In the wake of the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Conn., voices across nation, and indeed across the globe, have been calling for stricter gun-control laws.
Yet what gun-control measure could have prevented this crime?
The state of Connecticut already has certain gun-control laws in place, at least three of which the shooter broke, as he could have only obtained the weapons through illegal means.
The Associated Press reports Lanza brought three guns into the school: a Glock pistol, a Sig Sauer pistol and Bushmaster rifle, which the New York Post further reports was a semi-automatic “assault rifle” chambered for a .223 caliber round, matching casings found at the crime scene.
Lanza, therefore, if you count theft, murder and breaking and entering – since CBS New York now reports it likely Lanza broke into the school through a window to circumvent a locked-door and intercom security system – would have violated a half-dozen laws in his crime, including the following gun-control statutes:
First, Connecticut law requires a person be over 21 to possess a handgun. Lanza was 20.
Second, Connecticut requires a permit to carry a pistol on one’s person, a permit Lanza did not have.
Third, it is unlawful in Connecticut to possess a firearm on public or private elementary or secondary school property, a statute Lanza clearly ignored.
Fourth, with details on the Bushmaster rifle still sketchy, it’s possible Lanza may have violated a Connecticut law banning possession of “assault weapons.”
Of course, these laws were violated because Lanza did not own any of the firearms in question, but rather stole them, and he clearly had no regard for the law in committing his crime.
The facts of the case mark one of the largest quandaries with cries for additional gun control: The guns already exist, and the criminals who have broken laws to use them have also demonstrated they’re willing to break laws to obtain them.
Unless the government somehow mandates and is able to effectively destroy the millions of guns already in circulation, gun-control laws primarily affect the already law-abiding, rather than the criminal element.