Some days …

Some days it’s hard to write, especially when I feel that I have nothing to say.

Today is not one of those days, but it’s still hard to write, largely because I’ve already said what I want to say about the wild lunacy of a philosophy that seems to believe the more guns we have, the safer we are.

Responses I’ve received to past columns on gun control, posted after the Sandy Hook massacre of children or North Carolina’s new law that calls for law enforcement to put seized weapons back on the market rather than destroying them, have become predictable.

Either I’m preaching to the choir, which agrees with me that the easy accessibility of guns is a dangerous thing, or I’m preaching to hecklers, who are convinced that gun control is for sissies and that a man’s best friend is his pistol.

So, here it is. In the aftermath of the senseless shootings at Washington’s Navy Yard by a man armed with an assault rifle, a shotgun, and a pistol (according to early reports) — those who think such acts are all the evidence we need to demand saner gun laws don’t need any further comment. The answer is as obvious as the blood on the victims’ faces.

For those who think it’s an argument for more people to own and carry weapons, their opinion is as firm as a tempered steel gun barrel.

If there’s anything I could say that would make a difference, I would say it, but at the moment, I’m at a loss for anything helpful to add. 

Other than that gun violence is something we really should think about.

And do something about.

Before chaos reigns.


  1. 8,240 or more deaths from gun violence since Newtown

    Gun violence is something we need to do something about.

  2. I would strongly suggest you wait until all the facts are out. It has been reported that the man entered the facility with a shot gun. Not an assault weapon. Are you suggesting that we ban shot guns? Our maybe you do want to repeal the 2nd Amendment and take away all guns. And what gun control laws would have prevented this man who had been given a high security clearance from doing this evil act?

  3. "CNN Tuesday that authorities have recovered three weapons from the scene of the mass shooting, including one — a shotgun — that investigators believe Alexis brought in to the compound. The other two weapons, which sources say were handguns, may have been taken from guards at the Navy complex."

    Apparently no AR-15 or assault weapon was involved. This unfortunately demonstrates that someone with intent on killing many people does not require an assault weapon or a high capacity clip to complete their mission.

  4. The answers may be better mental health available for troubled folks; having concern for people and not shunning them; look, listen for signs and symptoms and then don't rest until you have them in the hands of experienced professionals, even at the risks it takes. There are more and more counselors available; look at the yellow pages; and physicians (but not enough psychiatrists); but then look at the attorneys; wonder if they would be open to help troubled folks. Then the clergy: can we blame these horrific acts on failure of the church, as well as other organizations, to recognize mental illness and bring it out in the open? Then there is our open society where so many times, a father just is not there.

  5. Either I'm preaching to the choir, which agrees with me that the easy accessibility of guns is a dangerous thing, or I'm preaching to hecklers, who are convinced that gun control is for sissies and that a man's best friend is his pistol.

    Background checks are the only things that are lawful/effective and they aren’t worth warm spit if a thug or nutcase without a record or a friend or relative of his shows up to buy a gun. People use cars to kill other people all the time and they don’t have to be thugs or nutcases, just drunk or careless. Should the purchase of cars be stopped? Some of the strictest gun-laws anywhere are found in Chicago and D.C., virtual murder capitals…more than one a day in Chicago this year, 500 last year. I was a railroader out of Danville, Ky., when the Norfolk Southern housed away-from-home crews in fleabag motels on the mean-streets of Chattanooga. A lot of my colleagues carried pistols, but I carried a 4-inch switchblade that fitted neatly in a back pocket. A heckler is defined as one attempting “to harass and try to disconcert with questions, challenges, or gibes.” That’s not me but I do think that a man’s best friend is his pistol if he’s facing a couple thugs in a dark alley.

  6. Thanks to all for your comments. It turns out that the damage was actually done with a pump shotgun — just imagine how many more he could have killed if he'd managed to obtain a more powerful or faster weapon.
    It's still scary that a man who had two previous offenses for firing a gun in anger would be allowed to purchase another one.

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