December 17, 2012

Let's make sure Newtown is the last massacre

Between Sunday morning's church service and Sunday night's vigil in West Hartford, I saw a lot of candles flickering, tiny flames to stand against the evil that enveloped Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown the other day. It is hard to see how the puny lights we carry can do much in the face of such overwhelming darkness.
And yet the only good that can come of such a nightmare is that it might force us to wake up, to open our eyes and see that we don't have to keep on sleeping. We can build a better world, one in which loopy young men can't get their hands on weapons that could have wiped out a Roman legion or turned the tide in any battle of the American Revolution. These powerful guns, which can wipe out a classroom in minutes, are not something that anybody with a credit card and a trigger finger ought to have the right to buy. That almost anybody could walk into Wal-Mart and walk out in no time with the means to slaughter scores of people is nothing short of sickening. No civilized country allows it, except the United States. So it's no surprise that when a massacre happens -- in a mall, in a movie theater, in a McDonalds, at a church in a classroom -- it happens in America.
We're better than this.
All those little shining faces from Newtown, those precious kids who never had a chance, we owe it to them to make sure that this doesn't again, and again, and again. We have to give up the idea that if we just arm enough people, just station enough cops in enough places, just put bulletproof glass in our schools, just create a mountain of fake security, that it will be enough. It will never be enough. The only answer is to make sure that guns that are capable of firing large magazines of bullets are no longer available and that the bullets they use are also impossible to find.
I believe the Second Amendment, along with many state constitutions, allows people who are stable to have a gun. But we even regulate free speech, allowing time and place restrictions and barring the most idiotic types of speech (like the old yelling "fire" in a crowded theater example). We can surely regulate guns at least as much. Let people have a hunting rifle, a shotgun, maybe a six-shooter. But nobody -- absolutely nobody -- needs a semi-automatic rifle like the one used to mow down children and teacher in Newtown. The se heinous weapons shouldn't be allowed and those who sell them, right now, ought to pull them off the shelves. There are some ways of making money that are simply immoral. This is clearly one of them.
Our elected representatives promise to make changes every time some horror hits the headlines. And then they do nothing. This time, we can't let that happen. We can't just let the National Rifle Association and its most fanatic fringe control the agenda any longer.
We've had enough vigils. We've had enough prayers.
What we need is action.
We have the ability to roll back the darkness, to push back the fear and to make this country one where children don't have to worry about anything more menacing than homework.

Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

2 comments:

George David said...

What we cannot let happen again is another regime like Hitler's. Hitler banned guns, and when the populace was disarmed, he started his annihilation of Jews, Gypsies, the disabled, etc.

How many 5-10 year-olds died in the Holocaust?

George David

George David said...

Hitler's regime killed untold numbers of children between the ages of 5-10. And the way he consolidated his power was to disarm the populace. Give the government AR-15's and take them away from law-abiding citizens, and we could have another Holocaust.

The mentally-ill man in Newtown stole guns. He was a criminal.

The felon who shot NY firefighters was not to have guns according to the law.

Enforce the laws we have, and leave us law-abiding citizens alone. Get help for the mentally ill, and lock them up if they are dangerous. Keep murderers in prison.

If this had happened, we would not be mourning children, teachers, principals, psychologists, or firefighters.