Looky here: I grew up on a farm. There was a gun rack on the wall in the hallway outside my bedroom door. It held a .22 rifle, a .30-.30 rifle, and a single-barrel shotgun. The gun rack was always locked.
One time a skunk tried to move into the crawl space of our house. My parents felt that a skunk was an unacceptable housemate.
One day when the skunk was waddling toward the house from the orchard, my dad got the shotgun down from the rack and loaded it. He went outside and approached the skunk. It turned to look at my father, who was about ten feet away by then. My father raised the shotgun, aimed, and fired.
The skunk became a non-skunk. One side of it still looked like a skunk, but the other side was a bright red bowl of flesh and blood.
I watched the whole thing from the living room window. I can see the bloody remains of that skunk as clearly in my mind’s eye now as I did that day. You combat vets can laugh, but that was my experience of seeing what a gun could do to a living creature.
At this point in my life I don’t have a problem with civilians using guns for target shooting, hunting, Civil War or other historical re-enactments, or any reasonable use that does not lead to the senseless mass killing of human beings of any age.
Gun use by law enforcement and the military is a discussion I won’t get into today.
I believe that the teenagers who were present at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School the day that a former classmate came in and shot down seventeen people with an AR-15 rifle have been more than eloquent in their rage about that incident, and in their call for gun control. They want nothing less than for their school shooting to be the last school shooting.
I’m afraid they are going to be disappointed in that wish. Call it a hunch.
Many people have said quite a lot about the need for gun control after the shooting in Parkland, as people have after every mass shooting and slaughter of innocents for years, to no avail. As we have all seen, pleas for common sense have fallen on deaf ears, and in the case of politicians who could legislate gun control, ears that have been paid to remain deaf by the NRA.
These teenagers give me a glimmer of hope. Are we reaching a tipping point? Does common sense finally have a chance?
The survivors and children across the country are tired of seeing their friends and teachers murdered, of going to school wondering if this is the day they will be murdered. They want it stopped, and they are not kidding.
The students from Parkland are still vibrating with the terror and grief of their experience: realizing what was happening as the bullets flew; hiding; running for their lives; seeing their friends, who were alive minutes before, lying in pools of blood; waiting for someone to tell them it was safe to leave the building.
They are demanding change. They are running into brick walls, fortresses built of corruption and lies. They don’t want lies. They are sick of lies. They are sick and tired of people dying of lies.
Now, aside from politicians accepting NRA money, the usual segment of the population has been wailing about second amendment rights and how the liberals want to take away their guns.
It is more than the liberals, and you darn betcha we want to take away your guns. We want to take away the automatic and semi-automatic rifles that were designed and built for the military to kill people. The ones that leave internal organs so shredded that there is nothing left to sew together. Those guns.
Some anti-gun control people wish to use the methods of suppression that were used on civil rights protesters over fifty years ago: high force water hoses; attack dogs; rubber bullets; tear gas; truncheons; real bullets. Yeah. That’ll make those spoiled brats shut up and go home. Teach ‘em a lesson.
Some of the survivors and their families have received death threats. That is an indicator that the kids are on the right track. Nothing like telling the truth to make people want to kill you.
The energy, conviction, and sanity of these children who literally dodged bullets encourages me. They seem to believe that our government really is of the people, by the people, and for the people. Pretty radical, huh? Quaint.
They might have picked that idea up in school.
You know, before the shooting started?