If Jared Lee Loughner's Tucson rampage last year that killed six people, including a US district court judge, and almost killed former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz) didn't give lawmakers the resolve to check the gun lobby, Friday's movie theater massacre certainly won't. Already gun extremists are saying the real reason 70 plus people were shot was that no one shot back. Did they think they were going out for a night at the movies? We need more guns not less!
Even though Tucson's heavily armed citizenry failed to stop Loughner, the gun lobby pushes for the right to carry firearms on college campuses, in state parks, in coffee shops, on trains, in home rule communities that forbid them and of course in the workplace. Laws that restrict gun owners from taking their weapons everywhere oppress them says the National Rifle Association (NRA) which calls itself a civil rights group. Did James Eagen Holmes, the Batman suspect, feel oppressed too?
No matter how extreme shooting rampages become--an Alabama shooter killed his mother, grandmother, uncle, two cousins, the wife and daughter of a sheriff's deputy and three more in 2009; an Illinois shooter killed a pastor in church through the Bible he was holding the same year--they're not as extreme as the idea of limiting gun sales, says the gun lobby. And politicians, intimidated by the gun lobby's horse-head-in-the-bed tactics, agree and leave laws on the books that exclude no one.
Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech killer, Stephen Phillip Kazmierczak, the Northern Illinois University killer, Sulejman Talovic, the Salt Lake City's Trolley Square mall shooter and Vincent J. Dortch, the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard shooter were all legal gun owners. Talovic was a Bossnian immigrant, legally required to show a second piece of identification, but bought the murder weapon at Sportsman's Fastcash, a pawnshop chain in Utah, with just one, say investigators.
Jiverly Voong, who killed 13 in Binghamton, NY and Richard Poplawski, who killed three Pittsburgh police officers, both in 2009, were legal gun owners. So was Bruce Pardo, one of two shooters dressed as Santa Claus is recent years, who bought at least five firearms within five months from a single weapons dealer before killing nine on Christmas Eve in Covina, CA.
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