Friday, December 14, 2012

Well-regulated militia, my ass

Another day, another shooting, this time of schoolchildren in Connecticut.

In the eighteen years since Don and I moved to Colorado, I have been witness to two mass shootings in the state I've come to love. It's not necessary to spell out which shootings they were. Columbine and Aurora have their own deadly shorthand. Now Newtown, Connecticut joins this sorry list.

Connecticut Senator-elect Chris Murphy says he's "shocked and saddened" by the shootings. He's half right. Because honestly, how can anyone be shocked, after all the shootings just this year? At least 15 have occurred, resulting in 84 deaths, dozens of injuries, and long-term suffering for those who witnessed the attacks and lost loved ones. This list doesn't count Jovan Belcher's murder of the mother of his daughter and his suicide, and the countless other so-called smaller-scale shootings

I'm with Sen. Murphy. I'm sad. I'm pissed off. The only thing that still shocks me is that the National Rifle Association and gun enthusiasts continue to defend the right to buy as many guns and as much ammo as they see fit. Here's what the Second Amendment says: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Mentally ill young men dressed head to toe in body armor are not part of a well-regulated militia. No one in the United States in 2012, apart from the military and police, has any business having unlimited access to weaponry.

Some will revive the preposterous theory that if the school had been armed, fewer, if any people would have died today. The day that teachers and administrators and, God forbid, students pack heat in schools is the day that the United States is no longer a civil society. Well-regulated militia, my ass. We will effectively be in a civil war. 

The justifications for this insanity need to stop now. They are hollow, and they are a slap in the face to the people who are hurting from the senseless, and preventable, loss of loved ones. 

Over the next days and weeks, I expect there will be a shrine of teddy bears and crosses erected outside the school in Connecticut. Go for it. And then do something that will have a meaningful, long-term impact on the undeniable problem of gun violence. Donate to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

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