I live in California. We have probably some of the tightest gun regulations in the nation. 15 day waiting period for purchase with 3 level background checks done. For purchase of a handgun you must pass a proficiency test on handling and safety. High cap. magazines are illegal. Transporting firearms is specified so ammunition is not “conveniently” available to the firearms. Gun cases must be locked. All firearms have to be cleared by the California Dept. of Justice before they can be sold in the state. Many aren’t. In some cases if you are a collector you must have gun safe level of storage. It’s inconvenient and more expensive but it does help to limit kids getting “accidentally” shot by guns left unsecured. Personally i would like to see the law extended that gun safes or locked storage were mandatory for all firearms owners.Unfortunately in spite of all these rules and regulation Los Angeles still has a terrible death rate from shootings, most of it from gang and drug related shootings. Chicago has highly restrictive laws regarding firearms and it is the murder capital of the country. The shooting in the mall in Oregon was a rifle stolen from a friend. The shooter in Newton was using his mother’s guns. Would these have been prevented if the owners had to keep them locked in a safe? Good possibility. In today’s violence glorified culture I think we need to exercise every precaution we can for preventative purposes. Many states in the country do not have the same regulations California does and that’s one place people can slip through the cracks in purchasing guns. I have trained dozens of people, men women and children in safe handling of firearms. Respect for the deadly capability of all guns was a big part of it.Prohibition doesn’t work. History proves it. Drunk drivers killed (approx) 10,500 in the U.S.. Firearms related deaths were 9,150 in that year (2010). Do we outlaw alcohol? 75 million people own firearms in America and purchases have gone up dramatically in the last four years. The fact is, America has always been a gun owning culture.China has security in most of their elementary schools because they have had so many attacks on children in recent years, mostly by people considered “mentally ill.” Most of them used knives and axes; China does not allow any gun ownership. The latest was 22 children attacked by a “disturbed” man with a knife.I believe there is a lot of room to improve the gun laws, but I think if we focus our efforts on treating mental health conditions we would be far ahead. The Colorado theater shooter was seeing a therapist that should have reported him. The Newton shooter will be shown to have serious mental health conditions. I would almost guarantee you that his mom didn’t have the guns stored in a locked safe or secure inaccessible storage.My heart breaks for the families in Newton. There is nothing more heinous than violent crimes against children. Unfortunately when we have a tragedy like this our reaction is to ban something instead of dealing with the underlying problems in our society. I didn’t even want to get into a written confrontation over this because so many people are understandably in pain, but I hoped maybe some would at least consider another side of the discussion.
Glenn McCoy and Gary McCoy