Okay! Enough, already! How many times do we have to have this conversation? What does it take for the message to get through?
Guns kill people.
Three words that are simple, easy to pronounce, and are clear in meaning. Yes, people kill people, too–usually with guns. Did you note that? Usually–with–guns. Yes, they may also kill with knives and clubs and poison and any number of things, like sharp pencils. But, if they use those weapons, they usually only kill one person and then run like hell. The great (?) thing about guns is that they can shoot one person, point the damned thing at someone else and shoot him, too. Then, if so inclined, do it again…ten times…twenty times…or more. There is really no limit to how many people they can kill one right after another as long as they have preloaded their clips and don’t forget to point the muzzle end of the gun at the victim instead of themselves.
Ah, but then comes the argument: The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. What a great soundbite! Unless you stop to think about it and all the ways it’s a terrible soundbite. Imagine if all the folks who considered themselves to be good guys–they just don’t wear white hats so we can tell they are the good guys–were walking around with S&Ws or Berettas or Colts, or any of those other brands manufactured for the primary purpose of easy, multiple killings, in a handy pocket or purse. Now, imagine a scenario in which a bad buy (but one without a black hat) takes his gun to someplace like an elementary school or a college campus or a darkened movie theater (hey, it could happen) to see how many innocents he can shoot before a good guy with a gun stops him. Because it’s a popular movie, lots of good guys are at the theater with their wives, children, girlfriends, boyfriends, or alone. At a pre-selected (or maybe not) point in the movie, he pulls out his gun and starts shooting in all directions because he knows about every seat is occupied. Naturally, when the good guys see the flash of his shots and hear the booms, they surmise that it has to be a bad buy because good guys don’t do that sort of thing. So a good guys slaps leather, draws a bead on the shooter, or just points his own gun in his general direction since it’s so dark he can’t really see him, and starts shooting. After all, the bad guy is still shooting, people are still screaming and falling over each other, so immediate action is needed. However, all the other good guys, none of which are wearing their hats, see the flashes from his gun and assume there are two bad guys, so they all open fire on both of them. Of course, in the darkness, none of the good guys shooting at presumed bad guys can actually see their targets, but, action is needed. Each one knows he is a good guy, and, because people are screaming, he knows bad guys are (probably) shooting them. Before you know it, every other person inside the theater is shooting at gun flashes in every direction. Meanwhile, the bad guy who started it all is sitting in the corner watching and laughing; or maybe he just turned and left after his first few shots, knowing all the good guys would finish what he started.
This particular scenario has not happened–yet. Not this complete scenario, although one may have come close. But there appears to be no end to the insanity in this country, so hang in there. The above described action adventure may be coming soon to the theater near you.