I thought for several hours today before deciding to write something in response to the tragedy in Connecticut. I don't know what drove the shooter to commit these horrible acts or why he thought these children should die. Any speculation in that direction would be merely that, and it would do nothing to bring those children back or ease the suffering of their families left behind.
Some are using this as an opportunity to point out the need for stronger gun control laws. Others are expressing the need for people to arm themselves so they can be prepared "the next time." Some are merely asking that there be some kind of discussion.
I am among those who believes there are too many guns in this country, although I have no desire to outlaw them or prevent people from legally obtaining them. However, I get tired of the "guns don't kill people, people kill people" crap many gun advocates post after such a tragedy. From my vantage point, I see people killing people - WITH GUNS.
Other countries, such as Australia and Canada, have much stricter gun laws and have much lower per capita rates of gun-related deaths. There may or may not be a correlation, and again, I am not saying I want to take everyone's guns away.
What I am saying is that we make it harder to get a driver's license than we do to buy a gun. We now have driver education programs in our schools so that young people do not get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle without some training and awareness of the laws. I don't see how requiring the same kind of education before buying a gun constitutes an attempt to prevent gun ownership, although some gun advocates all too easily make that leap.
I don't know whether we need more laws, fewer laws, better laws, or simply better enforcement of existing gun laws. But to refuse to enter into rational and thoughtful discussion of the issue and dismissing those on "the other side" and blaming them for what ails America is sheer madness.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I have fired a gun on a few occasions and, knowing my limitations when it comes to handling firearms, have no desire to own a gun or have one in my home. I understand there are those who feel safer having a gun. Me, I feel safer not having one. All I ask is that you know where your gun is at all times and keep it in a place where others (especially children) can't get to it without your knowledge. We might both sleep better.