No other debate causes me to cringe as deeply as the one over gun control, because there is no other debate in this country that is as deeply irrational as this one. Gun manufacturers in the name of the NRA have completely co-opted the discussion and turned it into one so emotionally laden, it's impossible to have a rational discussion.
Rational people know that military-style assault weapons aren't used for hunting anything but humans. In this country, it used to be accepted wisdom that we don't hunt our fellow humans. Now, not so much.
As lawmakers were taking testimony at the Connecticut capitol yesterday, the gun manufacturers were ready to fight for their right to continue the mayhem, even if it meant heckling the father of a victim of the Sandy Hook massacre:
"The Second Amendment!" was shouted a couple of times by as many as a dozen gun enthusiasts in the meeting room as Neil Heslin, holding a photo of his slain 6-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, asked why Bushmaster assault-style weapons are allowed to be sold in the state.
"There are a lot of things that should be changed to prevent what happened," said Heslin, who said he grew up using guns and was undisturbed by the interruption of his testimony.
"That wasn't just a killing, it was a massacre," said Heslin, who recalled dropping off his son at Sandy Hook Elementary school shortly before Lanza opened fire. "I just hope some good can come out of this."
There is no low too low for these wingnuts, and no position too irrational. I really think they'd push for personal ownership of tanks and RPGs if they could, under the guise of the right to bear arms.
Screw them. I've had it with their supposition that they own all the emotion and "right thought" on this argument. As an adolescent, my family was ripped apart by two bullets from a gun. It wasn't an AR-15, and it wouldn't fall under the gun ban today, but my family member is just as dead and for no good reason other than being available for a whacko to execute.
Until these "gun enthusiasts" have had the singular pleasure of cleaning dried, congealed blood and brains out of the trunk of a car, or until they've gone and gathered the bodies of someone's loved ones from a public crime scene where some idiot exercising his "rights" decided to exercise them on the heads of the innocent, they can shut up about their emotion-laden fantasies of revolution and sit the hell down.
I did those things. I cleaned that car with my dad after his father was executed and the police gave it back, post evidence collection. I waited those three days with my grandmother until the horrid news came that yes, they had found his car with a body in the trunk. I went back twenty years later and tried to understand why these things had happened, only to discover that the evidence had been destroyed and the police didn't really care that much why a 70-year old railroad worker had been executed at the hands of someone who got a gun by wrestling it away from a security guard.
Screw them for belittling that father's grief and loss so they can hold onto their precious guns. Nothing proposed today would change the outcome of my own experience. Nothing. No one will lose their damned handguns and rifles. But at the very least, I should be able to think about my kids going out to a movie theater or shopping in the mall without worrying that they're going to find themselves on the business end of an AR-15 in the hands of a murderer.
Is that too damn much to ask?