Here's how my response would go:
Availability of guns are not the problem.
After reading the editorial "Availability of guns warrants closer look" on February 19, 2008, I found it necessary to voice my opinion on the issue. I agree that the that the events in Illinois were tragic. It's tragic anytime a group of young men and women lose their lives in a single incident. Though the writer thinks that the availability of guns was a major cause of the incident, I would have to disagree. Anytime a person is determined to cause harm to a group of people, they will plan their actions ahead of time. In this case, the planning involved the acquisition of firearms and ammunition. Suppose that firearms weren't available. In this case, planning may have involved gassing up a large vehicle, reinforcing the front and back bumpers, and mapping out the school grounds to see where the highest concentration of students would be. It may have possibly involved learning how to fly a small plane, acquiring a plane, and loading it with a large amount of fuel and other combustible materials. Further planning would be to figure out where to crash the plane on campus to cause a great number of casualties. With that said, had firearms not been available, the results could have been a lot worse.
I'm not trying to condone Mr. Kazmierczak's actions or glorifying the situation in any way. I'm simply saying that when bad people make bad decisions, and have bad intentions, anything is possible. Let's look at it from another perspective. I imagine that there are students at the university who are experienced and trained with firearms. Suppose one or more of them were armed and in close proximity of where Mr. Kazmierczak decided to begin his tragic actions. I'm confident that these citizens would have been capable of stopping Mr. Kazmierczak before he was able to do so much damage.
The writer states "Still, we can't justify why it's easier to carry a gun on a university campus than it is to smoke a cigarette." I'm not sure what this writer is talking about, but I've been on many college campuses and have seen numerous students smoking cigarettes on campus. Mr. Kazmierczak is the 2nd person that I've heard of in the last year or so who has carried a firearm on a college campus. I don't profess to be the smartest soul on the face of the earth, but as far as I'm aware "numerous" is a lot more than "2". That being said, it must be "easier" to smoke a cigarette on campus than to carry a gun.
The writer also states "There isn't much oversight provided in the purchase of a gun on eBay." I would have to agree with the writer in this respect. There is NO oversight on gun purchases on eBay. In fact according to the eBay website (http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/firearms-weapons-knives.html
). There are NO GUN SALES ALLOWED on eBay, therefore no purchases, meaning no oversight. About a year ago, eBay began prohibiting the sale of gun parts on the site. As far as I can remember, firearms have always been a prohibited item on eBay.
The writer would like purchasing a lethal weapon to be difficult "Buying a lethal weapon should involve at least as much paperwork as an IRS Form 1040." This is a very broad statement. Considering that an automobile, airplane, rock, scissors, etc, can be a "lethal weapon", this is a very unreasonable request. I can assure the writer that purchasing a firearm does involve a detailed form, in some cases a background check by the state government, and in all cases a background check with the ATF unless certain requirements are met.
I would like to close by saying that I agree with the writer "University campuses are a home away from home for America's children. That sanctity has been violated, providing us a moment to ask what should we do to prevent this from happening again." This kind of tragedy may not be able to be prevented, as there will always be "bad people" out there. I do feel that disarming our citizens isn't the answer.
Hope this helps.