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One girl’s survival raises questions about limiting fire power



Published: Sun, December 23, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

“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


Comments

1papa1(689 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

that was an excellent and well thought out letter and i agree whole heartedly.

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2HonestAbe(274 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

I agree Mr. Eash. I watched the NRA folks on this morning's national programming; they are sounding increasingly more desperate and ridiculous. Hopefully sensible gun restrictions are on their way.

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3redeye1(4629 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Chris the guy in Sandy Hook never used the bushmaster AR15. It was found in the trunk of his car. UNFIRED!

HonestAbe If you think restrictions on guns or clips are going to work. You are only fooling yourself. Criminals will still have them and the lawbiding citizens won't . That will make everything fair. NOT!!

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4AnotherAverageCitizen(1175 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Blah,

They will claim it is the Holiday season. Again, not a good time to talk about gun control.

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5AnotherAverageCitizen(1175 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Asked about restricting the size of ammunition magazine or clips, LaPierre said, “I don’t believe that’s going to make one difference. There are so many different ways to evade that, even if you had that. You had that for 10 years when (Sen.) Dianne Feinstein passed that ban in ’94. It was on the books. Columbine occurred right in the middle of it – it didn’t make any difference.”

MR LaPierre, Columbine had armed security at the school, using your words "It didn't make any difference""

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6VINDYAK(1799 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Gun control is just a dream. There are well over 300 million of them in this country. Possibly much more. Just like drug control, You can't control them. You can restrict new manufacturing, new sales and imports, but you can't control what is already out there. Canada tried it. They spent billions on it, but the people would not register or turn in their guns. They are aware of what happened in England, when the British government took away their "subjects" guns. Now, the British crime rate is worse. The same would happen here.

People do not want to turn in their guns. As a matter of fact, with all this gun control talk more people are buying more guns than ever before. They feel the need to have protection, because they are losing faith in our government and our police to protect us.

We all would like a perfect world, but that's not going to happen, no matter how many laws and regulations you pass. Quit trying to blame those of us who want to protect ourselves from liberal policies and start blaming those who commit the crimes. And, start punishing criminals. Don't let them back out on the streets. Btw, doesn't capital punishment mean ...involving or punishable by death? But yet, we feel sorry for the killer and let him or her sit around in prison for 20 years on our tax dollar.

Sure the jails are full. I wonder why. Liberals created this mess when they decided they would restructure society. They created huge government programs and self-serving jobs. They meddle in the way we live, how we raise, feed and educate our children and they tell us to pay more taxes because they have run out of money in supporting everyone and all of their endless programs. This sure isn't the same America I grew up in.

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7DwightK(1292 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Great letter. If you think there's nothing we can do to make it harder for something like this to happen again, you just aren't trying.

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8cambridge(3049 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Let people have all the guns they want, just make bullets illegal and put stiff mandatory prison time on anyone violating any gun laws.

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9charms(228 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

"We must abolish the weapons and magazines that enable mass murder."

I have thought about this... and have come to the conclusion that we SHOULD NOT abolish the weapons and magazines that enable mass murder. Why?

1. There is no logical end to these limits - short of leaving responsible people with nothing but bows and arrows to protect themselves and their families. These weapons exist and are in circulation. Law-abiding people deserve to have the best weapons at their disposal to protect life and limb.

2. We really need more security at schools in the dangerous world we live in, not less guns.

3. We have already opened Pandora's Box with guns - and you realistically CANNOT prevent what happened in Newtown - no matter how you limit legal sales of guns and magazines.

I don't always agree with the NRA, but in this case I do.

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10AnotherAverageCitizen(1175 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Good idea charms, Lets keep the rules we have. It seems to be working so well. I guess you support what happens at these schools.

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11peacelover(791 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

This is one of the most sensible and well worded letters on this subject I have read in a long time. Banning these weapons is a baby step, but it's a baby step in the right direction.

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1276Ytown(1264 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

~AnotherAverage: Nobody supports what happens at these schools. I agree with charms on all 3 points because we shouldn't and we can't.

"Illegal" doesn't mean anything anymore and it certainly isn't going to make us safe.

If we are going to concentrate our efforts to solve this problem it needs to start with our mental health system. HIPPA laws protect our privacy but also prevents families from helping their loved ones get the help they need. There are far too many barriers to getting the treatment needed when needed.

We also need to have a discussion about how we are being desensitized to violence by the media, video games and the breakdown of family.

Get ready for the government solution to school security...TSA for schools..solving problems on so many levels, jobs, security, and bigger government!

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13poland21(98 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

Mr Eash, your letter is excellent.

How about a gun control plan that involves Personal Responsibility. I know, not this year, right...

What if gun owners were required to lock up their guns in legitimate gun safes AND use trigger locks AND store the ammo in a separate location from the gun?

How about the owner being held responsible if their guns are stolen and used in a crime or accidental shooting and were not properly secured?

Case after case involves guns and ammo from legitimate gun owners being used in school and public shootings. Yet none of these cases seems to involve the shooter blasting open a gun safe and cutting off the trigger lock in order to use the gun. In fact, many times the shooter knows the gun owner.

You want to own a gun? Then you are responsible for it.

You want to keep a handgun under your mattress for protection? Fine, but then you are responsible for what happens to it should it be stolen or someone is accidently injured with it in your home.

You want to conceal carry? Fine, if you are subdued and your gun is used in a crime, you are responsible.

How about a few laws that promote safety and responsibility:

1) Before you can buy a gun, you have to learn how to use that model. Period. If you do not know how to clear the chamber and verify that the weapon is truly safe, you have no business owning it. Gun shops could charge a fee for the 15 minutes of training it would take to do this and it would be a requirement before they could sell that model to you. Buy a different model, get trained in that model.

2) No gun sales outside of a licensed gun shop. No gun shows, internet sales, newspaper ads etc. Period.

3) Local police departments hand out gun locks for existing guns (they are not that expensive and bought in bulk cost even less). Require a gun lock to be purchased with any gun sale.

4) Pass federal legislation making YOUR gun YOUR responsibility.

If basic gun safety and responsibility is enforced (and expected), I am willing to bet many, many lives will be spared.

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