Three sweet, innocent 9-year-old children were slaughtered last month in Nashville by a maniac wielding an assault rifle.
Time once again for “thoughts and prayers?” No. It’s time for action. Legislative action.
A verse from Bob Dylan’s moving anthem “Blowin’ in the Wind” springs to mind. Here it is, its fourth line slightly paraphrased:
“Yes, and how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, and how many deaths will it take ‘til he knows
That too many people (children) have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind . . .”
And speaking of wind, we are hearing, once again, the same blustering old excuses and arguments aimed at any and all gun-safety measures even though polls show a majority of Americans favor such laws.
The good “once again” is the Minnesota Legislature is again considering gun-safety laws – once again because the same bills had been considered in previous years but were blocked by Republicans who were then in the majority.
Democrats now control both chambers of the Legislature. Maybe this time around, those wills will squeak through and become law.
One of the proposed laws is to require background checks for every person who wants to buy a gun. That law is already on the books, but the new law would extend that requirement to private sales, to anyone who buys a gun from a gun owner.
The other bill involves “extreme-risk protection orders.” It would allow lawful authorities to confiscate guns from people determined to be dangerous to themselves and/or others. Nineteen states already have similar laws.
Once again, there is a chorus of outrage against those proposals:
Such laws will discourage good, law-abiding Americans from purchasing guns for protection!
Anti-gun authorities will soon be pounding doors, eager to confiscate guns – even hunting guns!
Guns don’t kill people!
We don’t need more laws! Just enforce the laws we already have!
Laws won’t stop killings because perpetrators will just use other methods – knives, explosives, poison, cars!
Those kinds of laws will infringe upon our freedoms!
What about the freedoms of the children (and adults) who were blown to bits by assault rifles in Nashville, in Uvalde, in Sandy Hook? They have no freedoms. They’re dead. And it’s because unstable, dangerous people were able to get their hands, all too easily, on guns.
Will those laws guarantee freedom from being murdered? Of course not. Nothing is guaranteed. But any gun-safety legislation is better than none, and the laws in other countries have long proven that fact.
Action must be taken. Now! Thoughts and prayers are good intentions, but they do not undo the horrific gunning down of children – and adults.
Contact your legislatures. Urge them to pass these bills. Let’s remember: Silence and excuses are forms of complicity.