How many shootings do there have to be in the news before we wonder about the wisdom of allowing just about anyone to get a gun in America? Our gun culture is completely out of control.
In just the last two days we have had 13 people killed in Binghamton, NY with a 9 mm and a .45-caliber, three police officers shot and killed in Pittsburgh with an assault rifle and two other guns, and a five children killed with a shotgun in Washington at the hands of their own father. How many will it take before we say enough is enough?
How about the eight people killed in a nursing home in North Carolina a couple of days before these shootings? How about the ten killed in Alabama a couple of weeks earlier? Is there any point when gun rights advocates would admit that we have too much gun violence in America? What will it take for them to acknowledge the most obvious thing in the world?
Of course, their answer is that we don't have enough guns in the country. If we just allowed concealed weapons at schools, nursing homes, work, bars, airports and just about anywhere else you can imagine, then we would have less gun violence. Yes, maybe in bizzaro world, but in this world the more guns we have had in this country the more people have been shot ... with guns.
The Washington case is a good example. Would that father really have been able to kill his four young daughters and his young son without a shotgun? Maybe, it's happened before. But it would have been a hell of a lot harder and hell of a lot less likely. And what would have been the NRA alternative fix here - arm the kids?
I know it's a political impossibility, but we need to reign in the permissive gun culture in America. I've gone to a shooting range several times. I get the allure of it. It's fun and empowering. Until someone gets their head blown off. It's madness that almost anyone can stroll into a Wal-Mart and walk out with a deadly weapon. Guns should be the hardest things to get in America, not the easiest.
So, will a sizeable group of politicians have the courage to step up and demand tighter regulations of firearms in this country after all of these shootings? Have we reached the tipping point? And if not, what will it take? How many more mass murders do we have to go through before we realize how crazy this is?