Cassie Bernall, 17. Steven Curnow, 14. Corey DePooter, 17. Kelly Fleming, 16. Matthew Kechter, 16. Daniel Mauser, 15. Daniel Rohrbough, 15. William Dave Sanders, 47. Rachel Scott, 17. Isaiah Shoels, 18. John Tomlin, 16. Lauren Townsend, 18. Kyle Velasquez, 16. Derrick Brun, 28. Dewayne Lewis, 15. Daryl Lussier, 58. Chase Lussier, 15. Neva Rogers, 62.

Chanelle Rosebear, 15. Michelle Sigana, 32. Thurlene Stillday, 15. Alicia White, 15. Naomi Rose Ebersol, 7. Marian Stoltzfus Fisher, 13. Lena Zook Miller, 7. Mary Liz Miller, 8. Anna Mae Stoltzfus, 12. Ross Alameddine, 20. Jamie Bishop, 35. Brian Bluhm, 25. Ryan Clark, 22. Austin Cloyd, 18.

Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, 49. Daniel Perez Cuevas, 21. Kevin Granata, 45. Matthew Gwaltney, 24. Caitlin Hammaren, 19. Jeremy Herbstritt, 27. Rachael Hill, 18. Emily Hilscher, 19. Matthew La Porte, 20. Jarrett Lane, 22. Henry Lee, 20. Liviu Librescu, 76. Partahi Lombantoruan, 34.

Lauren McCain, 20. Daniel O’Neil, 22. Juan Ramon Ortiz, 26. G.V. Palanivel, 51. Minal Panchal, 26. Erin Peterson, 18. Michael Pohle, 23. Julia Pryde, 23. Mary Read, 19. Reema Samaha, 18.

Waleed Mohamed Shaalan, 32. Leslie Sherman, 20. Maxine Turner, 22. Nicole White, 20

Gayle Dubowski, 20.Catalina Garcia, 20. Julianna Gehant, 32. Ryanne Mace, 19. Daniel Parmenter, 20. Tshering Bhutia, 38. Doris Chibuko, 40. Sonam Choedon, 33. Grace Kim, 23.

Katleen Ping, 24. Judith Seymour, 53. Lydia Sim, 21. Charlotte Helen Bacon, 6. Daniel Barden, 7. Rachel D’Avino, 29. Olivia Rose Engel, 6. Josephine Gay, 7. Dawn Hochsprung, 47.

Dylan Hockley, 6. Madeleine F. Hsu, 6. Catherine V. Hubbard, 6. Chase Kowalski, 7.

Nancy Lanza, 52. Jesse Lewis, 6. Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, 6. James Mattioli, 6.

Grace McDonnell, 7. Anne Marie Murphy, 52. Emilie Parker, 6. Jack Pinto, 6. Noah Pozner, 6.

Caroline Previdi, 6. Jessica Rekos, 6. Avielle Richman, 6. Lauren Rousseau, 30. Mary Sherlach, 56. Victoria Soto, 27. Benjamin Wheeler, 6. Allison Wyatt, 6. George Chen, 19. Katherine Cooper, 22. Cheng Yuan Hong, 20. Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, 20. Weihan Wang, 20

Veronika Weiss, 19. Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14. Andrew Fryberg, 15. Zoe Galasso, 14. Gia Soriano, 14. Lucero Alcaraz, 19. Treven Taylor Anspach, 20. Rebecka Ann Carnes, 18.

Quinn Glen Cooper, 18. Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59. Lucas Eibel, 18. Jason Dale Johnson, 33.

Lawrence Levine, 67. Sarena Dawn Moore, 44. Alyssa Alhadeff, 14. Martin Duque Anguiano, 14. Scott Beigel, 35. Nicholas Dworet, 17. Aaron Feis, 37. Jaime Guttenberg, 14. Christopher Hixon, 49. Luke Hoyer, 15. Cara Loughran, 14. Gina Montalto, 14. Joaquin Oliver, 17. Alaina Petty, 14. Meadow Pollack, 18. Helena Ramsay, 17. Alex Schachter, 14. Carmen Schentrup, 16.

