Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Another Massacre Demands Solutions

We've been here time and time again.  Columbine.  Tucson.  Aurora.  Virginia TechVon Maur.  And now, Newtown, CT.  Lives torn apart by someone with an assault weapon and a desire to take out as many innocent lives as possible using the most lethal weapons available to them.

We have laws against other tools capable of inflicting mass casualties. Biological and chemical weapons are illegal. But not assault weapons.  We're told time and time again.  Guns don't kill people, people kill people. After 9/11, we didn't ban airplanes.  Or round up the Muslims.

Of course, all three are fallacies by supposedly educated people that should know better.  We shut down the entire air traffic system as the World Trade Center burned and crumbled.  Many of the people insisting that guns aren't the problem have no problem blaming the entire Muslim religion for the actions of a few religious extremists.  And the NRA screams at any attempt to keep assault weapons in check, or even out of the hands of people who really shouldn't have a weapon.  They've screamed for years that President Obama was out to take every hunter's gun, even though he's done absolutely nothing of the sort.

So here we go again... many people on the pro-gun side have been silent this week, though that didn't stop Rep. Louie Gohmert from tossing out the old standby that the principal should have had an automatic weapon locked up in her office for just such a situation.  Of course, the gunman's mother had weapons...that didn't stop him, and in fact, actually was the origins of the whole mess.

We shouldn't act rashly.  But we must act.  The Constitution rightfully allows people to keep and bear arms. Banning guns isn't the answer.  But do we really need to have weapons that can massacre an entire classroom of six year olds in a matter of seconds?  Maybe it's not the guns themselves; maybe it's the magazines.  I'm not a hunter; I'm just assuming that no hunter wants a deer that's been ground up into sausage before it falls to the ground.  Are 30 round magazines really needed for hunting or self-defense?

We're going to need solutions.  Tragedies like Sandy Hook can't happen again.  Von Maur was too close to home physically.  Sandy Hook hit too close to home emotionally.  (That's why I'm diverting from sports for this topic.) One of the victims, Noah Panzer, was born the same day as my daughter.  One week before Sandy Hook, I joined her and her classmates for lunch.  Last Friday, I imagined in horror what that scene in Newtown must have looked like, using my daughter's classroom as the background.  That was simply an unspeakable horror...relived in my head at all hours of the day and night ever since last Friday.

Want more unspeakable?  Check out this goodbye letter that one little boy wrote to his friend.
If that doesn't break your heart, I don't know what could. Six year old kids should never have to write a letter like this.

I'm not ready to say what must change.  But something has to change.  If we don't place some sort of limit on assault weapons, then what else?

Isn't America better than this?


NU6NCS said...

Yes there should be a solution to the madness. It starts with armed guards at the schools because all the gun bans and 20000 gun laws did not prevent this.

That is if we are looking for a solution for protecting the children, instead of a political solution to take away the 2nd amendment rights.

Husker Mike said...

Columbine High School had an armed guard. Virginia Tech had armed campus police. Fort Hood was a military post, for crying out loud.

I'm not dismissing the idea entirely. Just pointing out that the NRA's solutions have a dismal record thus far.

Adam said...

How about we look at ourselves and wonder why the general public needs military-grade weapons? We also need to confront mental illness and not keep sweeping it under a rug.