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Gun control and the Colorado shooting

July 20, 2012 - Andrea Johnson
I don't particularly like guns, but I'm not necessarily a proponent of gun control either. I have family members who are responsible gun owners who have taken safety classes and are competitive target shooters and members of the National Rifle Association.

I was taught from an early age to respect guns and the damage they can do. If I wasn't prepared to actually fire a gun, my dad told me, I should never pick one up or it could be taken from me and used on me. I have never been prepared to pick up a gun, much less fire one at a living creature. I have followed the advice I was given.

I thought of that when I heard about the massacre at a theater last night in Aurora, Colo., apparently by a lone gunmen. There are already people claiming that the outcome would have been different if one person in that theater had had a gun. Maybe that's true, though it sounds to me like there was such utter panic and chaos in the darkened theater that it would have taken a miracle for even a master marksman to take the gunman out.

Others are using this as an argument in favor of gun control and have pointed out that the United States is the site of many more such mass shootings than any other place in the world. It's also true that it might be harder to kill so many people with a weapon like a knife, though some have managed.

Initial reports say that the 24-year-old suspect, James Holmes, didn't have a criminal record except for one speeding ticket. It will be interesting to find out if he had a history of mental health problems. Holmes apparently isn't talking about his motivation.

What side do you take on the gun control issue?


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