As of Tuesday morning not a peep had been heard from the Kansas congressional delegation about the screaming need for tighter gun control in our country. They, like the National Rifle Association, apparently have not heard that a 20-year-old shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and slaughtered 20 small children and six adults last Friday.
He carried enough loaded 30-shot ammunition clips to kill hundreds more but, praise be, decided to kill himself before continuing his rampage. He was alive in the school for only a few minutes. His Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle allowed him to kill very fast.
So what do our lawmakers think the nation should do to lessen the chance of a repeat of Friday’s killings of innocent children?
To date, silence, perhaps because the only answer is that we must put an end to this outrage against civilized society.
IS THEIR ANSWER that gun controls don’t work? Please read an editorial from Tuesday’s New York Times, in which it says:
“Like other shootings before it, the Newtown, Conn., tragedy has reawakened America to its national fixation with firearms. No country in the world has more guns per capita, with some 300 million civilian firearms now in circulation, or nearly one for every adult.
“Experts from the Harvard School of Public Health, using data from 26 developed countries, have shown that wherever there are more firearms, there are more homicides. In the case of the United States, exponentially more: the American murder rate is roughly 15 times that of other wealthy countries, which have much tougher laws controlling private ownership of guns.
“There’s another important difference between this country and the rest of the world. Other nations have suffered similar rampages, but they have reacted quickly to impose new and stricter gun laws.
“Australia is an excellent example. In 1996, a ‘pathetic social misfit,’ as a judge described the lone gunman, killed 35 people with a spray of bullets from semiautomatic weapons. Within weeks, the Australian government was working on gun reform laws that banned assault weapons and shotguns, tightened licensing and financed gun amnesty and buyback programs.
“At the time, the prime minister, John Howard, said, ‘We do not want the American disease imported into Australia.’ The laws have worked. The American Journal of Law and Economics reported in 2010 that firearm homicides in Australia dropped 59 percent between 1995 and 2006. In the 18 years before the 1996 laws, there were 13 gun massacres resulting in 102 deaths, according to Harvard researchers, with none in that category since.
“Similarly, after 16 children and their teacher were killed by a gunman in Dunblane, Scotland, in 1996, the British government banned all private ownership of automatic weapons and virtually all handguns. Those changes gave Britain some of the toughest gun control laws in the developed world on top of already strict rules. Hours of exhaustive paperwork are required if anyone wants to own even a shotgun or rifle for hunting. The result has been a decline in murders involving firearms.
“In Japan, which has very strict laws, only 11 people were killed with guns in 2008, compared with 12,000 deaths by firearms that year in the United States — a huge disparity even accounting for the difference in population. As Mayor Michael Bloomberg stressed on Monday while ratcheting up his national antigun campaign, ‘We are the only industrialized country that has this problem. In the whole world, the only one.’
“Americans do not have to settle for that.”
What say you, Kansans?
— Emerson Lynn, jr.