The events surrounding the shooting death of Officer Joyce Carnegie in Orange, NJ on April 8, 1999 should be all our legislators and gun advocates need to end gun violence.
Were I the law-abiding gun dealer who sold the fatal TEC-9, I would scream for tougher regulation of gun ownership and look for support from our legal system, helping to lift the apparent responsibility from my shoulders.
Why would I object to registry checks on guns I've sold? The Carnegie murder weapon was purchased legally, and then stolen from the purchaser by the now-confessed killer. This is why suspicion is cast on the legal buyer, and by implication on the gun dealer.
With tougher laws we would be assured legal weapons wouldn't be wandering the streets in the future, terrorizing innocent citizens and killing our law enforcment officers.
Columbine and Officer Carnegie may be anecdotes. Anecdotes may be dismissed. But the Columbine students and teacher, and Officer Carnegie are lives, loved by many. For some of us, the pattern emerged from the anecdotes years ago. For too many, not yet.
National registration, and local re-certification are needed. It needn't be expensive or onorous; if no TEC-9's were used in homicides for the last year, there would be no need to re-certify them, would there be? If it's too expensive to register and re-certify, that suggests the problem is indeed massive, and needs treatment.
Will Columbine be to the gun industry what the Titanic was to the shipping?
-- Marty McGowan