Peter Wang, 15. Jared Black, 17. Shana Fisher, 16. Christian Riley Garcia, 15. Kyle McLeod, 15. Ann Perkins, 64. Angelique Ramirez, 15. Sabika Sheikh, 18. Chris Stone, 17. Cynthia Tisdale, 63. Kimberly Vaughan, 14. Madisyn Baldwin, 17. Tate Myre, 16. Justin Shilling, 17. Hana St. Juliana, 14. Nevaeh Bravo, 10. Jacklyn Cazares, 9. Makenna Lee Elrod, 10. 

Jose Flores Jr., 10. Irma Garcia, 48. Uziyah Garcia, 8. Eliana “Ellie” Garcia, 9. Amerie Jo Garza, 10. Xavier Lopez, 10. Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10. Tess Marie Mata, 10. Miranda Mathis, 11. Eva Mireles, 44. Alithia Ramirez, 10. Annabelle Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10. Maite Yuleana Rodríguez, 10. Alexandria “Lexi” Aniyah Rubio, 10. Layla Salazar, 11. Jailah Nicole Silguero, 10. 

Eliahana Cruz Torres, 10. Rojelio Torres, 10. Arielle Anderson, 19. Alexandria Verner, 20. Brian Fraser, 20. 

Incessant slaughter

Let’s be honest: You didn’t read every name on the list above, did you?

I’m not being critical. It’s just the way we are now – inured to the incessant slaughter of our children, friends, coworkers, fellow worshippers and shoppers.

You may have figured out that what’s above is a list of all of the people shot and killed in school shootings since the Columbine High massacre in 1999 — mostly children and young people, as you can tell by the ages. I pulled it from a story by the TV station Channel 10 in Boston (, and I thank them for the public service of compiling these names and other details on the shootings.

Victims of the Uvalde, Texas, shooting on May 24, 2022. (Top row, from left) Alithia Ramirez, Amerie Jo Garza, Annabelle Guadalupe Rodriguez, Eliahana Cruz Torres, Eliana Garcia, Jayce Luevanos and Layla Salazar; (Middle row, from left) Jackie Cazares, Rojelio Torres, Jailah Nicole Silguero, Jose Flores Jr., Maite Rodriguez, Makenna Lee Elrod and Xavier Lopez; (Bottom row, from left) Miranda Mathis, Alexandria Aniyah Rubio, Nevaeh Bravo, Tess Marie Mata, Uziyah Garcia, Irma Garcia and Eva Mireles.

As their list ended in May of 2022, I added in the most recent mass school shooting, the one at Michigan State University on Feb. 13 that claimed three lives. In all, it represents 172 people murdered by angry, unbalanced humans who much too easily got hold of firearms.

Undoubtedly, there are more names that could go on the list. For instance, the list does not include the April 2019 shooting at UNC-Charlotte that left Waynesville resident Riley Howell dead, after he tackled the gunman in a heroic attempt to disarm him. Another student, Ellis Parlier, of Midland, also died, and four other students were injured.

And keep in mind this is just school shootings. It doesn’t begin to touch all the mass shootings at churches, synagogues, military bases, concerts, Walmarts, shopping malls, people’s homes, grocery stores and more.

Undated photos from various memorial websites show the victims of the Dec. 14, 2012, Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newton, Conn. Pictured, starting on the top row, from left to right, are Ana Marquez-Greene, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Emilie Parker, and Noah Pozner; Jesse Lewis, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Charlotte Bacon and Chase Kowalski; Daniel Barden, Jack Pinto, Catherine Hubbard, Dylan Hockley and Benjamin Wheeler; Grace McDonnell, James Mattioli, Avielle Richman, Rachel Davino and Anne Marie Murphy; Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Dawn Hochsprung and Nancy Lanza.

Our country has a sickness, and we won’t admit it. It’s the proliferation of guns, and the ridiculously easy access we as a nation have permitted to these very efficient killing tools.

