If people were more responsible with their guns, I'd be on the side of less control. But people aren't.
"People" are. An incredibly small percentage of people aren't. But that's the same with anything in life. Do you have any idea how many millions of people legally own firearms in the US but don't go on shooting sprees? "People" tend to be vastly more responsible with their guns than they are with their cars, or their swimming pools, or household cleaners. But that would require actually applying a useful measurement for "responsible".
Those guns weren't Adam's. They were his mother's, who owned them legally and should have done a better job of keeping them out of her psycho son's reach. She didn't, and now she's dead, twenty kids are dead, he's dead, and there's another national discussion about guns.
Hindsight is always 20/20.
Why first graders? Who knows.
Many people know. You are not one of them because you have chosen to remain ignorant about the issue at hand. He chose first graders, and that specific class of first graders because his mother had been spending more time with them than with him and he felt she loved them more than she loved him. This was not a "I'm going to take these guns that are sitting around and randomly pick people to kill with them" and then just happened to choose that school and that class on that day. He wanted to kill that class of kids. Period.
While there are spree shootings where the guns are clearly a part of the fantasy element of the event itself for the shooter, this was not one of them. His objective wasn't "go out in a blaze of glory, firing cool looking guns at terrified people". His objective was to kill those kids. In this case, the use of the firearms to do so was secondary to his goal. In the absence of guns, it's almost certain he would have come up with some other method.
Something snapped that reminded him of those boys who bullied him because he was different in 1st grade, setting the stage for the rest of his miserable life of exclusion from normal social interaction. Maybe he was visited by a ghost who told him it was the Flying Spaghetti Monster's will that he sacrifice innocent blood. Or maybe, he was just a really bad guy. We'll never know the *why*.
Wrong. We know exactly why he did it.
What we DO know though, is that if Adam's mother hadn't been able to stockpile a small arsenal in her home (and if she had been able to admit that her precious little boy was a lunatic and kept him away from the damn guns) that day would have gone a lot differently.
Unlikely. What we know is that if his mother had not had a small arsenal, he would have used some other method. He might have obtained chemicals to make explosives. Or locked the doors and set fire to the school. Set a crack squad of trained wombats on a kill mission. No way to know what exactly he would have done, but he would have done something.
What we also know is that given the precise events which did happen, if there had been other people in the vicinity with firearms, many lives could have been saved without the necessity of draconian legal restrictions on the actions of our citizens.
I blame her, mostly. I grieve for the families of those kids, but for every lunatic taking a gun on a killing spree, there's a handful of people who just ignored his cries for help all the years before. If we aren't going to address the state of the average american's mental health, we sure as hell better keep closer control on what kinds of weapons are out there in the wild.
Again. Hindsight is 20/20. It's terrifically easy to be an armchair Monday morning quarterback and talk about all the things other people should have known to do differently. But the harsh reality is that we can't assume that every other person in the world will make perfect choices every time. So what are we supposed to do? Restrict people's actions to such a degree that they can't cause harm to anyone else? How do we decide who to restrict? Who gets to make that determination? I really do see two paths to follow here. One in which we attempt to use the power of the government to restrict people's abilities until they can't hurt anyone else, or one in which we give people the freedom to defend themselves from the actions of others.
I just think that the former choice is a poor one because it perpetuates the very problem we're trying to solve. Limiting people's ability to harm others also by necessity limits their ability to protect themselves from the harmful actions of others. The promise that the government can protect us tends to fail when we do this, leading to more people being harmed in situations where they are not allowed to protect themselves. If we continue to respond to such events with yet more government restrictions, we just continue to make the problem worse. I'm not arguing for an extreme on either side, but simply pointing out that "ban guns until gun violence stops" is just as impractical as "give everyone a nuclear weapon". The correct course should be somewhere in between. I just happen to believe we've moved to far towards the "ban guns" side of the issue. Certainly, in the case of "gun free zones", we're making our children in school less safe, not more.
And as I've pointed out numerous times in the two threads we've had on this subject. Unless we're willing and able to repeal the 2nd amendment, we can't possibly enact sufficient gun control measures to prevent this kind of crime. Assuming we're not going to be able to do so, then we should look for other solutions than increase gun control.