The first step ardent gun advocates take following a tragedy on the scope of the Connecticut elementary school shooting is to warn the public not to "politicize" the issue by calling for gun control.
That step is then followed by the argument that more guns, not less, is the way to stop the next mass shooting. We are seeing that argument in full force now, less than a week after 26 people including 20 children under the age of seven were killed in a hail of gunfire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Oregon State Rep. Dennis Richardson led the charge on that front, when he sent an email to several school superintendents suggesting teachers with guns could have stopped gunman Adam Lanza.
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The email, obtained by Gawker this week, was sent the day of the shooting and reads in part:
If I had been a teacher or the principal at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and if the school district did not preclude me from having access to a firearm, either by concealed carry or locked in my desk, most of the murdered children would still be alive, and the gunman would still be dead, and not by suicide.
In the words of John McClane: Yippie kai yay.
In the wake of the latest shootings, the resounding response to gun violence appears to trend against the obvious: Gun violence can be avoided by more people having more guns.
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Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, told Fox News Sunday that principal Dawn Hochsprung would not have died in vain if she had had a shotgun locked up in her office.
And earlier this month, sport commentator Charles Barkley weighed in on gun ownership after a football player shot his girlfriend and committed suicide.
"I carry a gun in my car every year in my life since I was 21 or 22," Barkley said on the NBC Sports program "Costas Live," adding that it gave him a sense of peace. "I just feel safer with it."
How is this the go-to response?
When a madman kills 20 children with a legal .233 Bushmaster rifle, the problem isn't that he had the gun, but that no one else did. When a distraught man shoots his girlfriend, the reaction is that "guns make you feel safe."
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It is a circular debate in America. Thankfully in Canada, where gun violence is exponentially lower, gun control is a reality.
Earlier this week the Daily Telegraph reported that the shooter's mother, Nancy Lanza, owned five registered guns — at least three of which were carried by her son when he attacked Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The newspaper learned that the guns were part of a stockpile of goods Lanza had collected in preparation for the collapse of society.
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She taught her children to shoot so they would be prepared for the coming of social chaos.
Instead, those guns caused the social chaos.