Colorado Massacre demands gun controls

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Colorado Massacre demands gun controls
By Ray Hanania
Southwest News-Herald Wed July 25, 2012 – James Holmes was not a criminal. He was an aspiring scientist. A regular person, 24 years old. Quirky, maybe. But there was nothing to suggest he was a potential mass murderer.

Except one thing. He purchased four weapons, a semi-automatic rifle, a shot gun and two hand guns. He bought those legally from local stores without much of a background check. Although in his case, a background check would not have raised any red flags to raise concerns.

He then ordered more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition off a web site online. Again. There were no reasons to suspect any criminal plans.

As we now know, he walked into a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado last Friday morning for the premier of the latest Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises,” and he shot and killed in cold blood 12 innocent people and wounded 50 more.

He would have killed more but for the fact that his automatic weapon jammed.

Yet no one thinks we should have more stringent gun controls.

Why? Because this country is not run by Democracy. It is run by a tyrant named the National Rifle Association (NRA) which claims to protect the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution which was written some 221 years ago that guarantees the right of American to own a gun.

We didn’t have automatic weapons in 1791 when it was included in the Bill of Rights. We had muskets. Hand guns. Weapons that fired one bullet at a time, slowly.

When the pioneers were battling the Native Americans for control of this land, there was a need to have a gun for protection. America was a vulnerable nation and gunslingers roamed the dusty streets of the Wild, Wild West.

Of course, back then, innocent people and the guilty were strung up and hung by individuals who played the role of judge, jury and executioners. In our early nation, the Rule of Law was more of an Exception to the Rule.

Holmes bought a Glock pistol. Less than a week later, he upgraded to a shotgun. The following week he bought an AR-15, which was outlawed under the Assault Weapon Ban in 1994 that expired in 2004.

The Glock holds 17 to 33 bullets and can be fired rapidly. It is a “semi-automatic weapon.” The AR-15 can hold 40 to 100 bullets.

The NRA has brainwashed America into believing we need to have the ability to fire dozens of bullets without reloading to “protect ourselves” from criminals.

They always say “If we outlaw handguns, then only the outlaws will have handguns.”

James Homes was not an outlaw. But had we made it illegal to obtain semi-automatic weapons, his efforts to obtain guns might have raised additional red flags that were all missed because a trouble person can easily walk into a store and buy high powered weapons and even armored helmets and a bullet proof vest without even raising an eyebrow.

That’s why we need tougher gun laws. We need to make it so that at least for that segment of our population that shows now outward signs of criminal behavior, their purchase of heavy weapons would raise some eyebrows.

We won’t stop the criminals from getting guns, that’s true. But why make it so damn easy to kill someone in this country?

(Join Ray Hanania on radio this Sunday to talk about the Holmes massacre on 1240 AM WSBC and 14760 AM WCFJ Radio 8-10 am.

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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Ray Hanania