Drove up to The Berkshires this afternoon with nothing on the radio but repeated news with an occasional new revelation about the terrible atrocity committed by a young man armed with guns.
I drove up a highway that passes an exit to Danbury Connecticut where there's a hospital I had an operation for cancer at just a week before 9/11 and now held the bodies of massacred children who hadn't died at the school in Newtown. This time my youngest son and I passed news trucks heading for Newtown where the shootings occurred.
I had woken up this morning to NPR news and a story about a deranged man in a small town in China who had gone to an elementary school there and overwhelmed the old woman who guarded the gate with his knife and stabbed her and then proceeded to stab what I remember as around twenty little kids, all of whom survived though some were in critical condition in the hospital.
Then only hours later the news comes in about a young man in the USA going into an elementary school with three guns and killing twenty little kids and six teachers. And too many of my fellow citizens and their political leaders are still cowering before the National Rifle Association and their distorted interpretation of the Second Amendment which clearly state that the right to bear arms is in order that citizens might make up a militia when needed to defend the country, which is what we now call The National Guard, or reserve forces.
Ignorant rightwingers whose experience with guns is much like Dick Cheney's and other chickenhawks who never were in the military try to push the idea that if teachers and the rest of us were all armed then the shooter would have been killed before he could shoot so many kids. Have they ever handled a semi-automatic? Or tried to shoot a moving target or even a still one that's live and armed and shooting back with a semi or even a pistol?
When the well trained and often military veteran New York City cops open fire anywhere near innocent bystanders Innocent bystanders almost always end up dead, as well as sometimes a cop. This isn't a video game. Gun licenses should be harder to get than any other kind of license (like driver's or marriage or fishing etc.—and by the way most mass shootings in the USA are done with guns legally purchased and most single murders are committed by family members, so the whole argument that criminals will get guns illegally and kill us is specious) and automatic repeating style guns of any kind should be banned. Period.
As I've written before, just the idea of "the Sullivan Law" that we heard of as kids believing that if you were even caught with a gun you'd go to prison for a long time kept guns almost nonexistent when I was a kid in the New York area. Time to go back to the days the rightwing Republicans pretend to love so much (except for the strong unions and high taxes on the wealthy and strict gun laws) when it comes to gun laws.