I say this as a gun owner and a concealed carry permit holder who enjoys recreational shooting and feels gun ownership is protected by the Second Amendment. 

But that amendment, like all the rest, is not absolute. And its meaning has been twisted and misconstrued by the gun lobby and Americans who believe their right to own a firearm trumps a student’s right to grow up.

Here’s what it says: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

In colonial America, our country needed state militias to protect our country from other countries (Great Britain mostly), as well as other foes. Regular citizens were called to serve in the militia, and they had to have their own guns – at the time a flintlock rifle or pistol that took a good 20 seconds to load and fire.

The 13 victims from the school shooting at Columbine High school in Littleton, Colorado. Top row from left are Cassie Bernall, Steven Curnow, Corey DePooter, Kelly Fleming, Matthew Kechter, and Daniel Mauser. Bottom row from left are Daniel Rohrbough, William Sanders, Rachel Scott, Isaiah Shoels, John Tomlin, Lauren Townsend, and Kyle Velasquez

I don’t see how any reasonable person can assert the framers of the Constitution had in mind giving the green light to a nutjob with a semi-automatic, high-powered rifle who wanted to mow down an entire room full of students — and then reload another 30-round magazine in a matter of seconds to continue the killing spree.

The General Assembly heads the wrong way

So yes, I’m baffled and disheartened that our great North Carolina state legislature is moving ahead with a law that would scrap a requirement that the local sheriff sign off a person who wants to buy a handgun, as the Associated Press reported last week.

“The firearms bill would also allow people with a concealed weapons permit — separate from the pistol purchase permit — to carry a gun while attending religious services at a private school or some charter schools. Permitted gun owners can already carry at standalone church buildings if the congregation allows it,” the AP reported.

N.C. State Sen. Danny Earl Britt Jr. (R-Robeson County)

The bill also contains a two-year education campaign on the safe storage of guns. That’s a common sense law, in my opinion.

Ironically, State Sen. Danny Earl Britt Jr. (R-Robeson County), the bill’s chief sponsor, said of the overall proposal that it’s “common-sense laws to ensure that the rights of law-abiding citizens are not being infringed.”

Sweet Jesus. It’s amazing to me how folks like Britt truly believe their ability to buy guns is under threat. We have over 400 million guns in America.

As the AP story notes, Republican senators approved the bill 29-19, along party lines.

I can’t believe this needs saying, but while we’re standing knee deep in the blood of our children, we don’t need to loosen gun laws in our country. What is wrong with our national psyche that we don’t push back with all of might against this lunacy, which crops up in state after state across the nation?

12-year-old Jamari Cortez Bonaparte Jackson was shot to death in 2022 at Tanglewood Middle School in Greenville, S.C.

As I mentioned, I have a concealed carry permit. I got it in part to go through the experience as a citizen and then write about it. I also carried a handgun for a few weeks to get a real feel for the experience. I safely store guns in my home.

I don’t think guns should be taken away from people. Hey, good luck trying to confiscate 400 million firearms from Americans anyway.

Different people read that tricky second amendment in different ways, and the Supreme Court has ruled that individuals have the right to gun ownership. That’s not going away.

What we’re doing isn’t working

My argument is this: What we’re doing in this country regarding guns clearly is not working. We have mass shootings (four or more people shot) with absurd frequency.

USA Today reported Feb. 15 that the U.S. has already had 71 mass shootings in 2023 — in six weeks. reports America had 51 school shootings in 2022, with 40 people killed. America had 20,221 homicides/murders last year, according to

So to continue doing what we’re doing is the very definition of insanity, as is loosening gun restrictions.

The pistol purchase requirement in North Carolina does date to Reconstruction and was designed in part to keep minorities from owning handguns. But today, it serves a valuable purpose – another layer of permitting, beyond the federal gun check, to buy a gun.

Requiring the Sheriff to sign off on your gun purchase also adds another layer of security to help keep total nutjobs from buying guns.

