From My Window
Another Day, Same Result
By Jane Thibodeau Martin,
Well here I go, doing something I promised myself I wouldn't do. I am about to bluntly share one of my opinions but before I do, I want to say this about myself:
I am very security conscious. Because of my job, I am exposed to lots of information and training related to issues of security. My husband and son are hunters. Three members of my family, including me, are holders of concealed carry permits in the state of Oklahoma. For me, it was a simple matter of taking a written test, since I had already completed Citizen's Police Academy training which included explicit, excellent training in the legal and ethical consequences and accountabilities of using a firearm, along with a demonstration of competency on a firing range. We have hunting rifles and a pistol in our home and sometimes in our camper.
I am NOT in any way, shape or form, anti-gun.
But I am 100% in favor of halting the sale of high capacity magazine killing machines to civilians in the United State.
Yes, I know, in my own adopted state a deranged man, claiming to be an evangelical Christian, blew up a government building; killing 168 people including innocent children in a day care he knew was there, without such a weapon. I know that a well-organized group of terrorists brought down jets using box cutters. Given enough time, an angry and demented person can find a way to kill other people.
But let's stop selling machines that allow for high speed killing of dozens of victims before anyone can intervene. It's time to say, "enough." Enough elementary school kids. Enough college students; government employees; church attendees; movie-goers; nightclub visitors and the list goes on and on, with new additions no doubt coming soon.
I do not accept arguments that "we need high capacity rifles for hunting." We have smart people in this country. We can define how much capacity a hunter needs. If you need 30 automatic rounds, you need to stop hunting, and spend time at a gun range until you get better at hunting.
I not trying to take away your, or my own, second amendment rights. And this is NOT a slippery slope. It's one action we can take that maybe, just maybe, will save the lives of YOUR son, daughter, mother, husband, or best friend; maybe all of them in one fell swoop if they are unlucky enough to be together somewhere at the "wrong" time. Unless, of course, they are all carrying guns, all the time, everywhere. Picture that as our new lifestyle.
I do not agree with the argument the answer is more guns. I recently visited Mexico, a "safe" area for a beachfront wedding. The resort, and the beach, were patrolled by flak-jacketed military personnel with rifles slung over their backs. It did not make me feel safe. In fact, it made me feel very at risk. If this kind of patrol is what it takes to prevent the slaughter of tourists, I don't want to be there. Nor do I want to see this kind of presence at my child's school, my church, my shopping mall or favorite night spot. I don't even like seeing it at my airport, for that matter.
The long range answer is to do something to identify, help, and stop deranged, angry men. It usually seems someone knew these people were powder kegs ready to explode, and did nothing to get them some help; or get them stopped. But in the meantime, at least we can prevent someone from easily buying a mass killing machine (let's not even call it a gun) for less than $500, and leave 49 families bereaved in seconds. I know guns, by themselves, don't kill people. But deranged angry men with high speed killing machines DO kill people, and lots of them, quickly and effectively before there is time for anyone to stop them.
I despair thinking of what it is going to take for the sane majority of us to say, we've had enough of this. I got to that point a long, long time ago. How about you? Would it be a hard sacrifice for you to not be able to buy a personal weapon of mass destruction if it meant keeping that same weapon out of a deranged person's hands?
Next week: a more positive, upbeat column, I promise.
Recent stories, opinions and photos