Many years ago I hated guns and I said as much in my blog. Friends of mine who were pro-Second-Amendment, however, talked me down and convinced me that guns handled responsibly by responsible gun owners are safe; that “assault weapon” is a loaded term and an arbitrary classification; that people need firearms to hunt and to protect themselves; that a gun license is more regulated and harder to get than a driver’s license. That guns themselves are not the cause, that people will always find ways to hurt each other even if they have no guns, that there are other underlying issues that need to be addressed instead.
But, you know what? I’m fed up with news stories about somebody armed to the teeth going into a public place, ruining lives, and then usually ending his own. I was listening to a discussion on NPR about how schools should be better fortified like the TSA checkpoint at an airport, and I thought about how much better it would be if that money could be put towards paying teachers and buying resources instead, so how could we prevent guns from getting to schools? How could we prevent them from leaving people’s homes? Why in the first place do people need firearms that can spray bullets at people?
Yesterday there was a bill before the Florida House of Representatives to ban assault rifle sales and magazines of more than seven rounds. Many survivors of the Parkland school shooting attended, but a vote of 71-36 (along party lines) killed the bill by preventing it from being discussed.
I am disgusted in our government. I am especially disgusted in the Republican Party, which somehow waves the banner of pious Christian religious tradition at the same time as it refuses to take care of people.