Last week, Feb 5-7, 2013, many Minnesota Democrats embarked on an effort to impose new legislation to limit gun ownership rights for all legal and ordinary citizens. There is a lot of discussion about the value of such legislation. There is not much debate about what started the effort, the Sandy Hook tragedy. They reason that banning certain styles of guns will prevent such tragedies. For many that "logic" is not only faulty, but shallow.
The Federal Assault Weapons Ban, passed in 1994, expired on September 13, 2004. It was in place for the Columbine School shooting,which occurred on April 20, 1999, and others that followed. The existence of the law had no impact on that tragic act. In fact, according to US Today, the original weapon of choice was not even the guns they ultimately used, and are now once again the target of legislative actions.
A decade after Harris and Klebold made Columbine a synonym for rage, new information — including several books that analyze the tragedy through diaries, e-mails, appointment books, videotape, police affidavits and interviews with witnesses, friends and survivors — indicate that much of what the public has been told about the shootings is wrong.
In fact, the pair's suicidal attack was planned as a grand — if badly implemented — terrorist bombing that quickly devolved into a 49-minute shooting rampage when the bombs Harris built fizzled.
"He was so bad at wiring those bombs, apparently they weren't even close to working," says Dave Cullen, author of Columbine, a new account of the attack.
Slate adds even more details:
Columbine was intended not primarily as a shooting at all, but as a bombing on a massive scale. If they hadn't been so bad at wiring the timers, the propane bombs they set in the cafeteria would have wiped out 600 people. After those bombs went off, they planned to gun down fleeing survivors. An explosive third act would follow, when their cars, packed with still more bombs, would rip through still more crowds, presumably of survivors, rescue workers, and reporters.
The report on Columbine shows one very clear fact, killers are not limited by limiting guns, they will seek out a different "tool" to carry out their evil acts.
The evidence of any links between gun legislation and these tragedies is extremely tenuous at best. During the eight hours of committee presentation, the anti-gun lobby, headed by Heather Martens, promised extensive statistics to support their claims, but ultimately delivered very little on that promise. They ignore many facts, such as (the creator of this chart limited it to rifles, as that is all that is being discussed in "Assault Weapon" legislation)
[Picture of Chart]
The Facebook post earned a "True" rating because it reflected the FBI’s statistics from 2011, the most recent year available, for murders with knives (1,694), personal weapons (728, typed on Facebook as 726), blunt objects (496) and rifles (323).
Much, if not most, of their argument rested on an egregious use of emotional manipulation and exploitation of tragedies. Lobbyist Heather Martens, ProtectMN, is a consistent user of tragedies and victims as such props.
Video: Heather Martens exploitation is called out by a young Mother at the hearings.
So how convincing has the anti-gun lobby been? They try to convince the public that this is a partisan issue. But that is a fatal canard. Just before one of the sessions Representative Jason Metsa (DFL) from district 6B came to speak to the Second Amendment supporters in Room 10. He stated clearly that this is not a partisan issue and that he, and others, did not and will not support the legislative actions. He was far from the only democrat to make statements during the presentation and public testimony. Police officers, mothers, and self declared lifelong democrats voice opposition and disbelief in the arguments made.
Video: Self declared lifelong democrat declares "probably no more".
Clear thinking and real solutions are what all sides of the political spectrum want in our legislature. A lack of critical thinking and political expediency provides no protections, and costs ordinary citizens much.