Monday, Dec. 31, 2012 | 2:01 a.m.
Someone who wants to stop a person intent on killing must have the means to do so. The Second Amendment provides for the means to protect one’s life or that of another.
Our society now rightly requires that to own and carry a gun, one must have a clean criminal and mental history, be proficient in its use, and be aware of the laws and safeguards necessary.
We cannot thwart disasters such as recently witnessed by outlawing bats or ropes or cars, or handguns, shotguns or hunting rifles. If we outlaw these guns, only criminals will have them. Guns are not the problem. However, unless you are active military, there should be no reason to allow the sale or possession of an automatic assault weapon.
We must begin by becoming more responsible adults, by becoming “whistle-blowers” when we know a person, family member or not, has a diminished capacity to control himself. Therefore, background checks might include confidential statements from those closest to applicants who apply to own or carry weapons.
In several recent tragedies, had teachers, janitors or security people elected to legally carry handguns, positive protective action may have avoided the loss of innocent lives. A cost-effective remedy might begin by hiring and training qualified jobless veterans in the application of behavioral analysis techniques and effective protective measures to eliminate the need for overburdened police at designated locations. I hope our lawmakers will consider this.