Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Would tighter gun laws have prevented Elliot Rodger's massacre? Mary Cummins, Real Estate Appraiser, Los Angeles, California

Richard Martinez, Elliot Rodger, Peter Rodger, gun laws, Califoria, not one more
By now everyone has seen the video of Richard Martinez father of a victim killed by Elliot Rodger wailing and begging for tougher gun laws. Who could not be moved by the plight of a grieving parent. Everyone wishes there were a way to prevent people from shooting and killing each other. Even Elliot Rodger's father Peter wants to do everything he can to prevent this from ever happening again. Martinez is begging people to tell politicians "not one more." He wants California to have even stricter gun laws.

Perhaps people just do not realize that California already has the strictest gun laws in the nation. Fewer people are killed by guns per capita in California than in any other state. California is rated number one for strict gun laws. (Map courtesy of http://smartgunlaws.org )

Elliot Rodger massacre. California gun laws, legislation
I have a gun and a gun permit in California. In order to get a gun in California you must show proper ID, take a class, pass a written test and pass a background check. I don't remember if they checked my finger prints or not. My finger print is on my driver's license. The background check takes a few weeks. Then you go back and pick up your gun.

The background checks looks for any criminal convictions, current restraining orders and any involuntary holds for psychiatric evaluation. Here are the specific laws for California. http://smartgunlaws.org/california-state-law-summary/

I feel really bad for the victims and families that were hurt in Elliot Rodger's killing spree. I wish I could have prevented or stopped it. But, Elliot Rodger had his guns and ammunition legally. He passed the background check because he had no criminal record, no outstanding restraining orders and had never been held involuntarily for a psychiatric evaluation. He can buy ammo stating he's going to go to the target range. I do this myself. I have one box of rhino bullets and two boxes of practice bullets. Yes, rhino bullets are legal here. I need them in case someone approaches me with the intent to kill me. I need to be able to drop someone instantly.

I understand that his mom called his psychiatrist in April when she saw his videos. The psychiatrist called the police who did a welfare check. The police didn't think at that time that Elliot was a threat to himself or others. They had no search warrant or good cause to search his room. Even if they did and they found his guns, they legally could not take his guns without good cause or a warrant. I also went through the police academy to become a Humane Officer.

Elliot Rodger was an intelligent functional person with autism and asperger's syndrome. In his manifesto he even admits he's a good liar and actor. The police are not psychiatrists. They would not be able to tell if he was mentally ill unless it was extremely obvious like Amanda Bynes or Brittany Spears when they had their melt downs. He's an adult so his parents could not force him to take his meds, seek care or admit him to a psychiatric ward. The system did what it was supposed to do.

I used to be against guns. I thought they should all be banned. Then a client told me if they are banned, then law abiding citizens won't have guns. Only criminals and the police would have guns. People who want to commit crimes would find a way to get a gun by stealing, making one or any other means. Insane people and criminals don't care about the law. Then law abiding citizens would not have guns. We would not be able to protect ourselves from criminals.

There is no way you can stop an insane person or criminal from killing people. They can kill people with a car. Should we ban cars? They can kill with thier bare hands. Should we ban our hands? They can kill with a knife. Should we ban all knives? Elliot killed three people with a knife and ran into people with his car with intent to kill them. Even if he had no guns, even if there were not one gun in the entire state of California he would have killed people.

I wish I knew of a way to keep people from killing each other with any type of weapon or no weapon.  This is not an easy issue. If someone can come up with legislation that can prevent murder, I'm all for it. We just must carefully weigh any new legislation against our rights and freedoms. It wouldn't be fair to lock up everyone who said on a video that they hated people and wished they were dead. There'd be a lot of people in jail if that were the case. Until we can make new legislation that will accomplish these goals without limiting our rights and freedoms, we should be happy that California was rated the safest state in the nation when it comes to death by guns.



Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.

Mary Cummins, Mary K. Cummins, Mary Katherine Cummins, Mary Cummins-Cobb, Mary, Cummins, Cobb, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, instructor, teacher, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Brentwood, Bel Air, California, licensed, permitted, single family, condo, pud, hud, fannie mae, freddie mac, uspap, certified, residential, certified resident, apartment building, multi-family, commercial, industrial, expert witness, civil, criminal, orea, dre, insurance, bonded, experienced, bilingual, spanish, english, form, 1004, 2055, land, raw, acreage, vacant, insurance, cost, income approach, market analysis, comparative, theory, appraisal theory, cost approach, sales, matched pairs, plot, plat, map, diagram, photo, photographs, photography, rear, front, street, subject, comparable, sold, listed, active, pending, expired, cancelled, listing, mls, multiple listing service, claw, themls,

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