In the wake of the Aurora shootings, I was horrified to see a Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post saying that because “gun control does not work,” we should instead “encourage the carrying of personal weapons.” In the author ‘s view
An armed citizenry would give pause to anyone intending to do mass damage, since he or she would know that there would likely be someone shooting back, rather than helpless people waiting to be slaughtered.
Right. Because “anyone intending to do mass damage” is thinking rationally, and carefully weighing the consequences.
My first reaction was that this person must be kidding, but I would be deluding myself if I didn’t acknowledge that there are people in this country who do believe that if only more of us were armed, fewer of us would be victims of gun violence.
The idea of living in a country like that terrifies me. I hate guns. I hate that they can accidentally take a life in an instant. I hate that they can take the anger of the heat of the moment to a point of no return. I don’t want guns in my house. I don’t want guns in my neighborhood restaurant. I don’t want to go to the movies and sit in a dark room full of people with guns in their purses and pockets.
When my kids were younger, I was that Mom who asked if there were any guns in the house before letting my children visit for a playdate. I even was that Mom who confiscated the plastic guns from the action figures. Maybe my concerns were irrational, but just last week a 4-year old boy fatally shot himself with a gun he found in an unlocked truck outside his house. I don’t know people get through that type of tragedy.
Doesn’t the Travyon Martin case show us how “an armed citizenry” can go horribly wrong?