Monday, December 17, 2012

The Slaughter Of The Holy Innocents

It happened again last week.  Last Friday, a young man armed with a  Bushmaster .223 caliber rifle, two other weapons and what police described as enough ammunition to kill 450 people shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut where he proceeded to methodically kill 26 people.  20 of them were children.

The mind can scarcely grasp the depth of the grief of the friends and relatives of the departed.  After all, you expect the school bus to bring your child home.  You expect to see your wife come through the front door after work.  You don't suspect for 2 minutes that some maniac will arrive at what is on most days a haven of safety and blow your loved ones to Kingdom Come.  Then again, you don't expect to get shot at the movies or at a political rally either.

But it happens in this country.  It happens far more often here than anywhere else in the industrialized world.

The human heart seeks answers.  A casual glance at Facebook or the Internet will steer to the wrong ones.  Perhaps the most completely inane observation came from our own former Governor and nominal Christian who said, that we shouldn't "be so surprised" when "we have systematically removed God from our schools."

Now I cannot adequately square up the notion of a kind and benevolent God with one that would allow the wanton slaughter of innocents, either in this present age or in the days of Herod.  But I am comfortable saying that the God in my Bible doesn't allow children to die out of spite.  But then again, why are we surprised that this idiocy came out the mouth of the Huckster?  After all, he once claimed that God was in favor of capital punishment because Jesus didn't save Himself on the cross.

Let us be clear.  Those innocents died primarily for one reason and one reason only.  In the United States we allow the deranged the technological means to engage in mass destruction.  Any other explanation that presupposes the hand of a Higher Power in this is superstitious nonsense.

I know lots of hunters and other gun owners.   They are safe, law abiding people who treat their weapons with respect.  But not with reverence.

I know that the Supreme Court has recently ruled that the Government cannot ban gun ownership because of the 2nd Amendment.  I don't have a problem with that.  I do have a problem with civilians having access to assault weapons or other weapons with large clips that can carry many rounds.  Those weapons have only one purpose and that is to kill humans.  Maybe the Government can't ban gun ownership but it sure as hell can regulate the types of weapon me or my neighbors can buy, 2nd Amendment or no 2nd Amendment.

The NRA tells us that such regulation is an impermissible assault on or freedoms.  This is, of course, nonsense.  I have the right to give my views to the President.  I do not have the right to barge into the Oval Office to give Barack Obama a piece of my mind.  I have a right to apply for a Driver's License.  I do not have the right to have one.  Or to have one that is free of restrictions if certain conditions are present.  I have a 5th Amendment right to contest a parking ticket.  I do not have the right to a jury trial.

The 2nd Amendment is no more or no more less sacrosanct than other Amendments to the Constitution of which  reasonable regulations concerning the enjoyment thereof have passed Constitutional muster time and time again.

I respect guns.  I do not revere them.  To revere them is to engage in a fetish as much as anything.

And even though the Founding Fathers well knew that the Constitution of the United States was purchased by blood, I cannot believe that they for one minute would consider that the death of 20 kids was part of the inevitable price of freedom.

This has to stop.  It has to stop now.

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