From: Michael Rasche
This is in response to John Krull’s column in the July 25 edition of The Republic. Krull is lamenting the availability of guns and the supposedly lax gun laws in Indiana. His take is there need to be more restrictions on firearms and their use, citing the violence taking place in Indianapolis recently.
However, firearms are similarly available in the whole state of Indiana, and other localities are not having the problem that Indy has. The problem is not the presence of firearms in the community, but the people present in that community and their behavior. Bad actors like Major Davis Jr. are certainly made worse with a gun in their hands. He had a criminal record but no felony convictions, so he may have legally owned that rifle.
Pre-empting people like Davis from possessing firearms is very difficult from a legislative standpoint unless you are talking about banning possession by anyone, which has already been tried with alcohol, and we are still paying the price for the good intentions of that. The buying frenzy on all things gun-related of the past few years shows the public sentiment on having guns.
Banning certain types of guns is a fool’s errand, as they all do the same thing, imparting a huge amount of energy into a small piece of metal. The Beltway Snipers of Washington, D.C., killed 10 people and wounded several firing single shots from concealment, the trunk of the car. They could have used a muzzle-loading flintlock rifle to the same effect. Magazines of any capacity are quickly changed, and the shooter can make his plans according to the attributes of his weapon(s).
The problem is people. In communities without gangs and drugs, you have a much lower incidence of crime and gun crime in particular. Where you have a behavioral sink going on, you have people getting shot. Calling for more gun laws is the low-hanging fruit of the argument and in a political context can enhance your résumé. But if you are really interested in solving the problem, you have to look at the family and how people are being brought up.
True gun control is in the hand of the person holding the gun. It does not come from the halls of any legislature.