I just spent a great weekend with my children and family doing the things we love to do on summer days and evenings - bike rides, park visits, swimming into the night, and even baking, a not so frequent occurrence for me. However, my heart is heavy, as I've been thinking about the Aurora, Colorado movie theatre shooting non-stop, trying to wrap my head around this real-life massacre that took place. I've read some great posts on this tragedy that got me thinking.
Anyone who knows me will know that I've always been against guns, since I believe their only purpose is to kill.
When I was in college (after graduating university, and moving to D.C. for an internship with CBS) I did a 10 minute documentary on gun control for my broadcast journalism assignment. I went to a shooting range to get some video, and held a gun for the first time. It was heavy. It was loaded. I aimed, and shot my target man in the chest. I was pretty
sure I'd never want to hold a gun again. Ever.
Next stop? A gun show in Maryland. There were tables of guns, bullets, books on making bombs, and other paraphernalia.
There were hundreds of people holding guns, buying bullets, and having a good time. I saw some scary looking people
that day and I wondered what all that was for. Hunting? Really? A
In 2000, I interviewed a man who worked for The Brady Centre to Prevent Gun Violence
in D.C. He was well educated on the subject of gun violence, and the numbers he shared with me about innocent people dying because of gun violence were staggering and upsetting.
"Guns don't kill people, people kill people." And yet... a man who purchased 6,000 bullets online killed a dozen people with his fully loaded gun. A baby. A six year old. Someone's daughter. A sports journalist. Someone's son. Someone's friend. And on. And on. And on. Pretty sure if the shooter walked into the theatre holding a a Pez dispenser and not a gun, no one would have died.
It it without question that we needs to do something about gun control. Without question. From the Beltway sniper attacks, to Columbine, to the Eaton Centre shootings, something has to be done, now. Sadly, we will never rid society of evil, no matter how great our gun control laws are, because guns will always find a way into the hands of evil people, illegally. But at least let's try, okay? Because controlling access to guns is a step in the right direction. We need to be more responsible. No one should be allowed to buy 6,000 bullets online. Period.
I stumbled upon Jason Alexander's brilliant post yesterday about the movie theatre massacre and gun control. I've re-read his words a dozen times, and I can't stop nodding in agreement.
"We will not prevent every tragedy. We cannot stop every maniac. But we certainly have done ourselves no good by allowing these particular weapons to be acquired freely by just about anyone.
I'll say it plainly - if someone wants these weapons, they intend to use them. And if they are willing to force others to "pry it from my cold, dead hand", then they are probably planning on using them on people."
I could not have said it better myself.
I hope we can do more to prevent other horrific tragedies like this from happening again. We owe it to the victims, at least.