I don’t own a gun. I never want to own a gun. I don’t want to live in a household with a gun. I’ve talked to too many grieving mothers and fathers to ever want anything to do with guns.
Yes, bad people kill. But we all bear responsibility for gun violence. The majority of guns used in local crimes were legally purchased in the Rochester region. They ended up on the streets through things like burglaries, car break-ins and thefts by family members who sell them on the streets for drugs. If the Livingston County Sheriff can get his guns stolen out of his car at Marketplace Mall, it can happen to anyone. The gun used to shoot Officer Anthony DiPonzio was stolen from a legal owner’s house on Avenue D.
Legal guns end up being illegal all the time – with deadly consequences. This year alone in Rochester, a couple dozen people have been shot and killed. A couple hundred more have survived shootings. The toll of gun violence on our city is devastating.
Americans do have the right to own guns and a debate over that right won’t be productive. But in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, I don’t understand why anyone has a right to own weapons capable of mowing down classrooms and theaters full of people. The guns used in the Sandy Hook shooting belonged to his mother. The New York Daily News reports:
“The damage these weapons can do is just horrific,” firearms expert Ronald Scott said.
All three are highly lethal weapons manufactured for combat and to stop criminals. The semi-automatic Glock and SIG Sauer are the two most popular firearms used by law enforcement officers around the country and by private gun owners, said Scott.
The Glock, made in Austria, and the American-made SIG Sauer can fire up to five bullets a second at a velocity of 1,200 feet a second.
We must – we have to – talk about guns. Our society is obsessed with safety and minimizing risk, but not when it comes to guns. Why not make sure no one can kill dozens of people in the blink of an eye?
Those who want to talk about gun violence are not insensitive or politicizing a tragedy. We all cried today, didn’t we? I just don’t know how we talk about this incident without talking about guns. I don’t think the discussion should be limited to stemming mass shootings, but it’s a start.
Links about the Newtown Tragedy and gun violence:
– “I came to realize that, in essence, this is the way we in America want things to be.” – Father of a student killed in a mass shooting in 1992.
– An Onion piece captures the way many felt today. (Warning: Strong language.)
– The United States spends 1,000 times more on fighting terrorism than it does on gun violence, even though the latter’s toll is far higher.
— urbandata (@urbandata) December 14, 2012
Gov: We as a society must unify and once and for all crack down on the guns that have cost the lives of far too many innocent Americans.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 14, 2012
— ABC News (@ABC) December 14, 2012