Time to Act

Anyone who raises the obvious truth that in America it is too easy to get weapons of mass destruction must expect to get flamed. The NRA political lobby has our politicians scared, and gun owners are on the defensive. Expect pre-emptive wrath to answer the most reasonable gun control proposals.

As long as adults are afraid to stand up to words, our children will continue to face bullets.

Greg Mitchell in The Nation posts some reactions to the school shooting in Connecticut…

After School Massacre: Writers and Commentators Call for Tough, Fast Action on Guns
Greg Mitchell on December 14, 2012 – 10:27 PM ET

In the wake of the Connecticut school massacre, many media commentators have demanded that “this time” pressure for tougher gun laws following such a tragedy must not slacken in the months ahead. Will this case be different? Time will tell. But I will post some of strong appeals here, so check back for updates. Even Rupert Murdoch joined in via Twitter: “Terrible news today. When will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons? As in Oz after similar tragedy.”

Gail Collins, New York Times columnist, writes:

We will undoubtedly have arguments about whether tougher regulation on gun sales or extra bullet capacity would have made a difference in Connecticut. In a way it doesn’t matter. America needs to tackle gun violence because we need to redefine who we are. We have come to regard ourselves — and the world has come to regard us — as a country that’s so gun happy that the right to traffic freely in the most obscene quantities of weapons is regarded as far more precious than an American’s right to health care or a good education.

We have to make ourselves better. Otherwise, the story from Connecticut is too unspeakable to bear.

In a comment thread, I engaged in debate with a gun owner who finally claimed that the Second Amendment is intended to enable citizens to fight their own government. Clearly for that a handgun is inadequate. You would not want to be accountable for what is done with your weapon. You need to acquire an arsenal of military style assault weapons so that you can mow down American soldiers and police and fellow citizens.

I’m sorry to say that this fantasy is indulged on the Left as well as the Right. This is one strain of national crazy that enables crazy men to hide in plain sight, arming themselves for the end of the world.

The will of the people would not support a total ban on gun ownership, but Americans do want sensible gun control, accountability, and limits. It’s hard to face up to the rage and name-calling that follows a public stand for stronger gun laws, but our politicians won’t lead us. It’s up to the people.

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