Well, there’s blood on the floor again, and we have blood on our hands.
James Holmes this time. A nerdy grad student with comic book orange hair opens fire in a crowded Colorado theater.
Predictably enough, people are dead.
There really isn’t any more to be said. Nothing that hasn’t been said time and time before. And really, isn’t something seriously wrong when mass murder has the feel of “been there, done that”?
Think back. Make your own list. Which ones stick in your head? Your heart? The Amish kids gunned down in their schoolroom? Or do you think about your kid in college? Do political rallies have you looking over your shoulder? C’mon, there have been so many ... so many. Choose.
Every last one has one thing in common.
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Holmes didn’t show up with a crossbow and Jared Loughner didn’t carry swords and a pike staff to that shopping mall in Tuscon. They came bearing guns, weighed down with ammunition. Legal guns. Legal ammunition.
It’s a bit odd, isn’t it, that we license cars, boats, drivers, baby sitters, restaurants, street vendors and a whole raft of other things based on the common-sense notion that we have a certain responsibility to do what we can to keep one another from harm — accidental and, certainly, purposeful.
We apply that principle to pretty much everything, sometimes to a degree that is downright silly, as anyone who’s padded around an airport in their stocking feet carrying a baggie of miniature shampoo bottles and toothpaste tubes will attest.
Yet we let anybody with a charge card or a pocketful of cash assemble a private arsenal for whatever purpose a twisted imagination can design. Then feign surprise when those plans are carried out with all the deadly efficiency 21st-century arms technology can guarantee.
And we don’t do a thing to stop them.
Again and again, we’ve used the Constitution to wipe the blood from our hands ... but it doesn’t work any more.
If the Second Amendment protects the right of James Holmes to equip himself for mass murder, it’s time to repeal the Second Amendment.
Times change. Our Constitution should change with them.
Remember, the same document that guarantees the right to bear arms also guaranteed the right to own, buy and sell slaves.
Would strict laws limiting the legal purchase and possession of guns and ammo bring heaven to Earth? Of course not. But spare me the Wild West nonsense about an armed citizenry.
There’s good reason Miss Kitty made the boys leave their guns outside the Longbranch. An armed citizen is most likely to shoot himself in the foot —or worse. And let’s not forget that in Colorado and Arizona pretty much anybody who wants to carry a gun can carry a gun. Concealed carry didn’t do anyone a bit of good in Aurora, or Tuscon 18 months before.
But might it have made a difference if it had been very damn difficult for James Holmes to get his hands on an assault rifle and 6,000 rounds of ammunition?
I guess we’ll never know.
But stands to reason that if it works for cherry bombs and moonshine ...
Isn’t it time we quit being stupid?