Gun massacres: Taking aim at the innocent

Over the past month, more than 50 people have been gunned down in violent massacres.

For any nut with a gun, it’s been an open season on innocent Americans, said The Washington Post in an editorial. On March 10, Michael McLendon shot 11 people to death, including himself, in a murder spree that spanned two Alabama counties. On March 29, the same day that Robert Stewart gunned down a nurse and seven elderly people in a nursing home in Carthage, N.C., Devan Kalathat slaughtered his family in Santa Clara, Calif. This past weekend James Harrison fatally shot his family, including his five children, in Graham, Wash. Last Friday, Jiverly Wong, a Vietnamese immigrant distraught over losing a job and taunted about his limited English, entered the American Civic Association in Binghamton, N.Y., and used two guns to kill 13 students, employees, and himself. Throw in the recent slayings of seven cops in Oakland and Pittsburgh, said Ted Anthony in the Associated Press, and that’s more than 50 dead within a month. Our mouths gape, the mind reels, and no one, it seems, can answer the question: “Why are we killing each other?”

I can’t explain the why, said Harold Evans in, but the how is obvious. This is a country awash in guns, a country whose murder rate—“highest among civilized nations”—is directly connected to the ease with which virtually any seething psychopath or criminal can purchase a firearm. For that, blame the fanatical leaders of the National Rifle Association, who have convinced millions of decent, law-abiding gun owners that any gun control law—no matter how reasonable—is part of a plot to take away all guns. Blame, too, the congressmen and senators who run scared of the NRA and are corrupted by its millions in campaign and PAC contributions. The Second Amendment speaks of a “well-regulated militia’’—not an armed free-for-all in which angry loners and the insane can easily buy assault weapons made for military use.

It wouldn’t be hard to put a stop to these massacres, said John Lott in If more citizens were armed, these madmen wouldn’t have the courage to start shooting—or they’d be quickly shot down. “Every multiple-victim public shooting I have studied where more than three people have been killed has taken place where guns are banned.” In these “gun-free zones,” law-abiding citizens are sitting ducks, and killers can turn scores of people into helpless victims. If the media reported these massacres accurately, the headlines would read: “Another killing spree in a gun-free zone.”

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