A Modest Question or Two
Does everyone agree that we should not be able to build a nuclear bomb in our basement?
Does everyone agree that we should not be able to have missiles ready in our backyards to fire at will?
Does everyone agree that we should not be able to drive around town in tanks fully armed and ready for action?
Yes. Where do we draw our line on firearms? For some, the line should not be drawn at all, people have the right to bear arms, period.
And yet, the most severe mass killings have uniformly involved semiautomatic assault rifles. Is there a way to have these available in our society without risking mass murder?
Where do we draw the line on background checks? For some, there should be no background checks, period.
And yet, some (though not all) mass murders who would have failed a background check.
Is a background check that might prevent guns from getting into some hands that should not possess them too great an infringement on civil liberty?
I admit freely that I don’t have the answers. But I do think we need to discuss these questions and find the answers. The horrific cost in human lives is just too great.
We Americans are known for our ingenuity and commonsense approach to life. How can we apply our skill-sets to address this consistently pervasive problem in America? Yes, given all the different perspectives on this issue, it won’t be easy. But don’t we all owe it to ourselves, our families, and those that we love to try?
Patrick J. Wood
Author of “Dear Reader” and “Tapestry of Love and Loss”