One girl’s survival raises questions about limiting fire power

“Mommy, I’m OK, but all my friends are dead.” One unidentified brave little girl is reported to have played dead and hid among the corpses of her class mates until she thought it was safe to run. In a classroom of 16 first graders, she was the sole survivor. She lay on the floor in the warm blood as Adam Lanza put at least two bullets into each of her classmates and her teacher. Covered in blood from head to toe, she was the first student to run out of Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Explain to this little girl, why we can’t control guns. Tell her that her childhood was sacrificed so that “we the people” can have the right to go have “fun” blowing off a 50 round magazine. Why we need to have guns that will fire as quickly as we can pull the trigger.

Yes, we have a right to bear arms. This right is inviolate and a cornerstone of our country. I strongly support this right. I come from a large family of Pennsylvania hunters. Not one of them hunts deer with a Bushmaster AR15 and a high capacity clip. You could be thrown in jail if you did. I support the right to arm yourself for self protection. A .357 with a 6 inch barrel will pretty much stop anybody a step inside your door with one or two shots. Shooting them 25 times could get you locked up. Explain to the little girl who survived, but will be scarred forever, why we need such extreme firepower.

But, you say, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” But guns and especially high capacity guns, enable the killer. How many children would Adam Lanza have killed armed with a couple .38 revolvers or even a couple 9mm pistols with 10 shot magazines? He sought to go on a rampage and the weapons available to him enabled that. Perhaps if the weapons of mass murder were not available to him, he might not have gone on his killing spree at all.

“So lock up the crazies,” you say. OK, point them out. Show me the person who might stop taking his meds and go off the deep end. Show me the person whose family will lock them up because they might do something to hurt someone else. As a society we are not willing to institutionalize people who “might” slip into the deep end. We do not have the will or the resources to lock them away, even in cases of severe neuroses.

“So don’t let the unstable buy guns,” you say. Adam Lanza used his mother’s gun to kill her before going on the rampage at the school. No background check was required, just access to the guns.

So what do we tell that little girl who cowered on the floor? “I’m sorry dear, but you are the sacrifice we must make for our absolute right to bear arms.” Really? Since 1995 there have been 70 — that’s right, 70 — shootings in our schools. No right is absolute. We must abolish the weapons and magazines that enable mass murder. The little girl who hid among her murdered friends deserves no less.

Christopher Eash, Boardman