I find myself pained and saddened by the anger, hate, and violence afoot in our land and, even more, by our inability and apparent unwillingness to do anything about it.
We all know the litany of headlines:
March 21 - Gunman kills 4 policemen in
March 29 - 8 shot and killed at
April 3 - 14 shot and killed in
April 4 - 5 shot dead in
April 4 –
Still grieving from the shootings in Binghamton, where I have a friend seeking to cope with the aftermath of that massacre, I awoke the next morning, turned on the TV, and almost dropped to the floor at the rapid-fire "crack, crack, crack" of gunfire that emanated from a live report from Pittsburgh. It was a sound that I recognized from the long-ago horror of
Like the killers, this is insane! Oh, I know the knee-jerk letters this will generate. I know already the words they will contain. I know the authors' names. But I'm sick at heart at all the disingenuous words and I just don't want to hear them anymore! Let me say it clearly – The Second Amendment is an antiquated abomination that should be repealed. And, short of that, guns should be sensibly registered and regulated…just like cars and controlled substances - other objects that kill. Having lived in several other free and democratic countries, where hunters and sportsmen have regulated access to sporting guns, I find our unfettered access to military-style weapons, whose only purpose is to be found in war, an uncivilized aberration.
Such unfettered access is particularly dangerous in a time of economic high anxiety. People are scared. All Americans are hurting. And, as Charles Blow pointed out in the New York Times - as fate would have it, April 3 - many on the right "feel isolated, angry, betrayed and besieged. And some of their 'leaders' seem to be trying to mold them into militias."
What "leaders?" How about Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman who, on the day four
This, Blow warns, is "not all just harmless talk. For some, their disaffection has hardened into something more dark and dangerous. They're talking about a revolution." Yes, folks like Beck and Bachmann are talking about revolution against the duly elected government of the
And what is our responsibility as truly responsible citizens to counter the inflammatory rhetoric and to begin – at long last – a sensible conversation about guns? We could start by urging our Congressman George Miller and Senators Boxer and Feinstein to support minimal legislation to get a handle on this problem. This should include closing the gun show loophole, banning cop-killer bullets and making the assault weapons ban permanent. Attorney General Eric Holder is of the opinion that such steps would be permitted by the most recent Supreme Court ruling in
Of no small import, Holder and others feel that reinstituting the assault weapon ban would also stem the flood of military-style weapons flowing into
It's time for clear-thinking, responsible Americans – the true patriots – to stand up to the NRA and their apologists on the loony right and, paraphrasing Chuck Norris, to say "Enough is enough!"
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