The Martian reminded me we don't have to be the way we've been. It reminded me what we can do when we come together to solve a problem. I'm weary of divisive politics. I'm weary of only seeking consensus when we want to wage war.
The newly anointed front-runner for the Republican Party also has a new idea for gun control. But is it a good idea? Would it have stopped the Oregon killer, or even the South Carolina shooter? And would fellow Republicans embrace it?
Jeb Bush's recent use of "stuff happens" perfectly encapsulates the attitude about gun violence that is now prevalent in the Republican Party. The fact that this "stuff" happens more in America than anywhere else in the developed world doesn't seem to change their mind that mass shootings are an inevitable act of nature.
Senate Bill 11 is now law in Texas, the state where I grew up and attended college. The law requires the state's public universities to allow handguns in dorms, classrooms and campus buildings. Private universities are allowed to opt out of the requirement.
Why are we even letting them have a platform? Why are we even entertaining the thought that they are saying anything even remotely rational or fact-based? Enough of this! You don't roll around in the muddy gutter with the NRA, you just point and laugh, point and laugh.
The very problem here is the title given to this issue... the word "control." Control is a pejorative word that conjures up very negative images of "big brother" pushing us around and dictating our lives in ways that Americans feel impinges on their freedoms. None of us wants to be "controlled."
This accelerating cycle of gun violence must end, and we must use every means at our disposal to do so. This means both improving mental health care and adjusting gun laws while still honoring the text of the Second Amendment to our Constitution. We must progress beyond this impasse. Innocent lives are at stake.
It's not about background checks, it's not about mental health, it's not even about "stuff." It's about a lethal consumer product being cynically and dishonestly promoted as the most effective protection from violence and crime.
I can cite facts and figures all day long depicting the disparity in which different communities are policed, who gets stopped, who gets frisked, who gets arrested, who can afford an attorney and what actual crime rates are broken down by various categories including race and ethnicity. Bottom line is, our criminal justice system is unbalanced, broken and in need of immediate repair.
Who speaks for Americans? To whom must Congress respond? Is it their constituents or their donors and lobbyists? It's time for that debate RFK tried to start in 1968. It's time for Americans to decide what kind of society they want. It's what the framers intended.
The most flawed narrative is that increased gun ownership actually "deters" criminals or mass shooter. In reality the criminals are more likely to shoot if they suspect that their target is armed.
None of these steps will restrict the ability of Americans to acquire firearms to hunt, for home defense, or even for conceal-carry purposes. But it will slow the flow, and that's what we need right now.
Our latest mass shooting in Oregon - which did NOT occur in a gun-free zone - is just the latest reminder that good guys with guns, as good as their intentions might be, are oftentimes no match for bad guys with guns.
Every child deserves the opportunity to reach their highest potential. It may seem like the fat cats sitting on top of the world's wealth are not affected, but look at the state of our world. Violence is reaching into everyone's backyard.
Guns kill as many Americans every five weeks as did 9/11 -- yet Jeb Bush concludes after the Oregon massacre that nothing can or should be done. Lowry agrees while Reagan doesn't, citing his father. Then they debate Boehner, McCarthy, Planned Parenthood, Syria and Trump.
Nuclear weapons don't kill people either, and neither do military grenades. People do. But we still control and limit access to weapons of mass destruction -- not because they themselves have personified power -- but the extent of damage that can be caused in wrong hands, or even in the right hands, erroneously, needs them to be restricted.