Newtown

I live in Connecticut.  When i visit my sister, I drive on I-84 right past the Newtown\Sandy Hook exit.  It is only 25 miles away.

What happened in Newtown involved two Glocks and a BushMaster 223 Rifle.  If indeed a hundred shots were taken in circa a minute, it must have involved large capacity magazines.  Since the guns were legally obtained by the mother of the alleged shooter, it is not useful to argue about illegal guns.  We live in a country where the right to purchase guns is a core part of our culture.  The need for large capacity magazines to hold many ammunition rounds is also legal but a more addressable issue.

The web is one curious place.  I can’t remember how i ended up on a YouTube site watching two gun shop employees discussing “Ten items you need to own right now”.  Although one of the fellows did have a lot of tattoos and was wearing a Harley tee shirt, the video was perfectly rational and informative.  I did hear several times, or maybe they were actually part of the needed items list, the statement that you would have to stock up on magazines for the guns.  They are moving parts and they will wear out.  But also, said without heat or anger, if the government starts pursuing gun control measures, large capacity magazines would be early on the list of controlled items.

Why do you need to be able to quickly shoot 30 rounds — either on automatic or even semi-automatic?

I grew up in the country and i shot my share of woodchucks with my father’s single-bolt 22 rifle.  After my father died, it greatly pleased my mother to get rid of the gun and she gave it to my uncle.  The woodchucks lived in peace, digging big holes in the fields.  My uncle did ask about the 5 round magazine clip that was not in the rifle when she gave it to him.  Somehow the rifle was not quite complete without it.

I was in the military and shot expert with the M-16.  Can’t remember what i shot with the M-14.  Rifles and guns are cool in the way that a fine camera or fast car or food processor is cool.  They are objects finely designed to do their job – chrome and metal and tooling to drive around a corner fast or slice a tomato or accurately and smoothly focus the lens or make it possible to place a small piece of metal or lead right on the target at a long range.  Solid, nice to hold, designed to work.

Why do you need a large capacity magazine?  I can think of three reasons.

1).  It is a semi-religious argument that a gun is perfect or more perfect when it is loaded and ready to work.  Joe and Ginny have hand guns in their house and they would be worthless objects if they were not ready to be shot.  The guns i mean.  I trust that the chambers don’t have rounds in them and that the safety are on – Joe and Ginny are not cowboys.  But you also want the camera to have film in it and the car to have a full tank of gasoline.  It is just better that the object is ‘more perfect’ when better able to be itself.  Uncle Les wanted the shell clip to complete the rifle.

2)  You can shoot more deer with an automatic rifle and a large magazine. Lots and lots of venison.

3) I am not aware of all the details, but apparently the alleged shooter had mental problems.  Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy made some comment that “evil” that had visited Newtown.  Others had issues with this – did the mentally challenged person truly want to do evil or did he have another motive – that he was full of fear.

I finally figured out what the two men on YouTube are”not quite saying”.  They are afraid.  Of the government, the neighbors, the country, the world.  When the apocalypse comes, or the liberals invade or the Chupacabra start marching north alongside the illegal immigrants (to say nothing of illegal zombies),  these men and other survivalists are desperate to be able to defend their family and children and that part of their society that they think is worth saving.  For this, they need weapons.  Fine weapons with lots of ammo.  Firepower to protect the home and hearth.

Someone was arguing that the shooter must also have been afraid and that the guns were something that made him feel safer and in some control.  Gun control measures that don’t not acknowledge the fears of people in our society and the need to feel safe is not going to either work or become law. There may be better ways to feel in control, but for some people, the honorable wish to protect their loved ones means guns.  We can’t control how everyone thinks and feels – just as society failed to help the alleged gunman.

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