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Sunday 18th Feb 2018

I know there is a cluster of you who wish I did not stray onto political topics from time-to-time, but after Friday's slaughter at a Connecticut Elementary School, I think the message to push for serious gun control is now upon us.

Mind you, though I am a Berkeley Hippie, guns do not freak me out. My father was a retired US Army Major, who was a crack target shot. As I was growing up, I started as his spotter, but eventually learned to handle handguns: at least .22's, .38's, and 45's.

In fact I once busted up the members of my father's Signal Corp Target Team by putting a .45 wad cutter between the eyes of a 1960 Bud Byerly baseball card at 25 yards.

Irrespective, I have long been a supporter of gun control, donating money to the Brady fund, among others..

And, it is not that I don't appreciate the second amendment. Similarly, I have a lot of faith in the intellect of the founding fathers, like Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Adams and Benjamin Franklin. In fact, I am amused by the right who like to emulate those guys, for those who spearheaded the American Revolution were liberals at the time. In fact, they would likely be liberals today just as they were 235 years ago.

But, I also believe they did not imagine the litany and worse accessibility of firearms and assault weapons in today's culture.

Worse, as it so obvious, they did not imagine a gun being the "go-to" when it came time to settle a score.

Now, I do understand the evolution, from knights and samurai with their swords, to cowboys and their guns in rougher times.

But we should be past that. Since we are not, clearly as today's slaughter, the second mass murder attack of the week (a Portland Mall full of Christmas Shoppers was victimized earlier) this is enough.

If the Aurora, Colorado slayings, however, did not get us, nor the Gabby Gifford assassination attempt, then the if elementary school carnage does not get to our collective heart and common sense, it should.

For, it was the 16th Street Church Bombing, in Birmingham Alabama, in 1963 where in four young African American women were killed by anti-integration factions that at least started to put some conscience, let alone some shame to our country, and smacked at least some sense into us. That is, the tragedy put a face of the victims of racism that we could all understand, so in theory, just the thought of 16 children under the age of ten being snuffed out in school should sober us up as well..

It is hard enough to imagine these same children were probably champing at the bit with thoughts of Santa Claus in a couple of weeks. Forget no first love. No sports championships. No college. No family. No life.

Oh, yeah, I guess all these children had parents and brothers and sisters who might have loved them. And maybe friends and cousins grandparents and aunts and uncles.

Since Columbine, in 1999, there have been 31 school massacres in our country.

Note, that is just schools: Aurora and Gabby Gifford don't even count on that list.

And, again, I understand guns, and though I personally think arms rarely support the protection angle that is played, I am against making them illegal.

I am in favor of seriously controlling who can own them, however, and what kind Joe Citizen can have. As in, it should be harder to get a gun than get a drivers license? And, something that needs more than six bullets for a re-load is the limit.

And if you think that is harsh, Kasandra Perkins--and probably her family and daughter--would suggest it is six too many.


0 #1 Antonio Abruzzese 2012-12-16 06:47
An issue that all too often gets overlooked -- individuals who might have been perfectly qualified to own a gun and who eventually are stricken by a mental illness impairing their judgment, far too often, continue to hold on to their weapons. It's not just about access to owning a gun at the point of sale, "control" should also mean that one can show the continued ability to use a gun "responsibly". Remains to be seen how the shooter in this case gained access to the weapons registered to his mother. Far too often, random shootings are the result of guns having been legally obtained, so clearly, there ought to be a better and more recurring litmus test, if change is really desired. Just my 2 cents.

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