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Nina In New York: When Is Enough, Enough?

Mourners including a Newtown Police officers gather at a makeshift memorial outside St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church during the first day of Sunday services following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 16, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. (credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Mourners including a Newtown Police officers gather at a makeshift memorial outside St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church during the first day of Sunday services following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 16, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. (credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Tragedy In Newtown

A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer.
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By Nina Pajak

I’m sick.

I know, I know, we’re all sick. And for reasons I think I will never truly grasp, all we can do is fight about the medicine.

I’m talking about Newtown and guns, because I think everyone should be.

Yes, the right to bear arms is in the constitution. The constitution, which is a fluid document and is constantly being interpreted, reinterpreted, flexed, stretched and amended (perhaps less constantly on the latter). Our founding fathers lived in a world where every man must defend his own castle, because they lived in a freaking colony. They had muskets, not semi-automatic assault weapons. They did not have psychopathic, homicidal maniacs who snapped and shot up schools and malls and movie theaters filled with innocent men, women, and most distressingly, children.

I suppose I cannot say for certain, but I am fairly convinced that when they wrote the second amendment, they did not envision a world where every single American, regardless of age or occupation, would need to carry a firearm in order to feel safe in the instance that a lunatic armed to the teeth might decide to spray a bunch of 5-year-olds with a barrage of bullets.

This does not work.

Something is severely broken in our country. And it’s not necessarily the gun control laws. There is something much deeper, and darker, and harder to pinpoint. What is it about our culture, our systemic support system, our values, which contribute—or fail to contribute—to turning out so many dangerous minds on the brink of mass, indiscriminate murder? We’re not the only country that has suffered from this problem, but we certainly lead the charge.

So there is much, much more to be fixed here. And crying out for gun control laws should in no way dismiss the fact that we need to get to the rotted root of this evil. But that is a problem with many potential answers, and to explore them takes time, a luxury we do not have. In the meanwhile, why wouldn’t we address the easiest and most obvious solution? Stricter gun laws would be the band-aid, if you will. No, it will not heal the wound, but it will staunch much of the bleeding.

Why would any American, regardless of political beliefs, not want to make it difficult for people to get their hands on the artillery being used against our babies?  I’m honestly, genuinely baffled.

Invoke the slippery slope, our civil liberties, our founding fathers, go ahead. Try to make it stick. But I cannot possibly make any sense of an argument whose bottom line is that we can’t and oughtn’t make it difficult for potentially dangerous people to own what is essentially a weapon of mass destruction (albeit on a smaller scale than we’re used to discussing.)

If you’re a stable, law-abiding person, you get your gun, eventually. If you’re not, you don’t. Why is that a problem? (She asks, naively). Why is this issue so untouchable, when people feel free to attack other ideological issues that pose no direct threat to the lives of innocent children?

The next time a gay wedding directly leads to 27 deaths, I’ll be sure to shut up.