Newtown school shooting

On America and Its Guns

Newtown school shooting

Killeen, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, and now Newtown, Connecticut.

I readily acknowledge that the problems associated with gun violence in this country go deeper than simply insufficient or poorly enforced laws and regulations. There are aspects of mental illness, broader societal problems, poverty, and others to consider as well. But the bottom line is that largely because of all those underlying issues, this country as a whole is clearly not capable of handling or owning guns in a responsible manner.

I also acknowledge that there are many, many responsible gun owners who are 100% law abiding and would never even dream of harming anyone with their weapons. I know some of them personally, and I do feel bad that they are lumped in with those who would cause suffering to others.

I do not and have never understood the obsession of so many in this country with guns, but my position is simply this — it is entirely too easy for people to gain access to firearms in this country. Until we as a society can do a better job of addressing the underlying problems that contribute to the culture of gun worship and gun violence in this country, I have no objection to completely restricting their access to anyone who cannot demonstrate a compelling reason to own one. And I’m sorry, but raising the 2nd Amendment does nothing to sway me. That particular passage has been used as a shield and security blanket for far too long.

I am not naive enough to believe that even if guns were made 100% illegal here that gun deaths in America would cease. Evil people will always find ways to express their evil. But the fact that for many, obtaining a firearm in this country is as easy as acquiring a fishing license is just wrong.

At a certain point we as supposedly civilized human beings need to stand up and declare that the right of people to own guns is superseded by the right of innocents to not be destroyed by those guns in the course of their daily lives. Until, at the very least, our society undergoes the necessary transformation in order to both place a greater value on human life and to provide real help to those who would turn their weapons on themselves and on others.

Now is not only not the wrong time to talk about this, it’s the only time. We allow ourselves and our leaders to sweep this issue under the rug again at our own peril, and at our children’s peril.




  • http://twitter.com/Gonzeux zs

    Money quote:

    “…the right of people to own guns is superseded by the right of innocents to not be destroyed by those guns…”

  • Keith

    For once I would like to separate “the right to bear arms” from the right to buy multiple semi-automatic weapons, a bulletproof vest, neck armor and 300 rounds of ammunition.

  • http://twitter.com/IrishJava Dennis Corrigan

    Amen

  • http://www.popdose.com/ DwDunphy

    I am overwhelmed and saddened and sickened. If I could, I’d
    sit in a corner and cry. I am broken down today for Newtown, CT. I am driven to
    the edge of insanity by those who would say we need to not take the guns from
    the shooters but to also arm the teachers. They sound, to my ears, like the
    drug addicts who say that the whole world would be such a fine place if only
    everyone would get just as high as they.

    Mostly, I am furious over those who would say this is not
    the time to talk about America’s gun/drug addiction. We do this all the time.
    We wait for a “good time” for it, but there never really is a good time for it,
    so we never talk about it. It goes away, like the bill you leave until last
    because it’s the bill you don’t want to confront. Finally, that bill comes
    overdue.

    This bill is overdue. No more silence. No more kowtowing.

    I dream of a day where the most vociferous supporters of gun
    ownership who equate their filthy fetish with some sort of “patriotism” receive
    a gift at their doorstep. It is an unwrapped present with a card and a simple
    note inside…

    “This is a Christmas gift that was meant for a child
    murdered with a gun the user should never have been allowed to own. Guns stole
    their future, so accept their present. Maybe you’ll think about it.”

  • http://twitter.com/mordalo Mordalo

    I echo your sentiments, sir. Well said.

  • Gun Owner

    It’s sickening that any of you people are capitalizing on this event to promote your anti-gun agenda. Taking guns away from citizens will do nothing to prevent this sort of thing from happening. If a sick person is determined to get their hands on a gun and do something like this, no gun law will do anything to stop them. It’s naive and childish to think that any law is going to prevent this sort of thing.

    For every incident like this, there are a thousand where a responsible gun owner puts a stop to what could have turned out to be a very violent situation. The liberal media won’t even mention those incidents. The theater in Colorado was specifically chosen because the owner of the theater didn’t allow patrons to carry concealed weapons on the premises. You never hear of anything like this happening in places where citizens are known for carrying concealed weapons.

    You guys need to stick to pop culture and keep the ignorant political commentary off of this site.

  • http://www.popdose.com jefito

    No, troll, what’s sickening are the corpses of children.

  • Jamie Lyon

    Dear “Gun Owner”,

    Maybe it’s time for you to take your ananymous head out of your ass and
    actually read what has been said. This is a brilliantly written essay, it says
    what most Americans are truly feeling. As Mr, Holmes points out, it is
    unfortunate that all gun-owners get “lumped together” in this, but he is completely correct that for a segment of the population (who don’t have the
    balls to actually sign their inflammatory comments) they put their right to own guns over the right of ALL AMERICANS to LIVE!!! At the very least we need to re-instate the ban on semi-automatic and automatic weapons, unless someone can prove to me that these are necessary for hunting?! It sounds to me like you have drunk the NRA kool-aid which somehow indemnifies you from having to think about things in a logical manner, and for that I am sorry. But at this moment in history, as Mr. Holmes has so succinctly put it, “this country as a whole is clearly not capable of handling or owning guns in a responsible manner”. It is time to take a step back, look at where we are, and bring some sensibility back to our gun laws.

  • MichaelFortes

    Dear “Gun Owner,” any responsible gun owner with even a sliver of a moral conscience would agree to any and all sensible rules and regulations to prevent grotesque massacres like what happened in Connecticut from ever happening again. Recall that the sole purpose of a gun is to kill, unlike so many other publicly accessible weapons which cannot kill mass quantities of people as quickly and efficiently as a gun. If gun owners want to maintain their respectability and relate to the everyday average person who simply wants to preserve a peaceful, secure life in America, they will see the common ground they share with non gun owners and work together with us to find a sensible solution that will keep guns out of the hands of those who intend to do harm, and to also completely ban any and all weapons from general public use that do not have a practical purpose outside of the battlefield. And since so many sections of our nation have, in effect, become battlefields themselves, respectful law abiding citizens should feel a moral imperative to seize all illegal weapons from the hands of criminals, for the second amendment does not contain any language allowing for individuals to own guns simply for the sake of doing harm against their neighbors if they disagree with them. It allows for “a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state.” Show me those “well regulated militias” and show me how secure this “free state” is with those “militias.” We all want to know, because we feel neither free nor secure as long as any old Joe Schmoe can buy a gun, legally or illegally, as easily as the terrorist who killed all those kids in Connecticut did.

  • http://www.popdose.com/ DwDunphy

    It’s pointless. I’ve just been on a back-and-forth with someone on Facebook about this, saying in the majority of gun violence incidents most people don’t know there’s a gun involved until they’ve been shot or heard shots. This person assets some kind of ability “to defend my family” when it has been disproven again and again that someone could actually have the foresight to know someone else is about to shoot. The waving-gun-around-with-five-minute-monologue James Bond scenario is so ingrained they cannot consider, in the real world, they’ve already been shot.

    Then this person tried to refute science and psychology with tidbits read from The Daily Anarchist. They even linked it on Facebook.

    So I give up. I’m tired of people lying to my face saying this is what guns provide, what guns help, how guns protect, when all they’re actually saying is “I want my gun because I want my gun because I want my gun.”