In light of the Bruen decision, the attorney general of Massachusetts has provided guidance on the issuance of concealed carry permits.
- It remains unlawful to carry a firearm in Massachusetts without a license….
- Licensing authorities should continue to enforce the “prohibited person” and
“suitability” provisions of the license-to-carry statute….
The guidance goes on to create the appearance of compliance while suggesting that little more has changed than creating the appearance. Suitability? Nothing subjective there, right?
And yet, the series of mass shootings is undeniable, punctuated by the shooting at the Highland Park Independence Day parade. Six people dead and over thirty wounded. There was no lack of police presence, and yet one man with what is being described as a “high-powered rifle” apparently randomly shot to kill people whose only offense was watching a parade.
The authorities in Highland Park, Ill., said they had recovered a high-powered rifle after the mass shooting during the community’s Fourth of July parade. It was the state’s third mass shooting since Friday.
Illinois has the sixth strictest gun-safety laws in the country, and the ninth-lowest rate of gun ownership, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a leading gun control advocacy group. The state has universal background checks, red flag warnings and safe storage requirements, though no assault weapons ban.
The accused shooter’s motive is unknown. Maybe there was a political point lurking behind a twisted mind. Or maybe just a twisted mind. It would seem that the weapon involved wasn’t what the papers like to describe as an “assault weapon” or the dreaded AR-15, as it’s likely that it would have been expressly noted had that been the case. Instead, the description of “high-powered rifle” suggests that it might have been a far more ordinary weapon of the sort that didn’t make it on anyone’s banned list.
How the shooter got the weapon is unknown as well. While Illinois has stringent laws, there is no indication that the rifle wasn’t lawfully obtained in Illinois. The point that neighboring states have less strict laws which might enable a buyer to cross the border to purchase a gun may be a real concern, but may also be entirely irrelevant. Indeed, at this point, it’s unclear whether the shooter purchased the rifle lawfully or where the rifle was bought.
On the other hand, is anyone purchasing a gun lawfully likely to take to a rooftop and start randomly firing at people? On the third hand, will the fear of some random gunman firing at nice folks watching the parade passing be an entirely sound reason not to stray outside knowing that the one in a million crazy shooter can take you or your child out at will?
Is there a solution to this situation? Should there be? Are we doomed to have what appears to be increasing chances not to survive a pleasant outing because one crazy has a gun in order to accommodate the million law-abiding citizens exercising their constitutional right to keep and bear arms?
Are guns the problem or is crazy the problem? Granted, guns aren’t the only means of causing harm, of killing people, but they surely make the task swifter and easier than other weapons. And even if the gun is merely the tool in the hands of a murderous nutjob, is there any way to identify the murderous nutjob before the slaughter? Is there any way to preserve the Second Amendment’s fundamental right to keep and bear arms without the price being mass murder? Or, for that matter, any murder?
*Tuesday Talk rules apply.