Saturday, December 15, 2012

We are all Adam Lanza's mother

I confess I have been silent on this issue, like many, not wanting to light the short fuse of 2nd Amendment warrior-advocates. But now the time is right, the blogosphere is lighting up, and I feel compelled to do my part to get a hold of the moment and push the collective consciousness in the direction of common sense corrections. The killings in Newtown are so horrific it must be the chance now at last for us to put a stake through the heart of yet another right wing boogie man. Along with deniers of global warming, gun control opponents stand on ideology rather than reason, with seriously lethal results. If the events of yesterday are not enough to make someone gag with horror and revulsion at the idea of automatic weapons in the hands of madmen, they either have an empathy deficit or are so good at deluding themselves with the sound of certain words that it amounts to a pathology. We have all heard the argument before that outlawing guns is not the answer to these massacres. But at least outlawing the ownership of rapid-fire pistols and assault rifles will lessen the sheer numbers of dead. As William Saletan wrote yesterday, there will always be madmen, and no country is immune from the onslaughts of socially isolated lone wolfs intent on committing suicide by mass murder. But every other country in the civilized world recognizes that easy access to combat weapons does nothing for personal security, is not something that hunters require, and only heightens the chances of lunatics trying to outdo each other in the lethality of their final evildoing.
The problem is people like Adam Lanza's mother now have bought into the allure of security that possession of Terminator caliber weaponry brings. Absurdly, toting a Glock today is like driving a Suburban was 15 years ago. It makes you feel invulnerable to the rising tide of madness when all it really does is add to the total mass of lunacy. When otherwise sober adults think that the answer to the murder yesterday of Newtown's 20 kindergarteners is training and arming elementary school principals, it is time for all of us to take a deep breath and admit that, like Pogo said, the only enemy we are facing is us.
Obama said that he intended to take meaningful steps. Let's hold his feet to the fire on this one.
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