The Once Again Doubling Down Makes Me Want To Throw Up
Last week a truly sad event occurred in Newtown, Connecticut. You are conscious and pay attention, so I don’t need to review any more than the bare facts as known by most Americans who pay attention: This past Friday 14 December 2012, twenty children in elementary school went to their school to finger-paint, learn words and numbers and practice working and playing well with others. An individual who was roughly three times their age and size got up that morning, murdered his mother in her sleep and drove to their school, the Sandy Hook Elementary School. After he arrived there, he murdered six of the adults and all twenty of these children he found there before police started arriving and he took his own life. There were other kids who will arguably be worse off than the 20 dead children, but trying to figure out who is marginally better or worse off really misses the point. This recurring nightmare is a social problem and needs to be addressed at a societal level, and likely at all societal levels.
It’s been close to fifty years since I first became aware of a madness that takes hold of some in this world and turns them loose on random assortments of strangers, bent on killing as many as they can. A guy, somewhere in Texas climbed up to the top of the local clock tower and started picking off people with a high powered rifle. This seemed really weird, reprehensible and almost completely incomprehensible to me at the time. “How do you make that choice?” I wondered. What makes you decide to go to the local grade school and try to kill everyone you see? I do not know, but it is also reported that, roughly the same time, half a world away, a man in China was carrying out a similar act, attacking twenty three children. These two men had one thing in common. They were both round the bend. Mad as hatters. Sick.
The big difference is, China does not make guns easy to buy for the average citizen. Not that I’d want to live in China for any extended period. I prefer the politics of my native land, here in California. We recognize the sanctity of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, but we’re not whacked out about it. Some sensible gun regulation makes sense to many, possibly most, of us.
Not so, the NRA leadership. The National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre spent a week not saying anything to anyone visible, and then went on the national stage today and doubled down. No, he essentially said, regulating firearms isn’t the answer. The answer is a.) everyone from comic books to video games to the media and movie producers are to blame, and b.) the fix is a federally mandated force of armed guards in every school in this country. That sounds like a lot of new gun sales to me, and so this move is kind of predictable, if a bit disappointing.
A few days after the events of last Friday, I posted the following on my Facebook account.
I own several guns. I do not need the weaponry this latest sick f*** seems to have needed, and my government is well in line with what is expected of them. When they step outside those bounds, I vote them out, as do most of my countrymen and women.
I don’t expect a single law or a collection of laws to fix this problem in our nation, and I realize there are people who are hardcore gun enthusiasts and believe, among other things, that the rush of power associated with wielding a really big gun is constitutionally protected. I am not so certain, but screw it, that seems fine, or I am willing to cede the point, at any rate.
What I will not let go of is the simple truth that we make gun acquisition to easy here in the US. Yes, I get that guns don’t kill people, but people who tend to kill people are much more efficient when they do it with guns. There isn’t a valid argument for not making some strong common sense rules, backed by the full weight of state local and federal government, about how they are distributed.
It makes me sick that 20 children had to die to make the NRA STFU for a few days, but if they are smart, they are using this time to put together tough and sane regulatory suggestions that can keep us all safe from the next A$$h0Ie.
Forgive me if I am not holding my breath on that, but NRA, the next move, if you are at all smart, is yours, and you better be damned clever about it.
Well, sadly, my guess about their response was correct. They filed an EpicFail this morning. Consequently, I am not accepting that as their response, and am now putting them on notice.
The ball is still in your court, NRA. You need to go back to the drawing board, and come up with a less insane, workable policy that protects lives.