Skip to main content

There is also, in our largely cultural clash over guns, a heavy cost that is never tallied. And that is because it is so hard to calculate.

As the ongoing debate over guns in America continues to polarize and rage, one thing is becoming eminently clear. Despite their best efforts to defend assault-type weapons and hi-capacity magazines, the defenders of unfettered gun-rights have not and cannot make a case for their utility among the citizen population of America.

I have asked, in a recent series of hotly contested gun-control articles (http://woodbury-middlebury.patch.com/...), for supporters of gun-rights to cite incidents where assault weapons with hi-capacity magazines have been used in home or self-defense. Their response has not been compelling or convincing. An episode at home from 2010 (less than 10 shots fired), an on-duty security guard (not civilian use) from 2007, an unfired/unloaded AR-15 used to frighten away intruders - in other words, nothing of consequence. This should come as no surprise since not even the NRA’s star “mommy defender” Gayle Trotter who testified before a Senate hearing on January 30th could come up with a single, real-world example of a hi-capacity assault weapon used by a mother for self-defense.

Instead, what we hear are hypotheticals from theatrical Republican Senators like Lyndsey Graham about victims cowering in closets, and how “Fifteen rounds in the hands of a mother trying to protect her children may not be enough.” Unfortunately, there is nothing hypothetical about the actual, real-world lethality of assault weapons as the victims of Aurora and Newtown can attest. Unfortunately, it is always possible to posit a hypothetical scenario where one more gun or one more bullet can be justified in self-defense. As a society we witnessed similar arguments in support of ever-expanding nuclear arsenals, but somehow we also understood the madness associated with that logic, and took great pains, and great expense to limit the number and accessibility of such weapons. It was equally true that “nukes don’t kill people, people kill people,” and that is precisely why we sought to remove those weapons from the hands of people.

There is also, in our largely cultural clash over guns, a heavy cost that is never tallied. And that is because it is so hard to calculate. Immediately after the Aurora shootings I noted this:  

“Two days later (post Aurora) my community’s Sunday music concert, played on cool grass under great oaks, had the marked presence of extra police. The Colorado shooting was cited as the reason for this show of force. In the aftermath of that shooting, how many parents in my town feel the same way about letting their children go to a “late-show” or take in a peaceful summer concert? This week in Oak Creek, Wisconsin how many families feel comfortable praying in church? This, besides the tragedy and mayhem of the actual killings, is the price we, as a nation, pay for our love affair with guns - the pursuit of happiness impinged by a society that shows no inclination towards limiting the distribution and presence of guns.”

And now, with Newtown we can add one more incalculable but undeniably real cost - the absence of easy breathing and smiles as we say goodbye to our young children on their way to learn at school. That too has been taken from us. Not just by some random madman, but by our enabling culture of guns.

Originally posted to leaning left by Rob DeFulgentiis on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 01:48 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site