By Ken Feltman
It is appropriate and necessary for politicians and all of us to reexamine gun control. We do not need grandstanding, slogans and political posturing but we do need to take a long, hard look at the culture of violence that surrounds us. How much does Hollywood contribute to a callous attitude toward “blowing away” dozens of people with a single clip of ammo? Do violent digital games lessen sensitivity to mayhem and death? Are there telling signs that someone may be inclined toward mass murder with an automatic weapon?
We must also examine the second amendment and, especially, the word militia, which seems to underpin the arguments of pro-gun advocates. At the time the Bill of Rights was adopted, standing armies in peaceful times were rare to non-existent. Today, we have the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard. When was the last time anyone was called from his home to fight an invader or put down an insurrection? If a burglar enters a home, does the property owner need an arsenal for defense? By wrapping themselves in the Constitution, have the advocates for guns taken us to the extremes of logic and common sense?
Everything needs to be on the table. The gun advocates will tell us that guns do not kill people, people kill people. Actually, in frightening numbers, people kill people WITH guns. The problem is the availability of guns making it easier for guns to get into the hands of troubled people. When the gun lobby has a realistic solution for that problem, then we should listen. Meantime, blanket opposition to any restrictions on weapons should be seen as the extreme and unreasonable position that it is – a position that guarantees that there will be another horrible day in a school, a mall or a house of worship, somewhere, all too soon.
(A version of this was also published in Politico)