We have a gun problem. We’ve always had a gun problem. If you give people the tools to murder some of them are going to use them.
Today some 20-odd people, most of them kindergarten students, were murdered by a gunman at an elementary school in Connecticut. By any account that’s a massacre.
This is not okay. I would think that that would not be something that would require discussion, but apparently it is. Because we keep running into the same thing over and over and over again. People walk into a crowded movie theater, or a shopping mall, or a college campus or an elementary school looking to kill strangers.
How it happens is not a difficult thing to understand. Guns are too easy to get. They’re too unregulated. There isn’t enough focus on getting people the mental health care they need to keep them from doing this in the first place.
Yes, I get that these are not simple things to fix. There are laws to pass and enforcement to figure out. There is funding that needs to be put in place and more vigilance in background checks. There needs to be more emphasis on dealing with mental illness rather than sweeping it under the rug as someone else’s problem.
But it’s doable. And the longer we wait, the worse it will get. More people will die. More CHILDREN will die.
And not just in a school in a little town terrorized by a psychopath. Kids on the street, kids in gangs, kids caught in a crossfire. They are victims just as much as anyone gunned down on a school campus by an insane man with an assault rifle.
The arguments against more regulation are all on the same basic theme. “I have to protect myself.” “I have to defend my rights.” “I have to keep my liberties.”
What part of your liberties include the right to murder 6-year-olds?
Inevitably there are those who will say, “Well, if I’D been there with MY gun this wouldn’t have happened,” as some way to justify that more people armed is actually a good thing.
Okay. Fair enough. Then let’s change the question from “How do we solve this problem” to “Where the fuck were you?”
You weren’t there. You couldn’t be there. The police couldn’t be there. The only thing that would have prevented this from happening is if the person who did it had not had access to a weapon. Period.
I’m not saying outlaw guns. I own guns. I respect the right to own guns. But it is by far too easy to get hold of one whether you’re sane or crazy, an upstanding citizen or a career criminal.
So I’m asking the same question a lot of other people are asking. How many more murders do we need before we put intelligent, nation-wide gun regulations in place? How many dead children do we need before we close the loopholes, before we pay attention to the warning signs that someone might snap?
I get it. The Genie’s out of the bottle and we’re not putting him back in. There will always be guns. There will always be murderers. We will always find ways to kill each other.
But there is no sane reason we should make it easy to do.
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