OPINION – Go ahead, tell me again about the Second Amendment.
Tell me about all the law-abiding gun owners who are careful with the way they handle and store their weapons.
Tell me how the Founding Fathers wanted to ensure we could take up arms against tyranny.
Now, go tell the parents of at least 18 elementary school children who were gunned down this morning in Newtown, Connecticut.
Go ahead, look them in the eye and tell them that you are sorry for their loss, but, by God, they can have your gun when they pry it from your cold, dead hands. Or give me your redneck “Better tried by 12 than carried by six” rationale.
You haven’t experienced this kind of loss.
My grandfather was shot to death when a crazy renter decided it was easier to pull a trigger than write a rent check.
My cousin, who was a police officer in suburban St. Louis, Missouri, was shot and killed by a lunatic whose father was a ranking officer in the department. He killed her with his father’s gun.
Now, tell me about this need for guns. Go ahead. Justify it.
Now tell the families of the eight adults who were killed at that elementary school. Go ahead, tell them how your right to have a damned piece of metal on your hip is more important than the life of their loved one who will not be with them this Christmas morning.
I dare you.
I saw an FBI profiler on the news just a few minutes ago.
He was talking about getting at the root cause of this violence, about how he wasn’t taking a position as an NRA spokesman, but that it was the shooter, not the gun, and, besides, some guy in China stabbed some 30 kids at a school today, as if that justifies what happened here or rationalizes what happened here.
Of course, it was the shooter, but the point is he had a gun. And, whether it was purchased legally or on the black market doesn’t matter. He had a gun.
I’ve had enough of this violence. We saw it today in an elementary school. We saw it in Portland. We saw it in a Colorado movie theater, at a Colorado high school, in an Amish elementary school, and elsewhere.
So, go ahead, tell me it is your God-given right to have an arsenal in your home, that it is morally responsible to strap on a sidearm, that it’s for everybody’s protection.
Go ahead, tell me.
Tell me I’m a liberal reactionary, I’m fine with that.
Tell me I am responding out of horror and grief, I’m fine with that.
Tell me that there is, perhaps, a bit of hypocrisy here because, well, I was once into shooting sports until I realized I really don’t have the need or desire to own any weapons, and I’m fine with that, too.
But then, look me in the eye and tell me that your right to own and carry a gun is more important than the lives of 18 innocent babies slaughtered today in a Connecticut elementary school.
I don’t, right now, care about why this happened, where it happened, or who did it, because I know how this happened — another lunatic with a gun.
I don’t care that there are millions of guns in circulation in the United States that are not used in violent crime, there are enough that are and that is what really matters.
I also don’t care if this offends you because you see, I am offended by the lack of humanity we are displaying socially, by the way we allow politics — yes, there are definitive political lines drawn in this tragedy — to govern us rather than what is good and decent, by the way we can so easily ignore the pain and grief of others as long as we get what we want, whether good or bad.
The news anchor I was watching just commented about how helpless he feels, how there is simply nothing that can be done.
I refuse to believe that, too.
But, go ahead … tell that to the grieving families in Newtown.
Normally, I sign off with the phrase, “No bad days!”
It’s a bad day.
A very bad day.
Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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