What's In a Gun?

Updated: Feb 19, 2019

As Active Shooters have gotten more media coverage in recent years, the argument about gun control has gotten a new sense of life and vitality. After the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, gun control advocates took to the streets to demand that gun laws be put in place. Now, this blog is NOT political. This is not a pro or anti-gun control document. This is simply to understand what is going on. This is to analyze the demands Americans are making for gun control on an objective and logical basis. This is to answer questions like what exactly are we asking for or do we even know which types of guns we are discussing?

YouTube video after YouTube video shows thousands of protesters in near total ignorance about what they are actually protesting. When asked what they are protesting, they say something that sounds smart like “I am for all automatic weapons being out of civilian reach.” When confronted about the fact that automatic weapons are heavily regulated, they say, “Well, we should just ban all guns.” There seems to be a large amount of ignorance about the guns that the protesters want banned, and they seem to have no desire to educate themselves for the future. This blog is strictly written for the purpose of learning the facts behind the guns in some of the most iconic active shooter incidents, some of which have been cited by protesters. For the content of this article, we will consider the guns used at Virginia Tech, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and the Las Vegas Strip. Please comment below if you have any suggestions, questions, or additions to the topic at hand. Again, this is not a political blog, so please do not comment with vicious politically charged material.

Virginia Tech…

A) Guns Used:.22 caliber Walther P22 semi-automatic handgun and a 9mm semi-automatic Glock 19 handgun

B) How the Guns were Acquired:Both guns were purchased legally in Virginia, one online, and one in a shop across the street from Virginia Tech five weeks before the shooting happened.

C) Interesting to Note: The future shooter was given a court order to seek outpatient care in a mental facility because of suicidal comments he made to roommates in December of 2005, about a year and a half before the shooting. This was a student who was known to be mentally unstable, so the purchasing of two guns should have sent up a red flag.

D) Response:When the shooter walked into Norris Hall, there was hardly a response. Students sat in the hallway like it was a tornado drill and studied their French homework. The campus was slow and vague in sending out alerts to students. Thirty-two people died that day, and much of that could have been prevented by simply educating students on how to respond in an active shooter event.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida…

A) Guns Used:one AR-15 Rifle- these rifles are lightweight sporting rifles designed to cosmetically look like a military weapon. The AR stands for ArmaLite Rifle, after the company that designed the gun in the 1950s. It DOES NOT stand for assault rifle. An assault rifle is a machine gun, fully automatic, and has been banned in civilian circles since 1934.

B) How the Guns were Acquired: The gun was purchased by the shooter legally.

C) Interesting to Note: The shooter was a former student at the high school who had a history of abuse and mental instability. He was expelled from the school for getting into a fight with his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend, after he had already been abusive to her. He was already documented for receiving treatment at mental health clinic before the shooting. This shooter also should have been a red flag.

Las Vegas Strip…

A) Guns Used: The shooter in the Las Vegas Shooting had 23 guns in his Mandalay Bay hotel rooms. These included fourteen AR-15 Rifles, eight AR-10 Rifles, and a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver. (See above for information on AR-15 rifles; the same applies to AR-10s). What was alarming is that the shooter had equipped several of his semi-automatic rifles with “bump stocks” which are designed to make a semi-automatic rifle fire slightly faster. It still does not make the weapon fully automatic and is considered just barely legal.

B) How the Guns were Acquired: The guns were acquired legally. There were reportedly about thirty weapons purchased in a 12-month time span. Now, while the purchase of multiple handguns must be reported, there is no such law concerning rifles.

C) Interesting to Note: The shooter was known to be mentally unstable, though he was not officially diagnosed. His brother believed him to have a mental illness; he was paranoid and delusional. His doctor believed him to be bipolar.Additionally, in the two years before the shooting, the shooter lost over $1.5 million in high-stakes gambling.

In all three of these cases, there was outstanding evidence that suggested extra attention needed to be given to the individual. All three were mentally unstable in some way, whether diagnosed or not. This article is meant to simply provide the facts so that people can be educated about what happened behind these shootings. Ignorance is the enemy of progress, so the need for an educated view of the items being protested is vital to moving our world forward properly.

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