After the killing at Sandy Hook, there is again a cry to “outlaw assault rifles” as if it is being ignored that the shooter also had two handguns as well as the Bushmaster military style .223 that he used. As everyone in the school was legally disarmed, there no doubt being a sign out on the road saying “Gun Free School Zone” as proof, the shooter had no fears that anyone might be able to stop him from killing as many children and adults as he so wished. Proof if anyone has any doubts that in the land of the disarmed, the man with a gun can do whatever he so wishes as no one has the means to resist or fight back.
We should also consider the fact that the largest number of school children ever killed at one time (outside of wartime bombings) was in Russia where Islamic terrorists took over a school there. Unlike our usually solitary “shooters”, the terrorists were organized and well equipped with both firearms and explosives. They used the children as “human shields” against the Russian police and military, with a total death toll of 186 children. Look up Beslan school shootings on Google if you want to learn more about what happened there in 2004. This was for the Russians much like 9-11-01 was for the US. This is also something that could happen here as we are creating millions of enemies in the Middle East, some of whom might be able to come here. So far this hasn’t happened, but it is something I think that should be considered as being possible if improbable.
Gun “bans” only prevent the honest and law abiding from owning guns. Prohibition didn’t stop people from drinking, it merely resulted in the development of criminal organizations that provided alcohol to those willing to pay the price for a “drink”. We have been fighting “The War on Drugs” for decades. The only result is the development of powerful criminal organizations that are now tearing Mexico apart in “turf wars”. We haven’t stopped the sale of illicit drugs, we only managed to raise the price of such drugs. The drugs are manufactured outside the USA and then shipped here to be sold by our drug pushers to their addicted customers. If we were to try to do the same with guns, it is likely that we’d have no more success. Unlike drugs however, which addicts have to obtain on a regular basis, guns could be “one time sales”. A revolver and a box of ammunition could be used in criminal activities for decades if not generations. In any case there are already enough guns in the USA to arm every man, woman, and child living here. In the case of rifles and shotguns, generally such do not require a permit to buy, there is no list of such weapons available to the police, and given the number of private sales of such, it would be probably impossible to successfully eliminate them.
Another aspect is that guns exist almost everywhere on Earth. A number of countries manufacture guns for sale, every national military has a stockpile of firearms, and it is not impossible for even small private industry to manufacture guns. They are after all, an established technology. Any machine shop can manufacture firearms. Ammo is a bit more of a problem as the manufacture of primers and modern “smokeless” gun powder requires a more advanced technology. However, ammunition lasts a long time, and cartridges manufactured fifty years ago will generally still go “bang” when fired. Also there is a lot of ammunition stored in national armories, and its “security” is another matter. Those who desire such things and have enough money generally can find someone willing to “look the other way” while the “buyer” obtains what he wants…
There is also the issue that you really don’t need to have an “assault rifle” to kill a lot of people. Modern pistols can have magazine capacities of as much as 18 rounds and there are “extended” magazines which will hold even more. A person with practice can switch out an empty magazine for a full one rather quickly. Most shotguns and some rifles can be reloaded by feeding in more ammunition while a round still remains chambered. A pair of shooters can also provide “cover” for one another while the other reloads. Even a single shot rifle or shotgun can be reloaded rather quickly with practice. My experience is that a rifleman with a single shot breech loading rifle can fire about 12 aimed shots a minute, which isn’t that much slower than someone using a bolt action rifle of the sort that was used back in World War 1 and was still in use by most nations during World War 2. To get back to really slow reloading, you have to return to muzzle loading arms.
All this ignores the fact that those who wish to kill do not need firearms to do so. The Japanese used swords in World War 2 to kill people. Against unarmed civilians, their swords proved to be quite lethal. There is also archery, which in the hands of a skilled person, can deliver a dozen aimed arrows in less than a minute. Then there is “fire”, and gasoline is sold everywhere. A few gallons of gasoline was enough to start a fire in a nightclub that killed over a hundred people. So for those who wish to kill, there are a lot of possible weapons that can be used. Also there are Improvised Explosive Devices, which have killed hundreds of American soldiers there in the Middle East. It does appear that those who wish to kill can always find some way of doing just that…
In conclusion it appears that trying eliminate “weapons” isn’t going to be successful. What is more likely to be successful is having armed people ready to defend our children. They do this in Israel because of terrorists, and maybe we should consider that idea here.