An Open Letter to Status Quo

I am not a gun person, I freely admit that. Gun control — stricter gun control — makes a lot of sense to me.

Not a ban on guns. Bans don’t work. (Nor do “wars” on things, i.e. the War on Drugs.)

More guns is not the answer. Arming teachers or principals, letting civilians carry concealed, NO. Not the way to go. I will reject that argument out of hand. Not sorry.

Here are some things I read in the wake of the mass shooting in Newton, Connecticut that make a lot of sense to me. If I have to argue about this, these are my go-tos.

First up, fictional President of the United States, Josiah Bartlett, via Facebook:

Here are some very practical things he suggests (I’m paraphrasing): increasing psychological screening and weapons training; increase penalties for illegal firearm possession; better mental health programs for all Americans; increased enforcement of existing gun control laws; increased funding and power to the ATF.

A couple of Slate articles:
Things Can Change. To my point, the status quo doesn’t have to stay the status quo.

Australia’s Strict Gun Laws.

From The American Prospect site: 10 Arguments Gun Advocates Make and Why They Are Wrong.

Finally, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s upcoming bill in the Senate to ban certain types of weapons.

If these things don’t make sense to you, why? In the wake of shootings in Tucson; Aurora, Colorado; outside of Oregon; in Newtown, Connecticut, I do not do not do not understand how the status quo is still okay with you. I just do not.

In Tucson, a 9-year-old girl died.
In Aurora, a 6-year-old died.
In Connecticut, 20 children — twenty 6- and 7-year-olds — died.

This is what the status quo has reaped for us in America.

Updated to add: I’ve been reflecting on mass shootings, but what about homicide rates in black and minority communities? African Americans are dispropotionally affected by gun violence. Tighter restrictions and increased enforcement will go toward keeping children in those communities safe, too.

I am fine with responsible gun ownership. That makes sense to me too. The problem is irresponsible gun ownership, weapons that can kill TWENTY-SIX PEOPLE IN 10 MINUTES, shoddy background checks, and a mental health system where people slip through cracks and under radars.

I don’t want to take away all the guns. Don’t go there.

On Friday, 20 families were robbed of the opportunity to ever tuck their children in again at night, or give them another hug or kiss. Or even yell at them, or laugh at them. They get to bury them this week.

If you find that acceptable, or think that nothing can be done about that, or that nothing SHOULD be done about that, I think something is wrong with you.

Not sorry. The status quo has to change.