In the great American tradition of going to extremes, the entire country is now swept up in the Tuzcon, AZ tragedy. While I am shocked and grieved by what happened, and my thoughts go out to the friends and families of those who died or were wounded in the attack, I am just as shocked that when something like this happens, the entire country completely shuts off what is going on in the rest of the world. No other news is reported, other than play-by-play narrative of the shooting. Somehow, it doesn't seem to bother anyone at the moment, that at least as many people have been dying daily in Iraq and Aphghanistan alone during the last few years. I am not even talking about other countries in the world, where poverty, disease and civil conflict (or all of the above) are sweeping the land of its people. All America seems to be interested now is focusing its grief and compassion on this one shooting. The same has happened after Columbine, Virginia Tech and every other major shooting incident.
Results of this extreme reaction are easily predictable: there will be yet another lash-out at gun owners and proponents of sensible (i.e. non-draconian) weapon ownership laws, tightening of security, installation of metal detectors, etc., etc. In fact, anti-gun ownership posts are already flying around, many of them quit illogical, presumptuous and rude. And, just as predictably, most of these measures will be non-productive.
Please, my fellow humans, be logical. Do you honestly think that someone about to go on a shooting rampage would be really concerned about violating something as insignificant as a gun restriction? This person is already about to commit a far more serious crime - murder. The bad guys will always - ALWAYS - find ways to obtain weapons and use them. And the rest of us will always - ALWAYS - remain at a disadvantage. Have you noticed that cities and entire countries with the most restrictive weapons laws also have the highest gun crime rate? Why do you suppose that is? If you don't believe me, look up the stats on Great Britain, which is famous for it's extremely tight gun laws, and Washington DC, which is Britain in miniature in that particular respect. Both have extremely high violent crime rates compared to average.
You may also be surprised to discover that the police is actually not obligated to help you, if you are being attacked. There are numerous court cases out there, describing situations when someone called the police while someone was approaching to attack or breaking into the house, and help showed up either too late or not at all. People have been robbed, beaten, raped, and murdered while waiting for the police force to show up. Regardless of how safe your area is, ultimately, your protection is your own responsibility and no one else's. If you think you can defend yourself without a firearm - good for you. If not, perhaps it's time to learn how to properly use one and get your permit.
At any rate, I don't think this is a matter of gun laws and/or gun ownership. What I really want to know is, how is it that the shooter was able to get so many people before being stopped? Where was the security detail? Where was the police? If nothing else, where was one person to grab something heavy and throw it at the gunman's head?
Ladies and gentlemen, you may like or dislike firearms - that's fine. We can respectfully agree to disagree on this account. However, I beg you, study self-defense - I am not being sarcastic here. Find a good martial arts school - and not just any martial art, but one specifically oriented at self-defense. Check with your police department - they may offer basic awareness and self-defense classes. One of the primary goals of any reputable self-defense course is to teach you how not to freeze in this kind of situation. It doesn't have to be anything elegant and sofisticated with flying kicks and running up walls. I only wish there had been someone out there in Arizona who didn't freeze up - maybe we wouldn't have had that many dead and wounded.