Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Let's talk about guns

We now know them simply by their name.

Columbine.

Aurora.

Newtown.

Fort Hood.

Isla Vista.

Charleston.

San Bernardino.

Orlando.

Now we stick another pin in the map.

Las Vegas.

During an outdoor country music concert on the Las Vegas Strip, a lunatic holed up in his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel broke out a window and started raining bullets down on the crowd below.

Before he was done, Stephen Craig Paddock, a 64-year-old retired accountant from Mesquite, Nevada, had killed 59 people and wounded another 521.

It is the single deadlinest mass shooting in U.S. history.

We are convulsed by the same horror we felt after each of these instances of mass carnage.

We recoil at that singular sound, that non-stop "pop-pop-pop" of bullets exiting an automatic weapon.

But maybe we should be convulsed by something else.

Maybe we should be convulsed by the knowledge that these things keep happening, and we do nothing to stop them.

This isn't about the Second Amendment.

That battle is over.

No one is going to take away anyone's right to own a firearm.

It simply is not going to happen. And maybe it shouldn't. That's an argument for another time.

What is not is a question that will haunt us - at least until the next mass shooting.

What exactly is the purpose of anyone having possession of the kind of firepower Paddock had stockpiled in that hotel room.

Why are we still talking about whether anyone needs to possess either a semi-automatic or automatic weapon capable of delivering the kind of mayhem rained down on those people who had gathered for a Jason Aldean concert to close out the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival.

I come at this discussion freely willing to make some confessions. I'm not a gun guy. I don't own one. Probably have not held or fired one since I put away my BB-gun as a kid.

I know that a lot of people are.

I'm not interested in taking away their rights.

What I'm interested in is not having to do these kinds of stories anymore.

So let's hear it. Why is it necessary for any individual to have this kind of weapon. Would a ban do any good anyhow? Or would people just get the guns illegally.

We've seen what happened.

We've heard the gunshots.

We've screamed; we've cried.

Now let's talk.

So that maybe - just maybe - this does not happen again.

Or at least not as casually as it now seems to be occurring.

More than anything, please let's not for a second think that this is somehow the new normal.

There is nothing normal about it.

Maybe that should be our first admission.

1 Comments:

Blogger sryan said...

We need to do this at the polls. Gun rights advocates have held off legislative initiatives at the polls now we need a majority of people stand up and make our representatives act or get out.

October 3, 2017 at 3:06 PM 

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