The Connecticut shootings have been heartbreaking.
The question on everyone's minds is why and how to avoid
recurrences. Having recently visited Philadelphia, one wonders about the Second Amendment times of Thomas Jefferson in 1791.
Could the Connecticut shootings have happened in the 1790's? Probably not, if you consider the technology factor:
- While schools existed, schools particularly for small
children might not have been common. It appears that the oldest
Connecticut School might have been Hopkins founded in 1660 and that took
students from grade 7. It was unlikely that 20 small children sat in a
classroom in the 1790's. We have progressed in elementary education a
great deal since 1791.
- The discrimination associated with mental disorders was
much higher in the 1790's and would have probably isolated the killer
socially. Today we have progressed a great deal in trying to integrate psychiatric
patients into society.
- Video games, movies and entertainment exists today that
did not in 1790's. The NRA suggests that
these have an influence in promoting violent behavior. Here technology has
made progress and helps entertain folks and large numbers of people do
feel that they encourage violent thinking – if not actual action.
- The technology clincher is really in gun technology
from the 1790's to today and what a gun owner can afford and access at a Walmart.
That civilians can afford and buy machine guns legally has been made
possible with the leaps that technology has taken in every industry in the
last few decades. This includes the gun and arms industry which is able to
produce quick firing machine guns. So instead of the Western movie cowboy
being fast on the "draw" the speed can come from the weapon
Between 1790 and today lots of
social change has occurred and significantly the technology of guns has
substantially improved. The latter is one of the major reasons that resulted in
the large number of casualties in Virginia Tech, Arizona, Colorado and now
Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Among the many steps needed to curb gun violence
restrictions on automatic weapons would be an important step to reconcile the
spirit of the second amendment with advances in gun technology. Contact StratoServe.