This is the one month anniversary of Newtown, CT, massacre. It seems a good time to look back, and ahead.
The day of Newtown – it was a Friday – I wrote a blogpost in this space, which can be seen here. There were 45 comments on that post. They speak for themselves.
A few days later I did a second post, with some recommendations. It is here. I included in the post the graphic included with this post, which is very pertinent at this point in the conversation about guns.
This old graphic demonstrates a general truth: if you seek change – good or evil – after a crisis, there is a narrow window of opportunity. If you wait for the perfect moment to act, the opportunity is lost, since people have a short attention span. Both heroes and villains need to pay attention to this.
I could give many examples of both good and evil, but these would deflect attention from our need to continue to act on this most crucial issue.
There are so many opinions already out there, another one may seem superfluous, but here are some very brief thoughts:
1. Attempting to introduce more arms into any setting, especially schools, is insane. More weaponry simply introduces more possibilities for more tragic mayhem. If one only considers schools, in the United States there are about 14,000 school districts, 133,000 schools (ranging from one room rural, to immense structures serving thousands); with 55,000,000 or so students and perhaps 5-6 million staff, mostly teachers.
Solving this problem with more lethal weapons is no solution. The NRA attempted to exploit post-Newtown hysteria on this.
2. The National Rifle Association (NRA) does not deserve the perception of power that it attempts to exploit.
It is useful to learn about the NRA. Here is an article that seems to summarize the bases well, though not from the official NRA perspective.
NRA claims to enroll about 4 million members at $35 dues. This translates into approximately one NRA member per 60 adult Americans, and by no means do all NRA members subscribe to the credo of the current leaders.
If we look at NRA leadership as it is, rather than what it pretends to be, it is nothing more than a “skinny 90 pound weakling” who, exposed, is no more powerful than the exposed Wizard of Oz. It has only the power the rest of us choose to give it.
NRAs big money backing may talk very loudly, but only possesses the same single vote influence that every one of us has with the people we elect to represent us. We have the power on this issue, if we choose to exercise it.
3. Those who demand the right to be armed and dangerous are fools, exposing their short-sightedness and, yes, impotence.
I am trained in firearms - Army years. But I’ve never owned a gun, and I have no intention to start now.
In a ‘gunfight at the OK Corral’ I would not be armed and I'd be dead.
I don’t need to go to the OK Corral, but if I did, and I was killed, my problems would be over, but my well-armed assailants problems would just be beginning.
Last I looked we have laws in this country which frown on murder. And we have technology with which to find murderers that wasn’t available during the OK Corral days.
Someone lethally armed is potentially more a danger to him or herself than to any intruder or the government he or she hates.
I don’t need to list examples.
The struggle for sanity in gun ownership is by no means over. It is just beginning.
Be on the court.
It is your legislators, national and state, who will have to enact the policies that are needed. They depend on you.