First, let me say that I don’t own a gun, and I’m not suggesting that gun ownership be unregulated.

Little kids shouldn’t be allowed to drive cars. People like me shouldn’t be allowed to buy rat poison. And even good folks shouldn’t be allowed to buy guns without there being restrictions.

I make no excuses for James Holmes and what he did, but then, I’ve never had the misfortune of experiencing the electrochemical reactions that went on between his synapses and controlled his actions during the Aurora massacre and the days leading up to it.

I struggle to understand the man and his actions, but having him characterized as a “jerk” does little to deepen my insight.

Stricter gun control might have altered the nature of the attack, but there’s no reason to think it would have prevented it.

Several years ago, George Weller drove his Buick through the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, killing 10 and injuring 35. He had no gun, just a Buick.

And what could be more wholesomely American than a Buick? (Other than mom and apple pie, of course — oh, and let’s not forget the Constitution, along with its Second Amendment.)

Closer to home, I’m sure we all remember when a kid driving a truck out front of Hemet High ran a light and sent 9 people to the hospital [May 30].

My point?

Anyone wanting to kill a dozen or so people does not have to rely on a gun.

How about 3,000 people? How about the events of Sept. 11, 2001?

Again, no guns.

Yes, increased gun control seems like an easy answer to the problem of violence in our society. But it’s akin to the proverbial man who searches for his lost key under a lamppost simply because that’s where the light is best.

Violence is a problem we must confront, but suggesting stricter gun control as the solution serves only as a distraction.

A dangerous distraction.

Dan Pietsch


  1. Thank you for your level headed response to this issue! Could not have said it better myself. We taught all of our children about guns. How to use them, clean them and the responsibilities that come with gun ownership if they chose to own one. We have the right under the constitution to own guns just like the right to freedom of speech. Those rights come with responsibilities as do all rights we enjoy as citizens. More control over guns does not take guns out of the hands of the "crazies"! It only takes them out of the hands of law abiding, responsible citizens.

  2. We must differentiate between gun ownership and craziness. There are more than 800 gun dealers in Phoenix. They can sell long guns including AK-47 type to anyone who wants to buy it. They can sell as many as they wish to the same person. In a recent case 232 guns were sold to the same person, by the same gun dealer within a couple of months. All completely legal. The purchase included 192 AKs and the rest were auto handguns. The reason stated… “personal defense”. This individual can sell all those guns to criminals, crazy people, minors or Mexican drug dealers and return to the same store to buy more, all legal. This is insanity. This is not the type of society most people would like to live in.

  3. There are already a number of restrictions when it comes to guns, many make sense some do not. The problem we have is that niether criminals nor mentally disturbed people are going to follow the law.

    The statistics do not lie, cities with the toughest gun laws have both the highest crime, they also have the highest murder rates.