Saturday, December 15, 2012

Newtown: How can this not be the time?

I've been told in the past that, as a Canadian, I shouldn't have any opinion on American politics. However, anyone who knows me knows that it's not like me to keep my opinions to myself, and I'm not about to start now. Not now.

I heard about the shooting earlier in the day, but it didn't really register with me at first. I was at work, trying to get ready for an office Christmas party, of all things. After lunch, I left the office briefly to run a couple of errands. It was then that I saw a television news report, and realized the magnitude of what had transpired in Newtown, Connecticut.

Later that afternoon, on Twitter, almost all of the posts related to the shootings. They came in three varieties: shock and horror, dismay at brands who were continuing self-promotion at a time when people were only interested in grieving, and people saying, "Now is not the time to talk about gun control."

If not now, when?

Memories fade quickly. Right now, we are all grieving, but as our lives return to "normal", and we go back to our Christmas preparations, what about the parents who will have presents remaining unopened? After the Colorado theatre shootings it was also "too soon" to talk about gun laws, and the conversation never happened. How many more people have to die before it's the right time?

"But the Second Amendment guarantees us the right to bear arms!" you say.

As a friend of mine so eloquently put it earlier: "Fuck the Second Amendment." My right to send my children to school and have them come home safely trumps your right to own a semi-automatic.

"Guns don't kill people; people kill people."

This is my all-time favourite gun argument. Especially when they couple it with "Guns kill people like spoons made (insert name of obese celebrity here) fat." You know what I say to that? Spoons serve a purpose other than as an instrument of death. Give me one purpose of a gun other than to kill - just one - and I will give up my argument against gun control.

Larry Pratt, the Executive Director of "Gun Owners of America", had this to say:
Gun control advocates have the blood of little children on their hands. Federal and state laws combined to ensure that no teacher, no administrator, no adult had a gun at the Newtown school where the children were murdered. This tragedy underscores the urgency of getting rid of gun bans in school zones. The only thing accomplished by gun free zones is to ensure that mass murderers can slay more before they are finally confronted by someone with a gun.
So there you have it: the answer to gun crime is more guns. Makes perfect sense, doesn't it? Heck, if EVERYONE had a gun - even little children - no one would ever shoot anyone! Maybe gun training should come right after potty training?

This Christmas, 26 families and their friends, will be in mourning. So many other children have had their innocence taken away far too young. How can this possibly not be the time to talk about gun control?