I have been listening to the finger pointing concerning the school shooting in Florida. Just as certain as the Sun rising in the East, I am bombarded with so many blaming the weapon. That is a completely wrong conclusion. The problem is the person and not the weapon.
I am learning that the FBI and local police had multiple reports on the shooter prior to the shooting. None did anything to prevent the shooting. I want to know why? This was a very troubled person. So many people saw the potential for this to happen. His classmates had commented that he would do this. We ended up “See something, Say something, Authorities do NOTHING!” People did their part, but those that could take legal action completely failed us. I want answers!
There is a stronger connection to these shooting than the weapon, it is psychotropic drugs. How many of these shooters on taking these medications? Is this an extremely dangerous side effect of some of these medications? This must be seriously looked into.
I am very upset when I heard talking heads calling the AR-15 an assault weapon. That is nothing short of a bold faced lie. The AR-15 is nothing more than a .223 semi-automatic sporting rifle. It is not a weapon used by our military. So can you please quit calling the AR-15 an assault weapon? We need straight talk from everyone to begin to solve this problem. We need facts not political agendas.
Can you go into ANY gun store in Michigan and buy and assault rifle? I have yet to see one for sale. A true assault weapon has three functions. Safe. Semi. Burst or Auto. A sporting rifle will only have two functions. Safe. Semi or Fire. It is strictly a one shot per trigger pull weapon.
It is legal in many places to own a fully automatic weapon. You must have an in depth background check before a permit is granted by the Federal Government. Yet so many politicians and talking heads make it sound like anyone can walk into any gun store and buy a fully automatic rifle, assault rifle, with few if any questions being asked. This must end. This is severely clouding the issue. Tell the people the truth. Assault weapons are already very strictly regulated by the Federal Government. No new laws are needed. Assault weapons are already effectively strictly regulated. None of these weapons have been used in any of these crimes.
If we apply the same anti-gun logic to another serious problem, drunk driving which kills far more people than mass shootings, we would have to re-institute prohibition. Banning guns is the same logic as banning alcohol. Neither will solve the problem. So I have to ask why this solution so publically touted by is so many.
This shooting should prove beyond all doubt that “Gun Free Zones” are a total failure. Only law abiding citizens obey these. But those wanting to commit mass murder know that Gun Free Zones are the place to go. They know the people they are shooting at will not be able to fire back to defend themselves. Gun Free Zones are a part of the problem.
What is needed is a broad approach that ends with a very narrow result. The solution must look at mental health, medications, police calls, tips to police, social media, and lastly gun ownership. The few still have Constitutional rights. The process must allow those suspected to have the right of defense and a fair judge to look at both sides before ruling. The burden of proof must be on the State. This burden must be high. To revoke or suspend pre-emptively a Constitutional right without a crime being committed must be a high standard that is difficult, but reasonable to meet. Other solutions must also be available. Authorities taking the guns must be the last option and not the first.
The overwhelming majority of gun owners are not the problem. It is a very few people that are the problem. The solution must only target the very few. Responsible gun owners will not have to fear an out of control system.
We just need the facts to solve this problem. We do not need political agendas.
I am retired from the Michigan Army National Guard. I have earned Expert with the M-16 rifle by both Active Air Force and Michigan Army National Guard standards. After serving in Iraq, I was named Company Marksmanship NCO for A Company, 156 Signal Battalion in Kalamazoo.
Note: I have e-mailed this letter to my US Senators Stabenow and Peters, Representative Upton, President Trump, Rush Limbaugh. We will see what responses I get.
My Avatar here is a picture of me taken at the Baghdad Airport. I am holding my M-16A-2 rifle.