Saturday, July 21, 2012

Will Aurora Change the Gun Debate? No.

The Colt AR-15, a legal gun in the U.S.

One of the most tragic aspects of our American culture is its obsession with weaponry, whether the military kind or the so-called civilian kind not merely permitted by the 2nd Amendment but also openly facilitated by the NRA. In fact, the ferocity with which NRA opposes the banning of almost any kind of gun amounts to insisting that Americans be armed and dangerous.

Readers here know that I openly oppose all but single-shot hunting rifles, which can include shotguns. If it's tied to hunting of wild animals, and if hunting-rifle ownership requires strict licensing and training, I have no problem. I don't hunt, but I can imagine how I might have enjoyed it if I were raised in a rural hunting family. I did grow up fishing and diving for abalone. Catching and killing fish, abalone, and crab, and then eating them fresh just makes sense to me. The same holds for game.

The 100-round drum magazine, a legal AR-15 accessory.

Any other kind of weaponry is only meant to kill human beings. And the weapon that caused the most damage and human grief in Aurora, Colorado this week was a AR-15 assault rifle equipped with a hundred-round drum magazine. Do we need such guns? No. Beyond the hunting rifles, we don't need any guns.

Will anything change because of Aurora? No. There is a slim possibility that assault weapons might get a second look in a few progressive states, even possibly Colorado, but I wouldn't hold your breath. It is one of the great tragedies of American society that we encourage gun violence.

I will stand with anyone who is willing to work to ban all but hunting guns. In fact, I am thinking that people of conscience should start a movement that prohibits voting for anyone who isn't in favor of major gun control. If that means I can't vote for Barack Obama, so be it.

I haven't made this decision, but it's the first time I reached this conclusion. Sometimes you have to just live by your conscience, with no exceptions. I hope I have the courage.

I stand against guns, and support those who also do.

Father in Aurora, CO, is overcome with worry his son might be among the victims.
His son, Alex, was later confirmed among the dead.

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