The Shooting

I’m at loss for words after this latest school shooting, the only emotion that comes to mind is fear. Not a fear of getting shot by a crazed madman, a fear of what draconian measures will be implemented in the name of preventing school shootings.

I can see it now, metal detectors and video cameras at every building entrance on campuses around the country. I’m sure people will blame the usual suspects as well, probably guns and video games. I’m sure someone will tie stronger ID cards in to this tragedy as well. If this kid turns out to be a foreign student, this will be tied to immigration too.

While we can’t blame guns for this incident, I’m all in favor of stronger gun regulation. I believe people should go through a psych evaluation and a 1/2 day training course before being allowed to own a firearm.

There should be basic training to own basic guns, and more advanced training to own more advanced guns, such as assault weapons, handguns, all the way up to a training level that allows someone to carry a concealed weapon.

We should look at pilot licensing for inspiration. The FAA doesn’t let a student jump in to a Cessna alone without knowing the basics, and flying with an instructor many hours beforehand. That policy prevents the student from hurting himself and others. When a private pilot gets their license, they can’t just hop in the left seat of a Gulfstream, there are several levels of certification.

Obviously shooting a gun isn’t nearly as complex as flying a plane, but the effects of doing something stupid with guns is irreversible. Basic concepts such as safe gun storage need to be drilled in to people’s heads. Now the typical NRA member will say he has “been around guns all his life, and he knows how to own guns safely.” The problem is, whatever bad habits these people picked up from the parents, they are bound to repeat themselves.

Training doesn’t just give us better gun owners, it weeds out the idiots. As as result of the training and certification required to fly a plane, there is a much lesser amount of idiots flying planes, compared to say idiots driving cars. Sadly, gun ownership in the United States is much easier than getting a license to drive, so there are lots of idiot gun owners.

I’m sure someone reading this will say, but I have the right to bear arms, well the idea that the second amendment to the constitution gives people the right to own an arsenal of weapons is a fallacy. I say this as the proud owner of an assault weapon, and someone who enjoys sporting clays and target shooting.

Finally, lets put this event in perspective. An event like 30+ innocent people being killed at once for no good reason is a great tragedy. It happens in Iraq every other day. As much as we want to find someone or something to blame for this tragedy, maybe we should have the same resolve and shock when innocent Iraqis are blown away every day as the direct result of our president’s hubris.