Reasonable debates move us forward and are helpful; Randy, your stab at this issue is honorable, but not nearly enough.

At least you’re not blaming the mass murders of the last several decades just on the people and giving the weapons of destruction a pass; your “Yes We Need to Do Something” at least gives guns some of their “due.”

Saying people pull the triggers and that this is just a people problem is one fallback position, with First Amendment another often taken by supporters who do not want anything to change when it comes to guns. Both of these positions cloud the issue of guns, rather than define it. We have mental health challenges, white supremacy issues, and many of these killers have suffered isolation and bullying during their lives; all are social ills also worth taking head-on.

Randy, you’re right about the “red flag” laws; that is a no brainer if they follow commonsense principles. You lose when dismissing stricter background checks and registration regulations; we need ones that allow us to know who has the guns and where the guns are, so we can know with some certainly how many are out there and where they are.

Simple regulations could be implemented that cover all gun transactions including short, but reasonable, waiting periods and other rules that would prevent people buying or transferring a weapon on the spot.

Lending a rifle to your son, neighbor or friend has some nuance to it; perhaps calling up your local police station and filling out a form with a small fee wouldn’t be too cumbersome ― you have to do that for a fire permit in your yard; why not for a weapon? Common sense is needed and guns have the potential of being too dangerous to not go through the trouble.

The issue is complex in a society now often grounded in hate and fear. These are issues that are part of the problem and need special attention. Where the president misses the boat is when he dismisses the notion that having assault weapons available to the general public is not the problem; that, Randy, is a total disconnect and is done to appease the NRA and its constituencies.

Awareness helped thwart a couple of potential mass shootings over the weekend; “red flag” engagement came after authorities were notified about postings on the internet that were scary and, when reported, authorities took seriously. Searches resulted in finding an assault rifle in one home and in the other they found the potential shooter building a gun and trying to purchase high-capacity magazines for it.

Why not ban assault weapons as a simple, commonsense first step? Seems as much of a no brainer as a “red flag” law that has due process.

Can’t we just start with the simplicity of banning these weapons and large-capacity magazines, Randy? Why limit it? You’re right, “traditional hunting activities or personal protection” gun holders don’t need more than six shots to accomplish their goal, so an outright ban makes sense. Getting high-capacity weapons off the streets will be difficult but, if our lives depend on it, why not go to that trouble?

Why is it we regulate how we drive our cars, operate our boats, and legislate almost every aspect of our lives but we can’t take a similar approach to gun reform?

Perhaps the answer is politics; forget common sense, forget that nothing that is being asked for even remotely is about taking away guns or First Amendment rights, and forget about the notion of just doing the right thing ― all this is about is politics.

Instead, understand this is about ideology and that emotions get in the way of common sense when that happens.

Much like abortion, you are either about “the right to choose” or “the right to life” when really it is much more complicated. It’s interesting that many “right to life” people are also pro National Rifle Association and don’t correlate that guns are, at the least, a “partner in crime” when it comes to mass killings.

Hypocrisy or common sense ― where is the weight of your foot?


“It has always seemed strange to me that in our endless discussions about education so little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming an educated person. To be able to be caught up into the world of thought ― that is to be educated.” ― Edith Hamilton, educator and writer (1867-1963)