By John Hubbuch
A month after the tragic slaughter of the innocents in Connecticut the country is gearing up to try and address the problem of gun violence in the land. It looks like modest proposals like re-banning military-style assault rifles and gun show registrations are problematic at best. Meanwhile the bullet-riddled bodies pile up like cords of firewood. Our streets, homes, schools,movie theaters and workplaces run red , and there seems to be nothing we as a society and polity can do about it.
The NRA opposes any legislation that would restrict the manufacture, sale or possession of firearms. One of the arguments in support of this position is that any restriction is only the begining of disarming America. We should be so lucky.
I just don't get this fascination with shooting stuff up. Raised in southern Indiana in the 1950's and 1960's ,I was aware of guns and even shot a little. My dad had probably 5 rifles and 5 shotguns. His first deer kill was his last. Seeing the buck twitching in his death theroes, bleeding out was not an experience he wanted to repeat. So getting rid of hunting in the 21st century doesn't seem like a very big price to pay. But hey maybe bolt action rifles and shotguns for those who want to play Davy Crockett wouldn't be so bad. If the animals could only shoot back.
For sure there should be a ban on handguns. I get the defending the home and hearth argument, but for every intruder repelled, there are ten regretted shootings: Dad shoots drunken son sneaking home; nine year old shoots six year old playing cowboy; pissed off spouse shoots philandering partner, etc. ad nauseum. As I see it, the main purpose of handguns is to rob businesses, settle disputes at clubs and get rid of gang members.
Civilization evolves. At one time people dumped their sewage out on the street. They shot buffalo from trains. They enslaved others. They fought duels. And don't forget the ever popular bear baiting. Make no mistake--a small minority enjoyed these activities, but the big wheel of progress spun and these disappointed citizens moved on to other, safer activities like watching TV and golf.
So when the NRA warns that banning assault weapons and requiring gun show registration is only the beginning, I say: " Right. Let's get started."