Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Epic Fail, Again

(Editorial cartoon by Joel Pett / Lexington Herald-Leader (July 23, 2012) and featured at McClatchy DC. Click on image and then please return.)

I've held off posting on the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was that I was both sickened and saddened by yet another senseless tragedy which could have been and should have been avoided. I was also outraged, outraged that this could happen again even though I know it now happens with great regularity in this gun-mad country.

How is it that someone can buy thousands of rounds of ammunition over the internet, can buy full body armor over the internet, and can buy three guns (including an assault rifle) all within the span of a couple of months? Was no one paying attention? Didn't anyone, especially the government, see this as, well, curious and worth looking into?

Yet we are told by those who claim to be serious people that this is not the time to talk openly about gun control. Is there no better time than this? Or is there simply no time at all for such a serious discussion because it might infringe on the rights and feelings of those who think having a lot of guns out in the general population with no controls at all is a good thing?

I suggest that those serious people go read what a very wise woman had to say about the issues raised by this tragedy.

Hecate nailed it in all sorts of ways, even as Joel Pett did. Now it's time for some serious discussion and some serious action.

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Blogger John Gardner said...

"how can someone..."

The "how" is easy to explain. none of those things are regulated. There are no restrictions, other than age, to buy ammunition. You could walk into Walmart and buy just as much ammunition, as long as you are old enough. The only restriction on shipping ammunition is that it must travel by ground. Contrary to popular belief, ammunition is not explosive. It doesn't just "go off", so it is safe to ship. The US government ships billions of rounds around the world every day.

The "why" is also very easy: Economics.

I know i'm going to use toilet paper, i don't buy it one roll at a time. I get it at costco in one of those giant 100 roll packs. It might take up some space, but it saves a ton of money.

Ammo is the same, except much more expensive. I can buy rifle ammo 20 rounds at a time for $10(50 cents a round). Or, if i know i'm going to use a case over a year, i can buy a case of 1000 for $350 (35 cents a round).

If you're in any kind of shooting sport, then buying ammo buy the case is not only common, but necessary, economically.

If you shoot even more than that, or you have very specific performance requirements, you don't even buy ammunition. You buy components: cases, primers, gunpowder, bullets, and the equipement you need to build ammo to your own specifications.

As for body armor, i'll reserve judgement there until they detail what he was really wearing. the "assault vest" that they he purchased isn't body armor, it just has a scary name. it is simply a vest that you can attach things to. It was not a plate carrier that can support armored plates. look it up online, it has zero protective value. real body armor is expensive and heavy. he may have just been wearing things that looked scary.

As a college student, i'm interested to find out where he got all the money for this. a few thousand dollars worth of firearms, a few thousand dollars worth of ammo, money for explosives and chemicals to boobytrap his car and appartment, and perhaps a few thousand dollars of armor?

10:05 AM  

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