For the record, Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller opposes this new legislation that would do away with the requirement.

Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller

“Let me be clear that I do not support the N.C. General Assembly bill to end pistol purchase permits,” Miller told me via email. “I strongly believe that background checks are important and necessary. This is an important responsibility of the Sheriff’s Office and I hope this bill will not become law.”

Yes, let’s hope Gov. Roy Cooper vetoes this turkey of a bill, although Republicans may have enough votes, if a few Democrats get on board, to override him.

Look, I have bought pistols after getting a pistol purchase permit from the Sheriff. It’s a nuisance, honestly, but it’s also another layer of protection for society.

The second amendment doesn’t say your access to guns has to be easy, or super-convenient. I’d argue it’s too easy and convenient now, and the system does little to weed out mentally imbalanced people.

Honestly, what I’d like to see is a set of requirements very similar to the concealed carry law to be able to buy any gun. That would mean you have to pass a background check from the Sheriff’s Office, have a doctor sign off on your sanity, agree to be fingerprinted, and take a class in responsible gun handling and storage.

In all, it took me about six weeks to get the permit in Henderson County.

The greatest lesson I learned from my instructor was this: “Just carry pepper spray.” He wisely told us that if you shoot someone, you’re likely to be charged with some kind of offense, have to spend thousands of dollars on a lawyer and spend a year in legal limbo. 

And you have to live with having killed a person.

Universal background checks rejected

State Sen. Julie Mayfield (D-Buncombe County) voted against the Senate Bill Feb. 16. 

N.C. State Sen. Julie Mayfield (D-Buncombe)

“Democrats offered four amendments that would have enacted protections supported by a majority of the public, including universal background checks, preventing someone in crisis from acquiring a gun, and prohibiting convicted domestic abusers from obtaining guns,” Mayfield said in a post on her Facebook page, which included the statement she read on the Senate floor. “All were rejected by Senate Republicans who seem more intent on making guns more widely available rather than better protecting our communities.”

Mayfield said she asked what problems the pistol purchase permit provision was trying to solve. She said she got three answers: 

– Some sheriffs were not acting on the applications in a timely manner.

– Because of that delay, some people who are seeking firearms for personal protection might not be able to acquire them.

– The local level of review did not add anything meaningful to the existing federal background check system.

On the speed of getting a permit, Mayfield said steps can be taken to expedite the process.  

I’ll note that having to wait a few weeks to get a gun, in part to weed out unbalanced applicants, is worth it in my book.

Then Mayfield laid down some real truth.

“I suggest to you that this bill has nothing to do with delay or concerns about people not being able to acquire firearms in a timely manner,” she said in the Senate. “Rather, this bill is pushing the national narrative that the second amendment is supreme, and cannot be limited in any way. But we all know, or should know, that no constitutional right, even the second one, can stand alone without any limitation.”

Amen, sister.

Mayfield also noted that in Buncombe County last year, the Sheriff’s Office got over 2,700 pistol permit applications, and all but 63 were granted. That’s a 2 percent denial rate.

“The reasons for those denials indicate how important the local review is and that the federal background check system is not sufficient to catch everyone,” Mayfield said. “The federal database is only as good as the data in it, and local law-enforcement can do a more thorough check from local sources.”

Denials included someone who was a fugitive from justice, one person in the country unlawfully, seven people on active probation, eight with domestic violence convictions or protective orders in place, 17 people convicted of felonies, and 16 determined to be mentally ill or involuntarily committed.

Of the 63 people denied permits in Buncombe, Mayfield said, only nine were denied because the federal database flagged them.

Do you want these folks walking around with handguns?

“The pistol permit requirement prevented over 40 violent and/or mentally ill people from legally purchasing a handgun last year in my community,” Mayfield said. “Now that’s not many, but that’s kind of the point. This permitting requirement is not onerous and it does not unduly infringe on anyone’s right to purchase a firearm.”

More guns than people

Folks, we simply do not infringe on your right to bear arms in this country. We’re swimming in guns. 

