We've been through this before. Mass killings lead to a groundswell of demands for more and better gun controls. As the weeks pass into months, the clamor slowly subsides and very little comes of it.
Will it be different this time? Will the Newtown school killings result in some legislative action? A short random survey in East Contra Costa indicates that most locals doubt that anything will or should be done to stop guns or assault weapons from getting into the hands of crazies. And, the gun lobby already is hard at work putting the blame elsewhere.
Kristen Chardin of Antioch said, "I don't think anything is going to change. I'm behind the American right to bear arms. We have lots of laws on the books to control abuses. The problem is we don't enforce them. Simply put, we aren't tough enough using the laws we already have."
"Gun laws are fine just the way they are," echoed Vicki Pierce of Oakley. "Guns don't kill. People do it. The big thing I learned from the school killings is to take it personally. I am determined to teach my three kids respect and responsibility when it comes to guns."
Jabari Mpagazi of Discovery Bay said, "There's more noise about gun control laws now after the school horror. But, when the votes will be tallied it'll be close but don't expect any new action to come of it. Too many people don't see gun control or assault weapons as a real issue. The school killer would have killed even if he had no guns."
Bob Gayewski of Antioch put it bluntly, "The NRA is too strong. It has the support of enough people to fend off change. Real change didn't happen before in other mass killings and it won't happen now. People enthusiastic about guns are all over America. And their voices are loud."
Don Mori of Brentwood is a sportsman hunter. "Anything they try to do now will only hurt those of us who are good gun owners," he claimed. "There is no way we can stop these mass killings. Real reform isn't going to happen in our time."
"With the crime rate what it is, it's doubtful that Americans will accept new laws to control weapons," said Ed Yahn of Bethel Island. "We simply don't have enough faith in the police to protect us. They aren't strong enough. We have to have guns, but maybe some types should be restricted."
Oakley's Marnie Gonzales agrees. "People want to keep the right to own guns and the NRA is so powerful that it's very hard to take them on," she said. "It's unfortunate, but the school shootings as news will simmer down and the country will start to forget it."
"The issue is just too complicated and too political," added Sally Hensen of Oakley. "Nothing will happen on new gun controls because it really won't change violence. There are too many other factors involved."
Antioch's Jimy Williams sees it differently. "Shock over the school massacre should accomplish something on assault weapons despite it being complicated and tough. But, there should be more emphasis on the other end of the spectrum, monitoring the mentally ill."
William Shapiro of Brentwood sees a slim ray of hope. "With the next election two years away, we may see some courage on the part of congress. There's less pressure on the legislators to pacify their electorate. It's not much, but it's a thought."
Contact Ed Arnow at BrentwoodBuzz@aol.com.