Apparently there is a new gun control movement sweeping the country. I read it in the paper. A bunch of wacky peace-lovin' fruitcakes. These people have the audacity to suggest (apparently for the first time) that perhaps we don't, in fact, need semi-automatic handguns in our country. Well, ordinary citizens don't need them. The militias invoked by the Second Amendment--police, Swat teams, National Guard--those folks might still need them.
While they're at it, these gun control nuts go way out on a limb to deny that the Second Amendment protects each and every American's right to own any gun he or she chooses and to carry it anywhere he or she damn well wants.
The suggestion that this is a "new" movement in response to the horrific tragedy at Virginia Tech--followed just a week later by a shooting at a mall here in Kansas City--would be laughable, if anything about this could be considered funny. It isn't. The NRA isn't funny. People who would argue for concealed carry rights and armor-piercing bullets and semi-automatic handguns aren't funny. The rising toll of gun violence in our cities and our township and our schools is not funny. None of this is funny. It is sad and tragic.
A lot of folks have been arguing for a long time that we need stronger gun control in this country. Much stronger. In case my sarcasm isn't sharp enough, let me say that I am one of those nutty people. Have been since before last week.
We gun control nuts start talking about gun control when mass murder happens in our country because we think maybe an appeal to emotion will succeed where all other appeals have failed. You know, appeals like reason, sanity, statistical evidence (as a letter writer to the Star pointed out yesterday, the per-capita rate of gun-related deaths in Great Britain, German, Japan, France and Canada is one in 390,000; in the U.S. it is one in 10,000), common sense, civilization, correct interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. There are other appeals, but those will do for now.
We have too many guns in this country. It is too easy to buy a gun in this country. Ordinary citizens (sane and not so much) who aren't actually members of the militias the Constitution protects are able to buy guns they don't need and shouldn't have. Far too many of the "legal" guns fall into the wrong hands. Some of those hands are small. Children are being killed by guns in this country and that shouldn't happen. Ever.
Almost no one in America wants to take guns away from law-abiding sportsmen and sportswomen. That is a straw person argument and the NRA darn well knows it. Almost no one in this country is hunting turkeys and deer with semi-automatic handguns and armor piercing bullets. This isn't about hunting and it isn't about militias. It's about the Cult of Personal Freedom--the idea that we're allowed to do whatever we want because we're Americans and that's why they fought the Revolutionary War after all. I hope it won't be much longer before we all realize what the rest of the world seems to have figured out: that dog won't hunt.