The only question now is how to ban all firearms

Stephen Paddock booked a suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. He brought 17 weapons with him, including four Daniel Defense DDM4 rifles and three Sig Sauer FN-15s. Paddock knocked out two windows in his suite and then began shooting concert goers 300 yards away. He killed 58 people and injured another 525.

The great gun control experiment is over

Some people have already begun talking about more gun control. The time for that particular conversation has passed. Stephen Paddock saw to that. The only thing worthy of a conversation today is to talk about the best way to remove every firearm from circulation. Every single one. Handguns, rifles, shotguns, or any other mechanism designed specifically for killing people.

It’s time for them to go.

The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

People have inalienable rights. At the very top of the rights pyramid is the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Guns and civilized society do not mix. We now know that to be true. There’s no disputing it. Politicians can talk about limiting the size of magazines, improved background checks, or closing the gun show loophole all they want. Those are not valid discussions to have today.

The discussion we need to have

The discussion we need to have now is the best way to remove all firearms from our country.

It may not be easy. When we decided people should not own other people, it took a civil war to accomplish that idea into practice. Will it take another civil war to remove every firearm from society? It might, but that should not be a factor in deciding what to do. If our ancestors allowed the threat of a civil war to factor in when deciding if slavery should be abolished or not, people today would still be allowed to own other people.

Some things are so important they’re worth almost any price. Removing guns from our country is one of those things.

How I would do it

If it were up to me, I would implement a one-time buy back program for all firearms. I would then melt them. After the one-time buy back, possessing a firearm would be a felony. A conviction of possessing a firearm would involve mandatory minimums. We could take our existing laws on drugs and cross out the words “crack cocaine” and replace it with “firearm.”

That would be a good start.

Update

I’ve reconsidered my opinion on gun ownership.

The assault rifle, the safest of all guns

Assault rifles, semi-automatic rifles designed for use on the battlefield, have been in the news as of late. They were the type of weapons used by Islamic terrorists in San Bernardino and most recently in Orlando. An assault rifle was also used by non-Islamic terrorists in Aurora and Sandy Hook.

Assault rifles are generally easy to use, feature a high-capacity magazine, and can be quite lethal. With that said, the common belief that they are responsible for a large number of gun deaths nationwide is wrong.

According to the FBI, in 2013 (the most recent year reported) there was a total of 12,253 murders. Of that number, 8,454 involved a firearm. A majority of those murders were carried out with a handgun, 5,782 to be exact. That works out to be 68.39% of all firearm murders. When it comes to killing people, handguns are used more than any other firearm.

The assault rifle, the safest of all guns - Bent Corner

What I found quite remarkable with the FBI’s numbers is how few deaths are attributed to assault rifles. They don’t even get their own category. They’re grouped in with rifles. An assault rifle is a rifle, but not all rifles are assault rifles.

Even if you pretend that each and every rifle listed on the FBI crime report is a banana clipped, pistol griped assault rifle, they only account for 3.37% of all murders committed with a firearm.

If you really want to do something to curb gun-related murders, then you have to look at handguns, not assault rifles. Statistically and historically speaking, assault rifles are the safest of all guns in that they pose the smallest threat to public safety.

Getting to know James Holmes

James HolmesInformation is beginning to emerge about James Holmes, the 24-year-old man who shot and killed 12 people at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, in Aurora, Colorado. Not only did he kill 12, he wounded another 58. It’s one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.

Holmes is originally from San Diego, California. He was studying neuroscience in a Ph.D. program at University of Colorado-Denver graduate school. He graduated from University of California-Riverside in 2010 with a degree in neuroscience. He attended school there on a merit scholarship. People who know him describe him as smart, but socially awkward and more than a little weird.

When police arrived at the movie theater, they found Holmes behind the theater standing next to his car. He didn’t resist and reportedly told the police that he was the Joker, a fictional villain of Batman.

He was wearing a bullet resistant armor head to toe and a gas mask. He had reportedly emptied two canisters of tear gas in the movie theater before opening fire on movie patrons. Holmes armed himself at the movie theater with the following weapons:

  • Two .40-caliber Glock handguns.
  • A Remington Model 870 12-gauge pump shotgun.
  • A Smith & Wesson AR-15 rifle, the civilian version of the M-16 military rifle, equipped with a high-capacity drum clip capable of holding 100 rounds of .223 caliber ammunition.

Forget the idea that if you had a handgun, you could have defended yourself against Holmes. He was wearing full body armor and had an AR-15 with a drum clip. The air was filled with tear gas and there were hundreds of frightened people trying to get out of the theater. There was no way anyone could have defended themselves against Holmes, even if they had a handgun.

Holmes reportedly purchased his weapons legally from two chain stores, Gander Mountain and Bass Pro Shops. He purchased at least some of his body armor from TacticalGear.com. He also reportedly purchased over 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the Internet.

None of the stuff Holmes had comes cheap. Where did he get the money to buy everything? It doesn’t appear that he had a job or had access to a large pool of money. After all, he attended California-Riverside on a scholarship. Did he buy everything with money obtained from student loans?

I don’t get it.

UPDATE: Mystery solved. We now know where he got the money to purchase all those weapons, ammunition, and combat gear. He got free government money.