After simply saying that the gunman in Las Vegas did it because he could, I’ve gotten some blowback on it. Various arguments have been used to point out that there is no need for gun control; at least not more than we have.

Everyone wants to know “WHY?” did this guy do it. It’s driving them crazy. Because if he’d been ISIS we could focus on ISIS instead of the guns. Mental illness has also come up, which will be addressed below.

I propose WHY doesn’t matter. He did it because he can. That needs to be the focus. Put more narrowly, he was able to shoot a lot of people because he had the capability to shoot a lot of people.

But the pushback? So here are some:

Now is not the time!!!! Seems like if he had been Muslim we would have heard about the need for an immigration ban immediately. If he’d crossed the border, we’d have heard WALL!!! Come on, this is so bogus. Now is absolutely the time. Charleston was the time. Orlando was the time. Sandy Hook was most definitely the time and nothing happened. And it’s already been several days and all we’re hearing is the smokescreen of banning bump stocks.

If we restrict guns, only criminals will have guns. Yes. And? Isn’t that why we have laws? Strangely, these gun advocates feel that in this specific area, the rule of law is void. Doesn’t work. Yet they also are big law and order fans. The two don’t reconcile.

Also, is there a criminal gun factory we’re not aware of? Are criminals getting their guns from some place other than legitimately sold guns that either directly or indirectly end up in their hands? The shooter in Vegas was not a criminal until he fired that first round.

I own lots of guns and have never had an accident or done a mass shooting. Okay. And?

Chicago!!!! Yes? And? It is a city inside a state inside the country, all with varying degrees of regulation. We need to deal with this as a country. Factually, Chicago doesn’t have the toughest gun laws in the country as many say. It has a B+ for its gun laws from a nopartisan think tank. Chicago also is close to Wisconsin and Indiana which have very weak laws. 60% of gang related firearm incidents in Chicago are with out of state weapons.

New York City has some strict laws and its gun homicide rate is 2.3 per 100,000 compared to 14.7 in Philadelphia and 25.1 in Chicago. Something is working in NYC. Perhaps the zero tolerance, mandatory one year sentencing for carrying an unregistered firearm?

I need a gun to stop the bad guys!!! The John Wayne syndrome. Yes, it does happen. But statistically, rather rarely given the overall numbers. The cold, hard numbers indicate that having a gun in your household make you a much more likely candidate to die from a gun than not having one. Suicide is more prevalent. Gun accidents (can’t have one with no gun) are more likely. Yes, everyone who quotes this points out that they never have accidents, would never kill themselves, etc. but someone does. It’s numbers that are real. Facts.

The reality is in an active shooter scenario, a citizen pulling a gun becomes indistinguishable from the shooter. When taught how to clear a hostage situation in Close Quarter Battle, we assume everyone is a bad guy until they prove otherwise. An effective hostage technique is to tape toy guns in hostage hands. We ziptie everyone and let follow on forces sort it out. If you’re blazing away when law enforcement comes on the scene . . .

We didn’t have this in the good old day!!! It’s all those meds people are taking!! No. We had this in the good old days. We just didn’t have the firepower available. Also, this administration has seen fit to roll back restrictions on gun purchases for people with mental issues, so that kind of says it doesn’t see mental issues as an issue for gun ownership except when someone wants to regulate the guns. Then the pivot to mental illness comes up.

It’s my Second Amendment Right!!! The Constitution and the Amendments were not written in stone. They were written at a very different time. We can parse the words, but yes, it’s fine to have a right to own a gun, just as it to do many things. However, given the body count, perhaps some more regulations? In any other field when there are deaths, we try to improve things; but this is one area that we have sought no improvement.

Hitler, Stalin, Mao etc all started by taking the guns!!!!  If someone is truly afraid that our government is going to do whatever it is you’re afraid they’re going to do and take your guns, and that of others, and impose some kind of draconian system outside of the Constitution do you really believe you will stop the US Military or law enforcement? It’s also very insulting to the US Military to think they’d come to oppress you. Remember, officers swear their allegiance to the Constitution, not whoever is in office. So if you believe in the Second Amendment, why don’t you believe in the oath of office that our military leadership swears to that same Constitution? The very first law made by the very first Congress addressed this issue. That’s how important it is.

Ironically, the one time a large number of officers violated their oath of office, we had a Civil War, which is an entirely different issue.

We’ve actually had people act out politically with guns. Recently a Republican Congressman was shot by a citizen who felt oppressed. Was that a good move under the Second Amendment?

Shouldn’t we ban trucks and knives and anything else used to kill people? A silly argument that sidesteps facing the issue with guns.

Since 1968, when these figures were first collected, there have been 1,516,863 gun-related deaths on US territory. Terrorists have used trucks, and knives, and planes, fertilizer to make bombs and some other things, but the numbers aren’t even within 1% of that total. We lost 2,977 dead on 9-11. We completely changed the way we deal with flying. That is not even 1/10 of 1 percent of the number of gun deaths. Yet our response has been nil to the gun issue.

Our response to an event like 9-11 is all out of proportion to the posted threat in comparison with guns. We’ve spent billions, employed hundreds of thousands of people in order to prevent another occurrence. After Oklahoma City we’ve hardened federal building against truck bombings.

Can we not admit that guns are rather convenient, readily available and accessible? And over 1.5 million Americans, more than have died in all our wars combined, have died from them in just the last half-century? If we could just make that fact a start point for rational, national discourse it would be a huge step in the right direction.

In Special Forces we do a target/threat assessment, using the CARVE formula: Criticality, Accessibility, Recuperability, Vulnerability, and Effect. Yet this is one area where the threat assessment is lacking.

What about all the responsible gun owners? Absolutely! That is why we need to have a national discourse on how to deal with this. With so many guns in this country it is a credit to those owners how few are used in criminal endeavors.

The reality is that the great middle, both gun owners, and non-gun owners, want rational discourse on this and rational regulations. More than we have, but not a complete ban. I think the vast majority of Americans are reasonable people. We need to stop being swayed by extremists on both ends on this topic and on every topic. We can find a middle ground because there is a middle ground among the American people. BTW– yes. I own guns, my prior occupation used guns as tools of the trade, and I believe that the vast majority of gun owners are responsible people who actually are in favor of reasonable rules.

We have to start with the fact: he did it because he could.