going to change human nature or solve all the problems, but certainly guns should be at least as regulated as cars. A test before you are allowed to use one and required training (“driver’s ed” for guns?), a current valid license to use whatever weapon you want (and probably some explanation of why you need it at all!), insurance, registration, and the knowledge that YOU are responsible for that weapon regardless of who pulls the trigger. A lot of the guns in the hands of criminals started as licensed weapons that just “disappeared” and the owners felt no compelling need to bother to report the loss. If your car disappears, you call the cops and your insurance agent … but not a gun?

      As for collectors, I want a definition of what that means. If you are a collector, you shouldn’t need ammunition, right?

      So many things about this don’t add up. We aren’t very far from Connecticut, so we get a lot of local rumor and there’s more to the story … I suspect a lot more.

      • I heard the mother was shot 5 times in the face so she’s paid for her mistakes. Her son shot out a window at the school to gain access, then immediately killed the principal who tried to physically get in his way. What they needed was an armed, professional guard. There are lots of retired pollice and veterans who could handle such a job. It’s one solution to stopping nut jobs.

        • There seem to be conflicting accounts of how it all went down. I’ll hold back my opinion until events are clarified. I’ve heard half a dozen versions … with some pretty big variations.

  4. I am now reading that the Mother was obsessive about protecting her home and her safety, which is why she had guns. Let’s put aside (not abandon) the gun debate and think about her fears for a minute.

    I’d like to remind people that the Cheshire, Connecticut, home invasion murders occurred 29 miles away in 2007. Also, a single Mom in Mount Vernon, NH was murdered in a machete attack and her daughter seriously injured in another home invasion in 2009 by neighborhood boys.

    Both are upscale rural communities. There have been other violent home invasions in these areas, the last on Oct 5th. I am not saying Mrs Lanza was right or wrong owning guns but I think enough of these home invasions can leave some women feeling very frightened and vulnerable.

    How far will we go to protect our families? Hindsight is so easy. I can get past things pretty fast but I know a lot of women who are terrified for their safety. Last month a woman nearby in Winston-Salem was kidnapped when a man snuck into her backseat as she returned her shopping cart to the kiosk a few cars away! I do this all the time, not now but how soon before I relax my vigilance? That woman was driven to Mt Airy to be beaten and raped.

    I think these factors need to be considered in this debate, many women feel vulnerable in our society. I can see how guns seem a reasonable response to a woman who fears for her safety -add in protecting your family, regardless of how stable they are, you still love them.

    I know it is easier to accomplish something by focusing on one aspect but I hope a rational look at the bigger picture can lead to positive changes also.

    • Newtown is very far from rural. I have friends living a few miles away. There’s NOTHING in that area to justify the belief that having a lot of weapons is necessary or would, if it came down to it, protect anyone from anything. Does anyone have any statistics about how many people kill actually intruders into their homes rather than someone who startled them (a family member, usually), themselves, or random others who they killed because they could? Or how many of these guns wind up on the street and used for crimes?

      On Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 10:10 AM, Serendipity

  5. You can tell your husband he is right to ask WHY so did I.
    Then I heard a few details and then I knew
    She had been preparing as many in this country sadly are to stand up to reports of a government intent on taking our every last right away.
    She lived well her EX and the judge at divorce court made that happen and with that she could afford a fine collection and her beliefs with 2 small boys I pray the other is stable enough to hold it together
    Eunice

    • We seem to have so MANY of these people I’ve known some at work and aside from their insane paranoia, they were educated, even talented people … but nuts. Definitely absolutely nuts. Is it something in the water? Or air? Or maybe it just seems like they are all here when really, they are everywhere, but here they have more guns. I don’t get it. The older I get, the less I understand and I think some of these, I don’t really want to understand. It will just upset me more.

      • Yes you are right in your thinking we say the same thing water? Air? NH has lot of guns and those who will fight to death to keep them and I too own one to protect my home and shoot an animal with rabies or to hunt to fill my freezer but I do not own crates of ammo that is the reality of a normal person and one who has the need to have a complete arsenal many have more than the local police departments gangs as well as regular people who thought they were expressing their rights to bear arms to going just off the deep end but why so many you are right WHY?

        • Especially people who live in areas where there are a lot of wild animals and more than a few of them are rabid (we live in one of these areas and I’m inoculated against rabies) … and for anyone who hunts or for that matter, shoots clay pigeons … There’s having a gun and then there’s building an arsenal aimed at a perceived upcoming Armegeddon. There’s a universe of difference between those things.

          I don’t have a “real gun.” I don’t think a target 22 inherited from my first husband’s grandfather and a Red Ryder BB gun count as “real” guns, especially since we don’t have any ammo for the rifle and the BB gun is really great at killing paper plates, if you aim carefully. We don’t have a “real” gun here because none of us is actively involved in sport shooting, has any weapons training, good weapons don’t come cheap, and around here, just getting out of the way of an animal that looks threatening and maybe sick is probably a better idea unless you are a very very good shot. Because if you miss and just wound a large beastie, all you are going to do is make him madder.

          But you’re not a crazy person. MOST people aren’t. I don’t think anyone wants to eliminate sporting guns or sports involving guns … but a lot of the guns out there have no legitimate sporting purpose. They only thing they are good for is killing people.

          On Sun, Dec 16, 2012 at 10:45 AM, Serendipity

  6. Rod says:

    I too have questions; some the same as you. Seems to me, humans have been involved in homicide for as long as humans have been around. What makes this instance any worse? Is it because 6 year olds were killed? Maybe. However, are six year olds killed only by people with guns? No. Are we outraged because 28 people lost their lives in one horrible instance? Yes. What makes that any worse than one person being killed by another in any fashion? Was the person who did this evil? Was he simply broken in some way? If someone takes away all the guns, with this stop people from killing their fellow man? I don’t think so, and I suspect, neither do you. I don’t have the answer to this madness, but I also suspect, neither do you.

    • We are a homicidal bunch and there is certainly more than enough violence of all kinds to satisfy anyone who’s into it. My point is that if you take away the guns, you can at least lower the body count. No one is going to fix the human race. If I were God, I’ve have given up and done a new creation using a worthier species. Be that as it may, we can at least take away the weapons. In countries with real gun control, there IS a lower homocide rate. Violence? Yes (though not all cultures are as violent as we are), but not to the point of homocide. We can’t cure everything, but we can do a lot better than we are. We do not have to just sit around tsk-tsking while handing out weapons. Doing nothing is too little.

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