This was originally going to be a Facebook post, but it became way too long. But it’s my way to hash out the range of emotions I’m feeling about this unspeakable tragedy in Connecticut from four days ago. Twenty first-graders and six educators, brutally murdered by an obviously mentally unstable young man. It’s incomprehensible.
There have been way too many shootings where too many innocent people, but this was the first time I’ve cried about one since 9/11.
Here is my “post”:
I will probably offend some people here, and I respect your right to disagree with me, but this has been weighing on me for the last four days…
Allowing anyone and everyone to have a gun (or more than one) is not the answer. If that were the case, we’d be the safest country in the world right now, with the highest per capita firearm ownership anywhere.
Giving every teacher a gun or having armed guards at every school is not the answer. We are not Israel – we aren’t surrounded by enemy states wanting to destroy us. And what if a curious student were to somehow get a hold of that gun and “pretend” to shoot it at a classmate?
Ratifying more concealed and carry laws, thus allowing anyone to have a gun at the ready to take out the next crazed gunman, is not the answer. At the Tucson event where Gabby Giffords was severely injured and six people were murdered, people in the crowd wrongfully apprehended a person they thought was the gunman, when it was only someone who had a firearm. If moviegoers were allowed to carry guns into the Aurora theater this past July, smoke from bombs thrown by the gunman was so thick, and the scene so chaotic, more innocent people would’ve likely been shot, injured or killed by those trying to shoot him.
SENSIBLE gun regulations, with strong background checks into criminal and mental health status and reinstating the assault weapons ban, is one significant part of answer. Even over 70% of NRA members want to have some kind of criminal background check as a precursor to gun ownership. Even the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, stated it’s time for tougher firearm laws.
Another part of the answer is to re-prioritize our mental health care system, so that individuals such as the ones responsible for the carnage at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Oak Creek, Clackamas and now Newtown can be properly taken care of.
The last part of the answer is political. Some of you don’t believe this and probably never will, but Obama does NOT want to take away your guns. We crazy, pinko commie liberals don’t want to take away your guns either. If you love to hunt and shoot, great! But don’t expect the rest of us to think it’s OK for you to want to have guns everywhere that should only belong on the battlefield.
I had to say this, because I’ve had enough of this gun violence, and the murder of 20 innocent young children and six brave adults has put me over the top. And because I have my own two precious school-age kids who deserve so much better than the kind of gun-crazy society we have now.