Tuesday, December 12, 2017
News Roundup

Guns in America: Insanity prevails

You think you have heard the worst horror a gun in the wrong hands can do, and then this.

You think there could not have been anywhere more tragic for it to happen, at an elementary school just before the children were about to go on Christmas break.

And it isn't even the first time we've heard it, only one of the worst: A man with a gun in a place he should not be, firing for reasons that will never make sense no matter what they turn out to be — his mother, his anger.

It is an act unfathomable.

Except only days ago, it was a man with a gun in a mall in Oregon.

This summer, it was 12 people shot dead in a Colorado movie theater.

In the aftermath of something so evil and pointless and final, in the grieving and the sifting through to figure out how this could have happened, you are not supposed to talk about guns.

That would be politicizing a tragedy, people will say. But it feels more like trying to find some sanity when there is none.

In America, gun control is a third rail. There is no legislation for loosening rules too absurd for the powerful National Rifle Association to push.

Practically everyone should have access to guns and it's no one's business if you have one.

In fact, doctors who dare ask patients about guns at home should risk losing their medical licenses. Here in Florida, we actually passed a law on that until a judge thought better.

By now, in the fallout of this unthinkable thing that has happened at an elementary school in Connecticut, someone has no doubt already opined that if there had only been more guns on the scene — carried only by the good guys, of course — this might have been averted, the gunman killed sooner.

And it's hard to wrap my head around that reasoning when we saw the pictures of terrified children being led away and we heard the number of dead mounting, that anyone could want more guns at that scene.

Do we arm everyone?

Even elementary school teachers?

That's the America we want to live in?

You hear that guns don't kill people, that people kill people.

Only you can't kill someone with a gun without a gun.

You hear the NRA's tricky-slick political rhetoric that it should be about enforcing existing gun laws rather than adding new ones, even as they stand before lawmakers year after year pushing for more.

And more.

And more.

But here is a truth for politicians and everyone else:

You can believe in the Second Amendment without interpreting it to mean guns for everyone without rules for anyone.

You can be in favor of responsible gun ownership, but also in favor of sanity and keeping the world as safe as we possibly can.

You can support reasonable restrictions on guns without being against God and country.

You can respect guns by knowing what they can do and by doing everything possible to make sure the worst doesn't happen.

People will say what happened in Connecticut — and Oregon, and Colorado — is not about guns, it's about insanity.

But in America, we can't seem to separate them.

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