The nation has reacted after the Sandy Hook Elementary School where children were killed by a young man walking around with a legal automatic weapon, procured from his mother's house.
I liked it better when I thought of towns called Newton and thought of Fig Newtons, named after Newton, MA.
Newton's killer started with the person who armed him: his Mother. Her gun knowledge and having guns available didn't do anything to slow him down.
Instead, he managed to ensure he had a Bushmaster automatic weapon and body armor with him when he went to kill children and faculty at a local elementary school.
The usual things have since taken place.
The President made a speech. A commission or task force is being established.
Calls to arm teachers have increased. This is despite evidence that being armed is not a deterrent to being shot. In fact, you wonder if being armed will increase it.
Down there in Florida, one man shot another because he was standing his ground. The two were in line waiting for their pizzas. A man named White complained about the speed of service to a man named Jock in the line behind him. They're about the same age, 49 and 52. Some words and shoves were exchanged. Jock pulled out his concealed gun and shot White twice. He cited his fear that White was going to do something to him. White wasn't armed but Jock feared him. Was it because he knew he was armed and thinking about shooting the other?
The police didn't agree with Jock's reasoning and arrested him but that doesn't change the logic or situation. We'll see what the outcome will be sometime later.
We're still waiting to for George Zimmerman's trial results. Remember him? He cited his fear and the stand your ground law when he killed 17 year old Trayvon Martin after following Martin around a housing complex. George was armed; Trayvon was not.
As if we forgot about it. In another case down in Florida just last month, Michael Dunn, 45, killed another 17 year boy, Jordan Davis. Dunn was armed and shot Davis after a confrontation over loud music. Dunn, see, thought that Davis and his friends had a shotgun, so he shot at them, eight times. Four into the back of the car where Davis sat, then four more times as the four teenagers drove away, in case they returned fire.
See how well that worked? Those boys were armed, therefore Dunn decided not to shoot them. Their being armed was a deterrent, right? That's the logic, isn't it? Or at least they could return fire and limit damage. Of course, it would help if someone could find the shotgun they were supposed to have that they used to threaten Dunn.
It probably would have helped if Dunn had told police he saw them with a shot gun the first time that they questioned him. It seems like a fact like that would be important when he was explaining to them why he shot at those boys.
Dunn was arrested the next day. He's now charged with first degree murder.
Just for myself, let me pause to recap the logic.
If you perceive someone as a threat, you can stand your ground and shoot them. But if you're armed, then others won't shoot you because you can shoot back. But if the other person thinks you have a gun, they can shoot you because they perceive you as a threat. And if you have a gun, you can limit damage by shooting shooters before they shoot you.
Sounds like a deadly comedy routine. Let's start again.
Who's on first?
That's what we're coming to, though. Human life is precious, especially your own. If you think you see a threat to yourself, shoot it.
Parents are certainly worried that is the direction. Sales of children's 'bulletproof backpacks' and body armor are up 500% after the shooting.
There might be good reason for their concern.
Another parent took a gun to school and threatened her daughter's bullies with it. The 34 year old Mom went to the school and confronted four 13-14 year old girls. Opening her handbag, she showed them her gun. "Look at what I have."
Now, sensibly, if I follow gun advocates correctly, the girls should have stepped back and showed Mom their guns and shot her, citing their fear of her because she was threatening them with a gun.
Isn't that the way they envision we'll solve problems of violence in America?
The Mom's message to her daughter was a good one. Respond to bullies and bullying by escalating the level of violence. Certainly it was a good teaching situation for the children. Let's answer violence with violence. We should all be proud.
Yes, increase the number of guns in America.
That's been working so swell.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com