Let's not wait for another violent shooting by an unstable or violent person wielding an assault weapon to take and destroy more innocent lives.
What say you, 2012? Along with reviewing the big, important Colorado headlines, Jared and Ron look back fondly at the many ridiculous, overblown, laughable, stupido news stories of the year.
My belief is we need an all of the above approach: tighten background checks, close loopholes in gun shows, improve mental health facilities, ban certain assault weapons and multiple magazines, tone down violence in video games, TV, and movies.
The real difference between the U.S. and UK isn't that they are watching different movies or playing different video games. It's guns. We have close to 300 million guns legally owned while the UK has only approximately 1.8 million guns.
I have wondered for decades why the incident in which my great-uncle was murdered is simply called a "disaster" in the popular media, while more recent events are called "massacres," "mass killings," "killing sprees," "mass murders," "rampage killings" and such.
When tragic, almost unbelievable events like the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the shooting of 14-year old Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan and the shooting in Aurora, Colorado occur, a collective outpouring of grief and outrage unfolds.
Post-Newtown, Gallup has been releasing a steady stream of polling and analysis on guns. But their results leave me with more questions than answers.
We can no longer tolerate the imposed silence on this issue. For the sake of the innocents lost, we must no longer be silent.
It seems only right that members of Congress should be as safe as the average child they represent. If you truly believe gun proliferation, not gun control, is the best way to combat gun violence, remove the metal detectors from the Capitol and don't bring them back until you've changed your mind.
Let's not kid ourselves into thinking that this national conversation is only about assault weapons and mental health centers. It's about us, the irrational, horrible us, who act without thinking, who leap before we look.
Although most would agree that the urban violence problem is out of control, there is no doubt that whether violence happens in a city or suburb, it pains us all the same. Bullets flying in Oakland kill just like the ones in Oak Creek.
Few professional endeavors are more fraught with anxiety and danger than the work that makes us responsible for other people's children. Sandy Hook Elementary School is the latest scene of every educator's nightmare.
This really has nothing to do with the Second Amendment, and certainly doesn't infringe on it. The Second Amendment doesn't say anything about what kind of "arms" we can bear. We are left, as a modern society with weapons unimagined in the days of our Founding Fathers, to figure that out for ourselves.
It's a bad week when I asked myself what was stopping something like this from happening at the elementary school my children attend in Austin, and I couldn't come up with an answer.
If we wish to truly decrease senseless, unjust violence, we can begin by learning more about the suffering that people endure everyday through individual acts of violence and structural violence, and by investigating how our life choices may increase or decrease that suffering.