Another day, another school shooting.  At least 34 human lives lost.  Extinguished.  Snuffed out in less time than it takes to watch one of the films in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Many more injured.  Violence on par with a good day in Bagdhad.  How can this happen in America—land of liberty, peace, and justice?  Might it have anything to do with our gun control policies?  Or rather our lack of effective gun control policies?  No, it couldn’t possibly be that, could it? Surely selling semi-automatic weapons capable of firing hundreds of rounds for less than the price of a PS3 is part of an effective and responsible policy on gun ownership.  The truth is, the only responsible gun control policy is a zero tolerance gun control policy.  Unfortunately, a zero tolerance policy on gun ownership is a pipe dream that will never be realized in America, because too many people trapped in the wrong century continue to  possess the right to vote.

Opponents of gun control are fond of reminding us that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”  Of course, such vacuous reasoning misses the point of gun control entirely, which is to reduce (because 100% elimination is impossible) the availability of weapons which have the capacity to terminate large amounts of human life.  No one not already confined to the padded walls of a mental institution believes that guns go around picking off victims of their own accord.  Of course people kill people!  And we do it with more than just guns:  we use knives, cars, bats, pillows, pipes, crowbars, not to mention our bare hands.  But it’s pretty difficult to imagine someone this side of Xena Warrior Princess replicating the level of carnage unleashed upon V-Tech using a knife.  Or a bat.  Or their bare hands, for that matter. 

Yet opponents of gun control would have us believe that all weapons are created equal.  Why, then, do we not sell nuclear weapons?  If the “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” reasoning can be applied to gun ownership, then surely it can be applied to the ownership of nuclear arms.  What’s the difference?  Guns have the capacity to kill hundreds of people; nuclear arms, thousands.  Why are guns given preferential treatment?  I repeat:  if we accept the reasoning that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” then why limit ourselves to just owning guns?   A purely rhetorical question; we all know why we don’t sell nuclear weapons in America: because the Iranians would get them!

I find it stupefying that so many Americans can still cling to the notion that easy access to firearms, particularly those of the semi-automatic variety, has absolutely nothing to do with the rise in mass killings. Or the fact that our cities have an astronomically high rate of gun violence when compared to those of other developed nations.  People kill people, true, but people with easy access to firearms (and in America we make it really easy!) kill a hell of a lot more people. 

By the way, I thought  the right to bear arms was engendered to repel foreign invasions, not blow each other to smithereens…