A deranged man in Arizona loads 34 9 mm bullets into an expanded magazine of a Glock 19 semi-automatic pistol and opens fire in a Safeway parking lot, killing six — including a judge and a nine-year-old girl and seriously wounding a Congresswoman. America goes crazy.
Time to ban guns, the reactionaries say. Time to lock away all ammo.
That, the reactionaries say, is the way to stop violet crime.
What the reactionaries haven’t told us is that they have been trying to ban weapons since the cro-magnons first put rocks in slingshots and it hasn’t prevented a single crime. It hasn’t stopped a single murder. It hasn’t saved a single life.
When it comes to overreaction, America excels like no other nation in the civilized world. But we fall way short when the results come in.
Prohibition — be it booze, cigarettes, guns or whores — just doesn’t work. You don’t rid the nation of a problem by declaring it illegal. America has been at war with drugs for decades — and illegal drug use is at an all time high.
Jared Loughner didn’t empty a 34-r0und clip into rep. Gabielle’s brain on that Saturday outside a Safewa. It took one shot to put her life in danger.
If you want to stop people from killing each other, the answer won’t be found in creating new laws that ban new weapons that can be used to take another life.
The answer lies in finding a way to respect the right of another human being to live.
The question that should have faced Jared Louhner on that Saturday morning morning was not why Gabrille Giffords deserved to die but why she deserved to live.
If, for no other reason, she deserved to live because we — as a society — deserved to learn what contributions she might yet have made to the betterment of our lives. She might have found a lasting end to war, a formula that eradicated cancer or a end for AIDS. Or she might have faded into obscurity. We might never know — unless she lives — which it still possible and a reason for prayer and hope.
And who knows what contribution a nine-year might have made 20 years from now?
I don’t know the answer to that one but I do know one set of facts.
I have one thing in common with Jared Laoughnner. Like him, I carry a Glock semi-automatic pistol.Unlike him, I actually live in a state that requires a license to carry it. Had I been in that Safeway on that Saturday, that pistol would have been in a holster on my hip and it would have come out and some of those six people would still be alive. I doubt that I could have reacted quickly enough to save Rep. Giffords since she was taken out first, but others would still be alive — and Jerold Loughner would be dead — and that is more than any knee-jerk law would have done.