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Another School Shooting

by Neal Knox
The Firearms Coalition


Click Here to go to Neal Knox.comMarch 5, 2001 Neal Knox Update -- The horrible Santana High School shootings this morning spell nothing but trouble for gunowners, particularly California gunowners who are already looking into the muzzles of two gun registration bills.

Never mind that registration wouldn't have affected this.  The response to the handgun killing of Sen. Robert Kennedy on the eve of passage of a handgun-only version of the Gun Control Act was the reintroduction and eventual passage of the rifle and shotgun portion of GCA '68.

Thankfully, the 15-year-old Santee, Calif. killer was using the least-deadly gun available, a .22 revolver.  If he had used a shotgun, like Columbine killers Klebold and Harris, more than two of the 15 shot would almost certainly have died.

The boy's father discovered his gun was missing last night and confronted the boy about it, according to one report.  Other reports say, the boy had told many friends over the weekend -- including some of their parents -- that he intended to shoot up the school and kill people, but he convinced them he was "only joking."

One kid took it seriously enough that he patted down the killer this morning to be sure he didn't have a gun.  But the killer either had it in his backpack or had hidden it on-campus.

We have had a bloody series of these horrors, and we've been on the verge of more.  

Internet Web pages celebrate the Columbine murderers as heroes.  

School and law enforcement authorities say they have recently prevented at least five school shootings and bombings, some with multiple would-be shooters.  One was stopped because an alert photo lab technician saw photos of his guns and pipe bombs.

The school shootings in recent years are unprecedented.  What's happened to our kids?

As I told the Wall Street Journal less than an hour after Columbine, "the only thing I know for certain is that this scourge of school shootings is not due to the 'increased availability of guns.'"  

Guns have been made less available every year for over three decades.

Just today I talked with a man in Baltimore who had bought a single-shot brass frame pistol for $2.95, by mail order, when he was 13.  He got his first pistol when he was nine, the same age my wife and I were each given our first .22 rifles.  

A prominent St. Louis lawyer once told me that when he was 14 he rode his bicycle over the Mississippi bridge to East St. Louis, Illinois, where he bought a .45 auto, and pedaled home.  Despite his credentials as a member of the court and a retired army officer,
he can't go across the river to buy a gun today.

None of us ever shot or killed anyone, or even thought about it -- though we sometimes took our guns to school if we had been hunting that morning, or were going hunting or shooting after classes.  

In keeping with my high school yearbook's "Western" theme, some of the school favorites are showing wearing guns in buscadero holsters -- one a .45 auto.  Imagine the outcry that annual would trigger today!

When something like the Santana School shooting happens, and we hear the screams for more gun laws, I'm reminded of the foolishly naive Johnson White House-drafted statement read and subscribed to on the Joey Bishop television show by a string of Hollywood actors including Hugh O'Brien, Kirk Douglas, James Stewart and Charlton Heston.

It read, in part:  "The Congress has recently given us some protection against pistols in the wrong hands.  But that's not enough ... not nearly enough.  The carnage will not stop until there is effective control over the sale of rifles and shotguns."

Well, they passed that law.  And many more laws since, each of which was going to "stop the carnage."  It didn't.  Neither will yet another that focuses on inanimate objects instead of twisted minds and impure hearts.

NRA President Heston appears to have learned better; I wish others would.


Related Reading

Columbine Tragedy Insights

Wakefield Tragedy Insights

Children & Guns

Guns & Schools


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