mardi, janvier 11, 2011

Un-American Elizabeth

"How could you?" asked the heroic woman who reached out and stopped alleged mass murderer Jared Loughner from killing or wounding another 20 people. Grabbing the new magazine out of his hand, she asked him, according to bystanders, "how could you?"

And as I look out my window at the quiet landscape of exurban Philadelphia, in which many of my neighbors are hunters and NRA-affiliated, I wonder -- how can they?

And I wonder -- is it my inability to understand? My judgmentalism? Or is it something else?

I have friends who are hunters. I have friends who butcher their own deers, slice them up and package them. It's not my thing, at all, but I don't judge them, or believe that they are going to turn into mass murderers. Nor so for my pals who like to hang out at shooting ranges and bring down clay pigeons. Keep your guns. I trust that you know when and where to use them.

But on one issue, I part company with many of them -- their support for the American gun culture. Why is it OK for crazy (or maybe not) 22-year olds to have access to assault weapons? Why can't we ban the kind of high-capacity magazine that Loughner used to maim or kill his victims? Why, in certain states, are you allowed to bring your gun into church or restaurants?

Why, when little girls are shot at grocery stores and teenagers in churches, as happened in 1999, do you justify it by wanting to bring in more weapons?

I don't feel safer. I feel threatened. And I reject the assertion that by raising the questions, I am "dancing in the blood of the victims." This isn't a fascist state, where you aren't allowed to ask questions.

We gun-control advocates are toothless tigers -- and rarely, in this country, have I personally felt more alone on an issue.

Call me a traitor. Frankly, I don't give a hoot. On this issue, and this issue alone, I'm proud to be un-American.

1 commentaire:

Stoo a dit…

I think the proliferation of guns in america is kind of scary. But then I'm british.