This week that old song by Peter Paul & Mary is going through my mind.
"How many times must the cannonballs fly before they're forever banned?"
"How many times can a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn't see?"
"How many deaths will it take 'til he knows that too many people have died?"
"The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind."
I found myself asking once again those questions after this week's tragedy. I also ask myself why it's okay for a lone white man to kill people (or at least understandable) but so-called terrorism is beyond the pale. Also, why is it not terrorism when someone (or the police) kill black men on the street without challenge or cause? Why is it not terrorism when someone decides that women should not take control of their own bodies and kills everyone at a women's health clinic? Why is it not terrorism for people to openly carry assault weapons to do their grocery shopping?
I use Twitter a lot these days. To keep up with news and with like minded people. I spoke out against current gun policy and asked for simple common sense reform. Well, the gun rights "nuts" were out there and their views were spewed out with contempt at me. I wonder just how many people have to die for them to change their views? Or would they have to lose a loved one?
What did I ask for?
A discussion and admission that we are having a problem.
Now, even though I do not have a gun nor want one, I do believe that guns should be allowed. A person may want a gun - a handgun - in the home for protection. Women (especially abuse victims) may want one. Guns are used in hunting. I think these are all understandable.
However, there are some things I think can be dealt with. Things that any sane person should be willing to talk about.
Stockpiling weapons and ammunition. Now how can you think this is alright? But the gun people on Twitter didn't seem to think so.
"How is it your concern how many guns someone owns?"
They also like to say that gun reform kills.
They refuse to acknowledge the problem we have or that I have a legitimate concern. They preach responsibility yet they preach personal responsibility. They have the right to defend themselves, their property, their family. They do not care about the rest of us.
Another issue for me is the type of weapon. A gun designed purely for killing people and in bulk at that is not a gun for the average citizen. It is a gun used for war. These should be outlawed or, at the very least, restricted heavily. There is no reason for someone to own one.
Yet they answer yet again. "Why do you care?"
Try telling them that I care because I could be a victim. What do they answer? "No, that's the criminals that do that." Uh-huh. Right. Yet another libertarian answer. No regulation. Just punish for the crime. Or they might say "who decides what guns I can have?"
Then they start preaching the 2nd Amendment. Now, I don't believe the 2nd Amendment guarantees guns for everyone. I don't believe that should be the interpretation today nor was it the interpretation in the 18th Century. But I can't ask Mr Jefferson or Mr Adams.
However, let's just say it does. (But it doesn't.) Why does it have to absolute? Name one other Amendment that does not have restrictions. We do not have an absolute right to free speech. The Supreme Court has limited the rights of search and seizure and the right to a free trial. Not to mention the Voting Rights. So, we should limit our gun rights.
Coming full circle, just what would it take for a gun rights advocate - nut - to admit that there is a problem? I don't know. The answer, I suppose, is "blowin' in the wind". But, maybe we should treat these people like alcoholics. The first step is to admit they have a problem. Do you know one? Maybe you should send them to a rehab clinic. (Unarmed hopefully.)