Posted: 06/09/14 19:27
by Dave Mindeman
What do you think of a column that starts out like this:
Pepper spray, police and cardboard signs failed to prevent the June 5 Seattle Pacific University shooting. Let's stop mass violence on college campuses by defending college students' right to carry firearms on campus.
I'm not sure why we allow the NRA and their advocates to produce this "guns everywhere" idea as any kind of solution for mass violence.
I have a 17 year old son who is a senior in high school, but within a year he will be attending college. I cannot for the life of me imagine him carrying a weapon on his person or being around a campus full of 18 and 19 year olds with loaded guns. I trust his judgment - but why tempt fate?
Wayne LaPierre told us, after Sandy Hook, that "the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun". And he was allowed to say that nonsense without impunity. It has become an argument to debate....instead of the just plain crazy idea that it is.
Allow a person to carry a gun anywhere they want, as the NRA advocates, is to empower them with acting on their own. It is a virtual license to take matters into your own hands.
We give police officers hours and hours of training and testing to be able to discern when and how to properly use a firearm - and yet gun advocates believe themselves capable of making that judgment with a few hours on the firing range.
It is foolish and improper - and to actually conceive of it as a "solution" to violence is a non-starter.
We have serious problems in this country when it comes to guns. Almost every other civilized nation in the world has more restrictions on firearms than we do.....and they all have fewer deaths from guns as well. Yet, we cannot get the simplest gun regulation passed in this country because the NRA has the political debate locked up and under their control.
Extended background checks. Safety locks. Gun studies by the CDC. Restrictions on mental capacity and criminal records. DNA use technology. All of these things are set aside and not acted upon, pending approval from the NRA, which is an extension of the gun manufacturing lobby.
This is backwards politics and it has to stop. I don't know what will convince the American public that gun violence has to be stopped with common sense gun safety legislation. Guns themselves are not rights. Guns are not toys. Guns are not symbols of freedom. They are weapons. Weapons used to kill. And they need limits - as do the people who use them.
That's not crazy - that's common sense.