Friday, December 14, 2012
Again? Why aren't we talking about gun violence?
I had another post ready to go today, but this is much more important.
A shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut this morning has taken a number of lives. NBC News online is reporting as of 10:56 a.m. California time that 26 are dead, including 18 children. Meanwhile, CBS news is reporting that 27 are dead. The shooter, who is reported to be among the dead, is said to have "ties" to the school, but the reports are unclear as to exactly what those ties are. A second person is reported to have been detained while the police try to determine whether that individual was also involved in the shooting.
I just have one thing to say about all this: This crap has got to stop. We have got to start talking about gun violence in this country, and we have got to get over the idea that many people have that the Second Amendment confers the right to individuals to have as many firearms as they want of any kind that they want.
I am sick and tired of the old argument that "Guns don't kill; people kill". That is just a huge rationalization from people who want to be able to build up arsenals that they have no need for, and I find it offensive. Firearms allow people who have some sort of grudge to go out and kill huge numbers of people before they can be easily stopped. It is senseless and it is stupid, and I'm tired of the National Rifle Association trying to justify virtually unlimited firearm ownership as a "right".
I'm NOT saying that no one should be able to own a firearm, ever. I AM saying that how many and what kinds of firearms individuals can own should be much more tightly controlled, as should the kinds and amounts of ammunition they can acquire. I am also saying that it is disturbing that during the recent presidential campaign, none of the candidates were willing to even address the issues of firearm availability and mass shootings like this.
This is an issue that can no longer be ignored. That it has been ignored for this long does not say anything good about our society. Not that the US is the only place where this sort of thing goes on. But it certainly seems like it happens much more often here than it does in other parts of the world.
Clearly, there are many details that we don't know yet and developing information will change as time goes on, so I won't say anything more now. But, just as clearly, this is a discussion that needs to start now. Not tomorrow, not next week, not after all the victims of today's shooting are buried.
We need to talk about this now, and we need to keep talking about it until the issue is resolved.