It really seems that every day, or at least way too frequently, someone in this country becomes distraught, or angry, or tips over the edge into mental illness, and picks up one or more guns, and does something really terrible.
We’ve had children do so such at Columbine and several other schools across the country. We’ve had parents kill their children and vice versa, or spouse to spouse destruction. We’ve had people fire into vehicles full of strangers on freeways. We’ve had snipers fire from bridges and buildings and probably trees onto freeways. And then there was a shopping center in Tucson. And now a hair salon in a small town in California. The list just goes on and on and on.
And every time this happens the gun lovers get defensive and quote amendment rights and choose to disregard certain facts. Certain facts such as that assault weapons are hardly necessary for shooting game. Facts such as that there is little or no provision for checking eligibility for purchases at gun shows. Facts such as that there is no valid need for an AK-47 in ordinary lives, hunting or otherwise. Facts such as that handguns are designed for one thing only: killing humans. Facts such as that the true danger of guns is not when guns are in the hands of the police or in the hands of careful, sensible citizens, but when they are so easily acquired by criminals, the angry and the ill.
Every political season or so, it is hoped by many of us that the President and/or Congress will ‘do something’; pass meaningful and serious laws designed to allow lawful gun ownership and protect our society from those who should not possess such weapons of mass destruction. But we never seem to remember that the President has no vote in Congress, and Congress itself is dysfunctional and incapable of its most basic tasks at this point in time. So eventually we are going to have to realize, as a society, that it is up to us as individuals to see that local and state laws are put into place that will prevent or at least minimize these events. Or we are going to have to resign ourselves to wearing combat armor in everyday life, being fearful of danger when we go to get a haircut or buy groceries, and prepare ourselves to attend many, many funerals, one of which may be our own.