I really debated posting this. Is a book blog really the place to get political? Shouldn’t I just stick to the fun, uplifting posts that let people forget about the terrible things that happen in Real Life? But at some point, I can’t just look away anymore and say nothing. At some point, enough. Is. Enough.
No, we’re not the only country with this problem. PolitiFact has a great post comparing the frequency of mass shootings in the U.S. versus in ten other countries.
But just because it’s common doesn’t make the situation acceptable. At some point, we have to decide that these constant mass shootings are not simply “the price of freedom” in America.
And let’s get one thing straight: talking about gun control is NOT talking about banning all guns, or preventing law-abiding citizens from owning guns. It’s NOT about denying law-abiding citizens their second amendment right to bear arms. It’s about paying attention to the first half of the second amendment – the part that says “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” (emphasis mine) – in addition to the more popular second half. It seems the Founding Fathers intended “the right to bear arms” to be a controlled, orderly business, not a free-for-all.
Now, I don’t know if universal background checks or closing the gun show loophole will prevent the next shooting. I really don’t. I just know I don’t want to wait around for the next shooting to have an honest, rational discussion about how to make it harder for the wrong people to get their hands on a weapon intended to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible. It’s not impossible to stop this from happening again. It’s not just something we have to get used to as members of a “free country.”
And I know. I know you can’t tell with every person. I know there will be people who show no warning signs and jump through all the legal hoops and still find a way to commit mass murder. But can we at least make it less likely for that to happen? Isn’t that a worthwhile goal?