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Rzeczpospolita, Poland

Ban Won’t Stop a Madman

By Piotr Kościński

Translated By Michał Bolek

16 December 2012

Edited by Gillian Palmer

Poland - Rzeczpospolita - Original Article (Polish)

The tragedy in the American state of Connecticut evoked an enormous wave of calls to toughen regulations concerning gun ownership and generally to take steps to prevent any madman from ever attacking any school.

But there are also different opinions. The supporters of easy access to guns believe that it should be the other way around: The more people have pistols or rifles, the easier it will be for them to protect themselves from attackers, and the procedures for letting strangers into schools are toughened anyway.

The U.S. is, of course, a special example — around 90 percent of people in this country have a gun. There is a special “culture of having a gun” here. What did the mother of the attacker from the Sandy Hook Elementary School need a semi-automatic rifle and two pistols for? They are better suited to a fully-armed policeman, a bodyguard or a thug. Her son murdered her with her own rifle — a Bushmaster type that is perhaps used by the Polish special unit GROM (Operational Maneuver Response Group).

Debates concerning guns have been sweeping through the U.S. for years. Those who want to buy without any hindrance have won so far. Discussions about stricter controls in various public institutions have also been present, though the best of the possible procedures have surely been implemented there.

The problem is that the ban on gun ownership won’t hit criminals, who will get them anyway. It won’t hit madmen either — they will also find their ways to circumvent the bans. It’s also not possible to set metal-detecting gates in entrances to schools, movie theaters or supermarkets — they are already at the airports, in the courts and many government offices. We agree anyway on more and more restrictions of our freedom for the sake of more security, but it’s difficult to close, separate and surround everything with guards.

It’s the police who must fight criminals. It’s worse with mentally disturbed people. More support from society for all those who have problems is necessary in this situation. The tragedies will, unfortunately, happen and attempts to prevent them will totally fail, though one can try to counteract them. But definitely not in the form of overpowering bans.



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