How insane it is when mass murders in schools and colleges, movie theaters, houses of worship, you name it, are regular occurrences. How can we justify the ease with which a mentally ill person can get weapons and ammunition to gun down a congresswoman and those who came to meet with her?
How could the question of whether disturbed veterans should be monitored for what’s in their arsenal even be worthy of debate, as it is right now in Washington? How can we accept the fatalities that come when someone who is panicking ends the life of an unarmed teenager because craven or opportunistic legislators passed a “Stand Your Ground” law? And how can we accept as routine the thousands of accidental gun deaths a year or those who bring a domestic dispute to an unspeakably tragic end, like the Belcher case, minus the publicity?
And yet Obama and others who might stand for common sense wither under the heat of such an incendiary issue and the NRA, lest they lose some votes. It is amoral expedience, plain and simple.
Yes, the Supremes have ruled that the Constitution’s Second Amendment grants the right for all of us to “keep and bear arms,” but the majority of the justices probably got it wrong. And if they didn’t then, our Founding Fathers did, or at least it’s wrong now.
Among the more reasonable voices — and I never thought I’d say this — is Bill O’Reilly. Commenting on the Costas uproar, O’Reilly declared: “There should be mandatory prison time for any person accused of having a gun illegally.”
But O’Reilly went on to say, “You cannot disarm the entire American population to combat madness.” This is where you gun people will go bananas, because my question is, “Why not?”
© 2012 Bob Franken, Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.