This site isn’t a political site. But it is my site in the sense that I write more than the other guys who work on this site. With that sense of ownership, I want to take just a short minute to discuss the nightmare that played out last Friday morning in Colorado.
After SEC Media Days, I stepped away for a brief vacation. I still plan to take a couple more days off, but the other guys here will keep you abreast of headlines, breaking news and recruiting stories from around the SEC in my absence.
But being off Friday, I was unable to post anything about the tragedy in Aurora. Now I can. And I will.
Let me start by stating that I’m not an anti-gun guy. I got my first gun when I moved into a place of my own a couple of decades ago. I understand the need for home protection. And while I wouldn’t kill an animal if you paid me, too, I also have a number of friends who enjoy hunting. So I’m not campaigning to round up anyone’s guns.
That said, I do find it ironic that if I want to buy allergy medication, there’s a limit on the amount I can buy. Fear of me running a meth lab, ya know. I have to sign papers even if I buy a little bit.
And if I want to smoke a cigar once every couple of months, it’s hard to find a place other than my own back porch where I can legally do so. Smoking bans are inside, outside and everywhere it seems.
But an evil kook like James Holmes can get his hands on a semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun, two handguns, 6,000 rounds of ammunition, and head-to-toe body armor that would have prevented police from putting a bullet in him… all without raising a red flag. How’s that work? (All that body armor also nixes the whole, “If everybody in the theater had been armed” argument put forth by several gun lobbyists since the massacre.)
Sorry, but our priorities as a nation are pretty screwed up, in my view. Take away guns or ban them? Nope. That’s not my thing. But as someone who’s owned a gun, I would have absolutely no problem with states or the federal government making it much, much tougher to purchase them. Honest owners and honest dealers shouldn’t have a problem with that. We could still buy them, but maybe one or two James Holmes would be weeded out with a stricter process.
Now, what does “stricter” mean? Good question. Which suggests it’s time for folks to at least take up this debate, rather than simply saying, “Oh, well, crazy stuff happens.”
If my intake of Claritin-D is recorded and monitored and limited, then someone’s decision to buy 6,000 rounds of ammo or a bullet-proof groin or throat protector — things so many of us need for regular, daily activities — should put that person on a Homeland Security watch list, for example.
Those are my feelings. If you read them and disagree with them, that’s A-OK. There are no simple solutions to this problem. Hopefully you can agree or disagree with me in a calm, cool, rational way without name-calling or putting words into my mouth. Just please don’t give me the “guns don’t kill people” talk. I can’t remember the last time someone walked into a theater and stabbed, clubbed or garotted 70 people. If guns don’t kill people, they sure as hell make it a lot easier for people to kill other people.
This nation has an issue on its hands that’s not going away. It’s time for folks to at least discuss various means of limiting that problem. Especially since guns seem to be a much deadlier problem than allergy meds and Cohibas.