The National Shooting Sports Foundation reported in 2020 that the United States has 20 million AR-15-style weapons in circulation.

Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based organization, reported in 2018 that the U.S. had over 393 million guns in circulation, a number that undoubtedly has risen by millions. We have more guns than people here.

As Bloomberg reported last May, America has 120.5 firearms per 100 residents, and we’re the “only country with more civilian-owned firearms than people.”

Not surprisingly, mass shootings are on the rise in the United States — 640 in 2022, and 690 in 2021, according to a BBC report. In 2014, the number was 273.

Again, your right to own a gun has not been infringed in this country. I think people wanting to buy a gun can endure a little more inconvenience when going to buy a weapon that can kill a church or classroom full of people.

That inconvenience might just keep guns out of the hands of people with bad intent. Yes, stricter requirements may add a little time to the gun-buying process.

Hey, maybe you could use that time to read each name listed at the top of this column.

Asheville Watchdog is a nonprofit news team producing stories that matter to Asheville and Buncombe County. John Boyle has been covering Asheville and surrounding communities since the 20th century. You can reach him at 828-337-0941, or via email at

42 replies on “Opinion: Fewer restrictions on guns? Yes, that’s the definition of insanity”

  1. Dear John Boyle, thank you for this great article. My heart breaks to read the names of all these murdered children in our schools starting in Columbine, Colorado. Our local law enforcement officials can do a more thorough check from local sources. Thank you Julie Mayfield. Karen Sanders, RN

  2. As a gun violence survivor and local leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, I appreciate and value your perspective as a gun owner on this issue.

  3. “The gun lobby’s interpretation of the Second Amendment is one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American people by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”
    —Warren Burger
    —U.S. Supreme Court Justice

  4. “Our country has a sickness, and we won’t admit it…”
    Not exactly accurate. The sickness is thoroughly known and we all know exactly who perpetrates these sicknesses…the same people who try to suppress voters, deny elections, call peaceful protesters ‘sons of bitches’, take away inalienable rights, force cities to squander resources on tourism marketing, and who continue to promote urban renewal and redlining by creating Opportunity Zones to line the pockets of their cronies. Shame on voters who elect such scoundrels to public office.

    The day is coming when [deleted by editor per comment rules]. Then we can watch the amendments try to duke it out.

  5. John, I agree with your position on the gun situation. I started wondering whether the same standards could be applied to the abortion situation. Again, both sides seek absolutes while any compromise seems unreasonable to either side.

  6. One of the hot topics right now is depression among children and young adults. Terrified that they might be the next target, it stands to reason that the cumulative toll of this anxiety leads to depression. These same legislators that seem determined to make it easier for their fellow adults to buy guns probably never faced this fear themselves. How quaint those antiquated fire drills seem.

  7. ‘So to continue doing what we’re doing is the very definition of insanity…’
    Where to begin with the state of North Carolina and the City of Asheville?

  8. Guns hold more value in America than human life, unless of course you are a fetus. Apparently humans are replaceable but guns are not.

  9. Great story, John. Almost unbelievable how many guns, and AR 15’s, are ” on the street “. Strongly agree with every point you and Julie Mayfield made. Though I don’t carry a weapon, I did years ago with the federal government, and was daily aware of the huge responsibility that involved.

  10. Did the guns shoot people? We have a societal violence and mental health problem that we continue to avoid.

    1. We don’t have a mental health issue, we have no more of the mentally ill than any other developed country. We have an anger and grievance issue with easy access to guns as a solution.

  11. Thanks for this important piece. I beg people to begin connecting the dots between the gun violence in our country and U.S. foreign policy that makes us the largest arms seller in the world and uses the military as the go-to solution for conflict. Historian Chalmers Johnson said that we can’t have democracy at home and imperialism abroad. He wrote a book called “Blowback” about this topic. Guns here, guns there, guns everywhere. We must look at a bigger picture that may help us to understand why the worship of guns seem to supercede the right to live. That Republican lawmakers accept the murder of our CHILDREN as the price we pay to have ‘freedom’ enslaves us all to a form of ‘idol’ worship at our peril.

