Terrorism on our shores

While I was serving caffeine yesterday morning, a young man with some form of mental illness was walking through the halls of an elementary school in Connecticut killing children. More to the point of my discussion, he was shooting children.

If he had been born in Saudi Arabia, trained in Yemen for the task, flown into Canada, and come across the border for the task, having then retrieved his weapons of mass destruction from a safe house two blocks from the school, the country would, today, be demanding that we go to war to avenge these deaths. There would be cries that we must build walls to protect us from invaders from the north, that we must more carefully screen who is able to come into the country, that those whose names sound so very foreign to our ears should be more carefully screened and watched, because they may bring terror to our towns.

But since the terror was brought to bear by one of our own, it will be “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

If these children had been in a school bus that caught fire and had burned, there would have been a cry to make sure busses didn’t burn. If the bridge they were riding across collapsed, there would be investigations demanding oversight and safer bridges. If they had all had their morning milk and died from bacterial poisoning, there would be Congressional hearings today on how could such danger be allowed near our youth? But if it’s someone brought guns, with magazines that hold enough ammunition to slaughter classrooms of children, well, that’s American freedom.

No, that’s sick. It is time for the President to lead and Congress to get out of the way, and the NRA to accept some real responsibility for gun safety. Ban assault weapons, again. Ban the sale and manufacture of ammo clips that hold more that one can use for hunting (3-5 shells), and make the possession of these an immediate jail term. And yes, require that those that exist should be confiscated. Please let them pry them from your cold dead fingers. Grow up. It’s life, it’s not a television show, you are not a great gunslinger, you are not going to save the day by shooting the bad guy. You are far more likely to leave it lying around after having shot some dangerous tin cans and have some child pick it up and kill themselves than you are to do anything of any social importance by toting your gun. It is time for reasonable gun laws.