On January 8, 2011, armed with a 9mm Glock pistol Jared Lee Loughner, a mentally unbalanced individual, opened fire on a group of people. Before onlookers could subdue him, Lougher managed to critically wound Arizona Rep. Gabriel Giffords and kill five others, including Chief Judge John Roll and Giffords’ community outreach director Gabe Zimmerman.
Nitwit politicians eager to exploit the carnage quickly blamed the usual culprits – the religious right, Fox News, and Sarah Palin – for creating an atmosphere that breeds hostility, if not outright murder. The political right quickly responded by quoting liberals, most notably President Obama, who had used equally inflammatory language to fire up their base. In short, Giffords clung to life in an Arizona hospital – not because Loughner was armed to the teeth – but because he had been unhinged by political rhetoric.
There are as many as 100 million handguns in America. Perhaps, as many as four million assault weapons. We allow, even encourage, corporate weapons manufacturers to flood our streets with small weapons of mass destruction. Is it any wonder, therefore, that the emotionally unstable, drug addicted and dangerous citizens are able with little difficulty to acquire guns? That drug dealers, to protect their “turf,” regularly open fire in our neighborhoods, maiming and killing innocent men, women, and children? That drug addicts, emotionally unraveling without their daily fix, hold up our stores? Or that mentally deranged individual wreaks havoc on our national, emotional well-being and sense of security with his kamikaze attack on a member of Congress?
Eventually, someone criticizes our lax gun control laws. The National Rifle Association, citing the Second Amendment, responds by reminding us that guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
Gun control is not the answer. There is simply no way to “control” access to guns when handguns and assault weapons are as easily purchased on our streets as a cup of coffee. Only by prohibiting the manufacture of handguns and assault weapons can we put an end to the carnage. The Second Amendment, even as interpreted by the NRA, does not bestow on weapons manufacturers a “right” to produce handguns and assault rifles. And as a society, do we not have the right to prohibit the mass distribution of “products” that are designed to kill? Sometimes, the boldest answer is the only answer.
Latest posts by Kevin Mahoney (see all)
- Secretary Betsy DeVos: Slowly Remaking Title IX Investigations - August 2, 2018
- The Shooting of Kathryn Steinle - January 2, 2018
- Massachusetts House Passes Major Criminal Justice Bill - December 7, 2017