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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Time for Sanity

It will be for the courts to determine if “Jared Lee Loughner, the 22-year-old suspect charged with the attempted assassination of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a rampage that killed six people and wounded 13 others…”  in Tucson, Arizona is insane.  (Quote of David Lohr)  It is for the U.S. public to decide if it is insane.  The National Rifle Association has politicians so cowed that they dare not ask the obvious question:  isn’t it time for more stringent gun control?  I discount some of the more pronounced current commentary—that emotional political talk is the problem or that the U.S. is just getting more violent.  Millions of armed Americans do not shoot politicians with different viewpoints and the U.S. has a history filled with violence.

The essential problem is that guns, especially concealable handguns, can kill many almost instantly.  It is difficult to imagine what procedures could have been in place to prevent Loughner from purchasing a gun.  He displayed dangerous instability—but that is not against the law.  There are many who display such a quality and it is impossible to in advance determine who will snap.  With this reality—and it will always be a reality in the human family—it is essential that gun control be enacted to secure the family.  Making guns available to everybody for “self-defense” does nothing to enhance public safety and is really a bizarre notion that by everyone packing heat we will all be safer.  Would you want this for your own family unit—with your spouse and all of your children (including 2-year-olds) armed?  You say that is not a fair question, we don’t arm children.  No we don’t and for good reason.  But neither should we arm unstable adults.  The next time you go to Wal-Mart ask yourself if you would be willing to bet your life on the conjecture that every adult you see will be stable and mature. The fact is you do in fact bet your life on this.  Consider if you were a public official, say a mayor or a member of city council, would you not feel unease that some unstable person might have an irrational call to gun you down.  The public is not constituted uniformly of stable adults.  If for no other reason, we owe it to our public servants to enact sane gun control laws.

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