Five years ago today was the massacre at Virginia Tech in which 32 students and faculty were shot dead by a maniac carrying two semi-automatics he had recently purchased. While there was a minor improvement in the national data base on people with mental illness for use in checking when selling guns, in most places the pressure by the unstoppable National Rifle Association has been to further loosen laws limiting access to guns in any way, shape, or form.
So, in Virginia, where there is pressure to allow guns on campuses now, the legislature this year removed a restriction on buying guns that limited an individual to not more than one per 30 days. Priot to the enactment of that restriction in the 1990s, it had been shown that 40% of the homicides committed in New York City had been purchased in Virginia. I see absolutely no reason why any responsible gun owner in VA needs to buy more than one per 30 days, but here we are setting ourselves up to supply the murderers of northeastern cities once again.
Then we have the proliferation of Stand Your Ground laws throughout the US, with reportedly half the states having them. This movement only got going two years before the VA Tech massacre by showing up in Florida, where we have now witnessed the spectacle of George Zimmerman at least initially getting off the hook for killing with his gun the unarmed Trayvon Martin after stalking him. Zimmerman may yet be punished for this, but the evidence is in. The rate of "justifiable homicides" has doubled in states that have passed this sort of unneeded legislation pushed quietly by the NRA. After all, self-defense has been on the books for centuries in common law countries as a legitimate reason for engaging in violence against somebody. These laws just protect criminal murderers claiming to be standing their ground.
While researchers such as John Lott throw fluff in peoples' eyes about the impact of making more and more guns available, some rather clear facts should be kept in mind, despite the craven kowtowing by Dem politicians (not to mention the utterly slavish Repubs) to this generally unpopular, but powerful, lobby, the NRA. The US is #1 in the world in firearms per capita. It is also #1 in gun suicides per capita. While it is merely 13th in the world in gun homicides per capita, those ahead of it are all much poorer countries, mostly in Latin America, with huge amounts of drug gang violence. The only other nation to have a "right to bear arms" like that of the US is Honduras, one of those ahead of the US on this gun homicide per capita list, and reputed like Virginia to be a major supplier of guns to its neighbors, two of which are also ahead of the US in gun homicides per capita: Guatemala and El Salvador.
It is time that the American people stood up to this dictatorial special interest group that has gotten completely out of control and also gone against its own past more reasonable support for reasonable gun control. They must be stopped before they start pushing mandates for three year olds to take guns to day care centers.