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« Losing Their Touch? | Main | Some Thoughts On Fear »

Church Massacre Spurs Calls For Effective Gun Control

December 14th, 2007

COLORADO SPRINGS (APUPI) As a mass memorial service was held today for the seventy-three victims of the massacre at the New Life Church, one of the largest such grim tolls in the nations' history, gun-control advocates pointed out the continuing folly of allowing civilians access to pistols and assault weapons.

"This never would have happened had Matthew Murray not been able to get his hands on those weapons, " said Sarah Brady, head of Handgun Control, Incorporated. "He had two handguns, an assault rifle, and a thousand rounds of ammunition. Seventy-three people are dead now, and thousands more wounded, because the NRA continues to block reasonable gun-control measures."

With Sunday's slaughter still fresh in the minds of many, she pointed out that now was the time to end such incidents once and for all, with effective laws against both handguns and assault weapons.

The toll was horrific for the church, which lost not only many parishioners, but its senior pastor, Brady Boyd. Also killed was Jeanne Assam, one of the church's security guards. She had bravely stood up and warned the gunman as he entered the building after killing two girls in the parking lot, and pointed out the "gun-free zone" sign at the church entrance. However, she herself was unarmed, per church policy, and was shot down before Murray went on to shoot numerous others behind her.

While the police are to be commended on their fast response of twelve minutes from the time someone had the presence of mind to call 911 on their cell phone, by the time they could bring in someone to take out the shooter, he had had time to kill sixty nine others, and wound another hundred and twenty one.

Some have made the controversial suggestion that the death toll might have been lower had Ms. Assam been allowed to carry a firearm herself, something which, as a former police officer, she was well trained to do. In addition, she held a permit to legally carry a concealed weapon in Colorado. But the church rules, for obvious safety reasons, didn't allow weapons on the premises.

Mrs. Brady finds such suggestions dangerous and ludicrous. "What is a woman going to do with a handgun against a man with two pistols and an assault rifle?" she asked. "Adding more weapons to the mix would only have increased the carnage. What they needed was bigger letters on the sign."

[Copyright 2007 by Rand Simberg]

Posted by Rand Simberg at December 14, 2007 11:57 AM
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