    1. Interesting concept of connecting US foreign policy with gun violence. The US is too quick to jump into a foreign country’s conflicts. As I wonder why, I realize someone is making money somewhere. True of Ukraine now. What does the proxy war in Ukraine actually do for the average US citizen? We need to get out of Ukraine. True of gun sales- lots of money being made.

      1. Follow the money, if that’s really possible, to see who and at what level of wealth, benefits most from the Ukraine donations.
        Most of us will see a negative benefit in taxes from any foreign donations to keep those who pay the least, compared to their gross income, safe.

      2. Ellen: Please don’t equate these two issues. They are very, very different. The world needs to support Ukraine..

    2. Yes, and how might some previously smug Asheville residents feel if our commissioners allowed a gun manufacturer to set up shop here alongside the one producing F-35 components?

  12. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, when I sent my children to Newtown CT schools, even after Columbine, I never thought to worry that they may not be safe. Once it happened in Newtown, I realized it could happen anywhere. Priorities in our country have gone awry. I feel for the parents of today, who must feel uncertainty every time they send their children to school.

  13. I totally agree with not allowing this law to pass. I also am thankful to learn about the denials of some gun applications. Since, I have never seen these statistics, I have wondered if the background checks really worked. Perhaps, we should strengthen the background checks somehow. But, lawfully restricting gun attainability provides a false sense of security as one can obtain a gun illegally also. How easy that is to do, I have no idea. My contention is that to reduce gun violence in the US would require a 3 prong solution: reduce the number of guns available ( incredibly hard goal), reduce the permissive criminal environment that we have ( ie prosecute criminals at a higher rate than is currently the practice), and most importantly work on mental health solutions for young men. When you review the FBI stats on who does these mass shootings, it is mainly young men. There is something that these young men need and we as a society are failing them. Of course, there are other shooters of older ages and who are female but the overwhelming number of mass shootings are young males. Start there with working on mental health solutions for them. This may require changing what goes on in their very early age family or non family experience.

  14. Well said, John. I have written asking whether America will ever love its children more than it loves its guns.

  15. We’ve managed to survive with Constitutional analyses that have applied Fourth Amendment considerations to automobiles, telephones, and computers, none of which were extant at the time of the ratification s of the Bill of Rights, yet we shout “intent of the framers” when guns are mentioned. As John noted, the Second Amendment is not, and has never been, absolute. It, as the Fourth Amendment, should be, in their judicial interpretations, subject to the circumstances of today, not forever ossified in an American worldview obtaining in 1787. “Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” Thomas Jefferson

  16. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If the laws surrounding gun ownership were the same as what women/mothers have to endure to get an abortion then there will be even more safeguards in gun ownership and fewer gun permits!
    Thanks John for the heartfelt article, I appreciate AVL Watchdog and to good work this group is doing.

  17. Reading through the names of the slaughtered innocents, I was reminded of the first time I visited the Vietnam Memorial in Washington. It starts with one name, then two, but in just a few steps there are columns of names, dozens deep —more than 58,000 in all. We’re slaughtering innocent people with no remorse as a culture. It is despicable. Thanks, John, for talking about it so bluntly.

  18. The mass slaughter in the US is brought to us courtesy of the Republican Party and the current Supreme Court. Guns rule, and Republicans and SCOTUS have declared that guns are more important than our lives. My child or my gun? For Republicans and the six gun mad Supremes it’s an easy choice. They choose their guns.

  19. I believe that every citizen’s goal (even duty) should be to improve their own lives, the lives of friends and neighbors, and the lives of strangers. Our ridiculous gun laws and so many other frauds brought forth by those who benefit financially (including developers who destroy our natural habitat, ruin neighborhoods and diminish the mental and physical well-being of many who ultimately resort to gun violence) are interwoven. We must stand up and call out all those who attempt to destroy our lives and quality of lives.

