The perspective of a gun owner
I don't own guns and do not know much about them. I received a mail from my fellow startup investor John Gargasz who is someone I rate and respect, which I thought I might share with you to re-center this discussion a bit. Here we go:
The horror of yesterday has us all revisiting what could be done. I'm an active hunter and gun owner who believes in the right to bear arms. As a New Hampshire yankee, I also have some of that militia sensibility ingrained in me. That said, I am also intentionally not a member of the NRA who I view as overly extreme in their stance.
As with most things, the devil is in the details. The pictures of weapons at the end of your previous post are menacing but technically they are very similar to many deer hunting rifles which have an very different image and use. So, changes to legislation must be carefully crafted to ensure we make it harder for bad things to happen while not impacting well intentioned, good citizens.
So, some of my thoughts. These are off the cuff - I haven't done all the research.
- make it harder to buy guns. increase the waiting period, make the background search deeper (maybe we need to tie into mental health/medical records?), make the rules apply across all venues for purchasing a gun including sites such as craigslist, gun fairs, etc.
- look at tightening the assault rifle (number of rounds in clip/rate of fire/size - etc) requirements
At the end of the day, we live in a free society which permits a wide range of beliefs and behaviors which also exposes us to risks. We have to look at the clues these shooters provide us before the horrible event occurs. Details will unfold in the days to come and I'll bet there was evidence that this guy was not right but nobody did anything. Heightened awareness to strange behavior and speaking up - don't let it pass - could ultimately be our most powerful defense against these horrific acts of violence.
What a senseless loss.