The massacre in Aurora, CO has hit me pretty hard. I lived through a smaller incident with a crazed, armed man in college, and I don’t know that I’ll ever really get over that. I’ve always been particularly sensitive to violence as it is. And I’ve been a vocal advocate of gun control my entire adult life.
I’ve never understood the American love of guns. I didn’t grow up with guns. At a very deep level, guns make me really, really nervous and uncomfortable. But hey, there are a lot of things I don’t get. I don’t get the appeal of BDSM at all. I don’t get why anyone would bet money on horse racing or watch NASCAR or go to casinos for fun. But I know people who enjoy these things, I know them to be kind and loving people, so…whatever, it’s cool. You want to own guns? Go right ahead.
BUT…there has to be stricter gun control laws in the US. There absolutely has to be. This is not something I’m going to change my mind about. 9,000+ deaths from gun violence in a year is unacceptable. That’s too high a price to pay for the freedom of owning guns. Would stronger gun control laws have prevented the Aurora massacre? Maybe not. But it would make it more difficult for something like this to happen. “But even if you have stronger gun laws, criminals will still be able to get guns!” Sure. But the people who committed the massacres in Aurora, at Columbine, Virginia Tech, the University of Iowa, none of them were hardened criminals. I sincerely doubt any of them had connections to any kind of black market.
You want to own guns? Cool. You want to own guns without any kind of government oversight? You can’t even own a car and do that! Does the Second Amendment guarantee the right to bear arms? Clearly. Does it guarantee that any citizen can own guns? I don’t think it does. Does it guarantee the right to carry concealed weapons? Nope. Does it guarantee the right to carry weapons openly? No.
A gun is a tool. A tool designed solely for wounding and injuring people. You can’t expect to own such a thing without a lot of government oversight. This isn’t the Wild West anymore.
This isn’t about judging people who like and want to own guns. This is about protecting myself and my loved ones from a society in love with guns. If you feel that stricter gun laws would infringe on your freedom…well, I’m sorry, but I have no sympathy for you in this. In a civil society, nobody has the inalienable right to shoot freely at other people, and if laws to prevent that get too tight for you…too bad. I will continue to work for stricter gun control laws and bans of some weapons.
And this is really the last thing I have to say about that.