Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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.

Guns in America: Insanity prevails 12/14/12 [Last modified: Friday, December 14, 2012 10:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Paraglider electrocuted in St. Pete after landing in power lines


    ST. PETERSBURG — A paraglider was injured Tuesday morning after falling into power lines and being electrocuted.

    A parachutist became entangled in power lines near 1st Avenue N and 60th Street N on Sept. 26, 2017. [10News WTSP]
  2. Halloween season is upon us: Our top 5 wild and mild haunted attractions


    It has also ballooned in cost as haunts get more elaborate, with some events putting guests inside their favorite horror films and TV shows. Not-so-spooky attractions for the littlest ones have taken a big leap in quality as well — way beyond the standard pumpkin patch and trick-or-treat stations.

    Scare actors roam the grounds of Busch Gardens in Tampa during their annual Howl-O-Scream Halloween themed event. Howl-O-Scream continues on select nights through Oct. 29 at the Tampa theme park. Howl-O-Scream is a separate ticket event and has seven haunted houses, five scare zones and the chance to ride coasters in the dark. [Friday, September 22, 2017] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  3. Equifax CEO Richard Smith steps down amid hacking scandal

    Personal Finance

    The chief executive of Equifax, the troubled credit reporting agency that suffered a massive data breach that affected as many as 143 million people, will retire, effective Tuesday, according to a statement by the company.

    Richard Smith, chief executive of Equifax, the troubled credit reporting agency that suffered a massive data breach that affected as many as 143 million people, will reportedly retire effective Tuesday.
[File photo: Joey Ivansco/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP]
  4. NCAA coaches among 10 charged with fraud and corruption


    NEW YORK — Four college basketball coaches were among those facing federal charges Tuesday in a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA, authorities said.

    In this March 15, 2012, file photo, San Diego State assistant coach Tony Bland, left, talks during NCAA college basketball practice in Columbus, Ohio. Bland was identified in court papers, and is among 10 people facing federal charges in Manhattan federal court, Tuesday in a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA, authorities said. [AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File]
  5. Pinellas: It could cost $15 million to remove storm debris


    CLEARWATER--The removal and processing of debris from Hurricane Irma in unincorporated Pinellas County could cost an estimated $15 million.

    Pinellas County estimates it will take at least four weeks to remove debris from unincorporated areas.