Last week in his guest commentary, "The Second Amendment," Richard Seiling related a heartrending story of a mother defending herself and her 9-year-old twins from an intruder in Loganville, Ga.
She fired six shots. Five struck the attacker who then fled. Mr. Seiling speculated that six bullets would not have been enough if none of her six bullets hit the perpetrator, arguing in favor of 30-round magazines.
Now imagine you are the mother, or father, or sister, brother, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, and uncle, of any of those 20 7-year-olds at Sandy Hook.
To appreciate this, close your eyes and take time to visualize your own 7-year-old child or grandchild, not at Sandy Hook, but right here at Oakhurst Elementary School. Imagine, instead of celebrating Christmas with your 7-year-old filled with goodness, innocence and vitality, you spend the rest of your life in mourning and perhaps depression.
Twenty children and six adults were killed. They weren't just shot; they were riddled with multiple bullets. Now let's ask ourselves: Had the shooter not used an assault weapon with a 30-round magazine, how many would have escaped? If those kids weren't riddled with bullets, how many would have been just wounded instead of killed? If Lanza's magazine was limited to six or 10, would the lunging teacher have successfully subdued Lanza? Even if Lanza had multiple clips or multiple guns, would the pause have given the teacher sufficient time to disrupt him? I'm sure the Sandy Hook parents preferred Lanza didn't have a weapon with 30 rounds.
Richard presented an argument for what he believes would be a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. At least I haven't seen any headline news stating, "Assault weapons and/or high capacity magazines instrumental in saving lives." However, we have seen many stories about assault weapons and high capacity magazines ending many innocent lives.
Richard said, "Having six shots did not guarantee this outcome successfully foiling the intruders for this mother and her children." In contrast, having 30 bullets did guarantee the outcome of 20 dead children and six adults. You decide. Is it better to prevent something that might happen or something that has happened multiple times?
Richard said, "Studies show that firearms are used more than two million times each year for personal protection."
David Frumm, a staunch conservative and former speechwriter for George W. Bush said this, "The trouble is that this claim of 2.5 million defensive gun uses is manifestly flawed and misleading." Much of what constitutes gun use for personal protection are stories like "picking up a shotgun before checking out the noises in the garage made by raccoons rooting through the trash."
"The figure of 2.5 million defensive gun uses is supposed to represent the number of such uses per year. Yet none of the studies aggregated in the 1995 paper measured annual use." -- 'Do guns make us safer?' By David Frum, July 30, 2012.
Richard says, "Crime doesn't magically disappear when guns are banned. In fact, it increases."
There are 12,644 U.S. homicides per year. About 8,000 are murders. There are 59 in England.
Eighty-eight out of 100 people own a gun in the U.S. Six out of 100 own a gun in the England.
Richard cited a book, 'More guns, less crime.' If that were true, shouldn't we have less crime in the U.S.?
Richard says, "The history of gun control is one of incremental erosion of freedoms." We went from owning muskets to owning semi-automatic, automatic, high capacity magazines, concealed or open carry in schools, churches, bars and national parks, hollow point bullets and more. When you say enough to your children, is that an erosion of their freedoms?
Richard says, "The purpose of the Second Amendment was to clearly define limitations on the government..."and "This is obvious to anyone who has read what the founding fathers wrote of the right to keep and bear arms."
If it is so obvious, I'm baffled at why there is a discipline dedicated to constitutional history and constitutional law.
Here is what constitutional experts say:
The 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller case is heralded as the most significant gun ruling in the Supreme Court's history. They upheld Heller's right to own a hand gun. The Supreme Court also held "(2) Like most rights, the Second Amendment is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose ..."