Sheep to the Slaughter

By now most of the developed world has heard of the shooting at a Century 16 theater outside Denver in Aurora, Colorado after midnight on July 20 where many innocent people were gunned down as if they were defenseless sheep.

For details of this tragedy, I suggest reading Mass Shooting at Colorado Movie Theater, 12 People Dead; Witnesses: Chaos and confusion inside the Denver movie massacre, and “The suspected ‘lone-wolf’ shooter of the Batman movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo. earlier today has been identified as Ph.D. student James Holmes …”

If you already know the details, skip the previous links and read on. In recent years, there has been an epidemic of mass shootings in the United States. News radio, 620 WTMJ reported on fourteen incidents since 1991 where, including the tragedy July 20, one-hundred-fifty-eight have been killed and one-hundred-seventy-four wounded.

In addition, according to About.com, in Colorado “There is no state permit required for the purchase of any rifle, shotgun or handgun. Dealers are required to keep a record on the retail sale, rental, or exchange of handguns.” However, “It is unlawful to carry a firearm concealed on or about one’s person without a permit, except for a person in their dwelling, place of business, or on property owned or controlled by him or her.”

The usual response after a lone-wolf tragedy such as this one is a demand from anti-gun advocates for more restrictions on the sale of weapons such as hand guns and semi-automatic rifles. However, there may be a more logical way to deal with this sort of killing spree.

According to the United States Census, in 2009, there were 21.9 million military veterans living in the United States.  Every one of these men and women were trained in the use of weapons and many have fought in America’s foreign wars.

In Marine Corps boot camp at MCRD (Marine Corps Recruit Depot) in San Diego next to the International Airport, as recruits in 1965, we were told that a gun was for fun as one of our drill instructors grabbed his crotch and squeezed his testicles. Then he held up a rifle and said, “This is a weapon. It is for killing—not fun! Never call it a gun.”

We were also told to never use the word “you” because “ewe” (pronounced “you”) was a female sheep.

Since advocates of more gun control may protest that it would be dangerous to allow untrained Americans to legally carry concealed weapons, I am suggesting that both Houses of the US Congress pass a law that allows all former military veterans (heavily trained in the use of weapons) be allowed to carry concealed handguns in public.

Why? Because of what happened earlier this week in an Internet Cafe in Florida.

When two alleged armed robbers entered the Internet Cafe, a 71-year-old man licensed to carry a concealed weapon came out shooting and wounded one or both of the alleged robbers without any loss of innocent life. It does not matter if this old-man was a former military veteran. What counts is that it appears he knew what he was doing with his weapon and may have saved others from death or injury. Source: ABC News, Florida Man, 71, Shoots at Alleged Robbers at Internet Cafe

In fact, as other citizens voluntarily train and learn how to use weapons properly and respectfully, then more may be licensed to carry concealed weapons as that 71-year-old man in Florida. Then the day may come when lone-wolf killers such as James Holmes will not find it as easy to slaughter innocent, unarmed civilians.

Discover The Hurt Locker

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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