A perfectly stated and toned article was found today regarding gun violence at my blogging friend’s Schmaltz und Griben.
Peter Felknor who wrote the post is also an author of The Tri-State Tornado where be constructs a solid and gripping account of the worst tornado disaster in American history. Claiming 689 lives during a three-hour rampage across Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana on March 18, 1925, the storm had one of the longest uninterrupted paths (219 miles) and one of the widest (up to one mile) of any recorded tornado.
But with the gun violence which was unleashed this week Felknor turned his attention to the question we need as a nation to answer.
I, unlike some of my fellow Americans, do not look forward to living in a country where we’ve all got to walk around “strapped” all the time so we will always be ready to “waste the bad guys.” Although that’s a very studly fantasy, Second Amendment “activists” have yet to explain to me how this makes living in the USA any different from, say, living in the Old West of the late 1800s. Or Afghanistan. Or Yemen. Call me a pussy (and I could care less if you do), but I really enjoy being able to leave my house without carrying a gun. To me, that is one of the major hallmarks of civilization. To return to the days where the average citizen must be armed at all times is simply devolution… no other way to look at it (see Old West, Afghanistan, Yemen).
I’m not against guns or hunting. I think everyone should be able to own a rifle and a shotgun–hell, I do myself. Perfectly adequate for home defense. But I start getting muddy when people tell me why they “have” to have a handgun. And I sure as hell don’t see the reason for any citizen to own military-grade weaponry. Wanna shoot an automatic rifle? Join the Army. They’ll even pay you to do it.
Long and short: My right not to be senselessly massacred (note that the Las Vegas shooter was a nobody on law enforcement radar, and he was shooting from the 32nd floor of a building–so much for studly retribution fantasies) outweighs your “right” to carry military-grade weaponry for fun n’ recreation. That’s about it.
Nowhere else in the whole wide world does the citizenry arm itself with weapons beyond what even the average American soldier carries. Oh, except for Afghanistan and Yemen (why do those countries keep cropping up? They are so obviously nations we should wish to emulate). Why do only we in the US have gun massacres on a depressingly regular basis? Gee, I wonder. I’ve always failed to see a connection between crazy people having access to high-powered weapons and mass murder.
That being said, our quote for the day comes from Peter Bergen at “Fake News” CNN:
One can only hope that the tragic events in Las Vegas may change [things]. However, given that previous tragedies have not changed this deadly equation, there is really little reason for hope.
That resigns us to a dystopian future where Americans attending something as innocuous as an office holiday party in San Bernardino in 2015, or partying at a nightclub in Orlando the following year, or attending a country music concert on Sunday in Las Vegas have to live with the lethal reality that they may become the innocent targets of their well-armed fellow citizens.