    1. Did you just compare your poor decision to buy property next to a parcel of land with no restrictions to gun violence? Please….stop blaming everyone else for your bad decisions.

  20. Great article. Lots of research went into this great piece of writing. Please send this onto our government, including our newly appointed Edward’s. Many as they read this, it just might,maybe pull at their hearts.

  21. One of your best ever, John. This is a keeper and one I am spreading as about the best treatment I have read anywhere on this subject. This is a national madness. It’s not possible to take seriously as a person anyone who argues for less control and more guns.

  22. As I type this on Monday night, the Gun Violence Archive’s tally so far this year lists 2,567 gun deaths in the USA, plus another estimated 3,300 gun suicides so far this year. That’s 51 days. That’s the daily drumbeat of gun violence, punctuated by the headline mass murders. That’s 50 people shot and killed every single day, on average. GVA has documented 82 mass shootings (4 or more killed or wounded in a single incident) so far this year. That’s a rate of 3 such shootings every 2 days, or 11 such shootings every week so far.

    So much for the Constitution’s goal of ensuring domestic tranquility.

  23. Well written John. Thanks!! The assault weapons need to be banned, now as a first step. Then we can address the multiple other issues present. Again, thanks!

  24. Great article, John, and not much more needs to be said.
    However, I find it sad that many gun enthusiasts seem to think they can’t get along without high capacity magazines. Shame! What an kind of marksman can you claim to be if you need 30 rounds to hit the target? Boone and Crockett, and Bridger must be turning in their graves! They hunted and fought with muzzle-loading, single shot flintlocks. We fought WWI with the 1903 Springfield which held 5 rounds. We fought most of WW II with the M1 Garand which held 8 rounds. I think the standard magazine for the today’s M16 only holds 15 rounds. A civilian with an AR-15 doesn’t need 30 rounds for sporting purposes. For civilian use, anything heavier than a .22 should be restricted to 5 rounds.

  25. 99.999% of guns are never used to kill anyone.

    Want to end gun violence? Mandatory 10 year sentence for using gun in crime in addition to sentence for the crime.

  26. Why should we have any age restrictions at all? Arming 5 – 12 year olds is a great way to stop those scurrilous bullies and those teachers who single out a student for misbehaving or class disruption.
    For that matter, we should end age restrictions on drivers licenses too. I mean, if a kid’s legs can reach the pedals, or not even with hand controls, why not let them run errands for mom and dad to pick up beer and cigarettes?
    Freedom y’all!

  27. Where do underage young men who commit mass murders obtain the guns? If they were given to them by their parents and were allowed to use them unsupervised or if the gun belonged to a parent and the gun wasn’t properly locked up shouldn’t the parent be equally charged with first degree murder? Same goes to the people who sold the guns to underage murderers. Maybe that would cause adults to be more cautious, and if it would stop just one potential mass murder it would be worth it.

    Looking back, as a pre-teen I was allowed to roam the woods with a single shot 22 rifle. Supervision was that I had to be home for dinner. I don’t recall any mass murders by kids. By today’s norms the thought of having allowed my kids or grandkids to do the same blows my mind. Times have changed.

  28. What ever happened to the “sanctity of life”, another phrase that has also been twisted to take away a woman’s reproductive rights? I ask State Senator Danny Earl Britt Jr. what is more important? Keeping automatic weapons out of the hands of sociopathic murderers, or getting votes by scaring gun owners that the government is coming for their guns? These Republicans don’t think we see their disingenuous fear mongering to stay in office. How much money have these legislators received from the NRA? Stop this madness to protect the sanctity of life for all Americans!

  29. I am not opposed to good common sense background and health checks. But remember, the good folks are the ones who follow the rules.
    Too bad all NC Sheriff’s don’t have the same timeframes for issuing concealed carry permits. John, it may have taken 6 weeks in Henderson County. But Buncombe Sheriff Miller is 12 weeks … and counting. Apparently, just because he can delay the process.

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