Walz: Arguments pro-gun Bologna | Comment

The excuses we hear for not changing our gun situation in the United States reminds me of one of my favorite sandwiches when I was a kid. It was simple in concept and in practice. Take two slices of sandwich bread, brush them with a good layer of mayonnaise. Tap on two or three bologna slices, squeeze it all together and take a big bite. Yes, a bologna sandwich.

Let’s look at the ingredients of the sandwich offered to us by gun reform deniers.

“It is too early.” Is there really a bad time to talk about preventing wanton bloodshed? Columbine arrived in 1999. Is it still too early?

“You have our thoughts and prayers.” If you can perform a miracle with your prayers and bring the dead back to life, this act would be helpful. I’m sure survivors would rather have their loved ones than your thoughts. Let’s think before the next mass shooting, rather than after.

“New gun laws are useless because criminals will break them.” This statement seems logical until you lift the lid and look inside. If you follow the logic, that means we shouldn’t have any laws. There are people who always exceed the speed limit. Should we then have no speeding laws? No assault laws? Is robbing a bank OK?

Criminal law accomplishes two purposes: 1) it defines behavior that society finds unacceptable and 2) it defines the consequences for those who choose to engage in that behavior. We need criminal law precisely because there are people who will not comply.

“The Second Amendment guarantees our right to own firearms.” No constitutional right is absolute. There are limits to the freedoms of expression, assembly, practice of one’s religion, etc. Additionally, the perpetrators were unaware of a firearm designed to kill dozens of people in minutes. There are good reasons why private citizens are not allowed to own working howitzers or automatic firearms.

“It’s a mental health issue, not a gun issue.” What if the person in crisis did not have access to a deadly weapon? Which would you rather face: a deranged person with an assault rifle or without?

“Talking about the shootings politicizes them.” Not talking about it is a political act cleverly used by supporters of the status quo to stifle debate. As with the opioid crisis, we need to talk about guns and move beyond rhetoric to action.

“We should ‘toughen up’ schools and arm school staff. Schools must have security measures in place, but we must not turn them into fortresses. As a former teacher, I shudder at the thought of armed personnel wandering the halls or leaving a gun in an unlocked drawer. Moreover, the statistics are clear: the more guns present, the higher the incidence of gun violence, not less.

“It takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun.” Some parents in Uvalde, Texas might have a problem with this argument. There was an incident in Dallas where police responded to a shooting, found several armed people at the scene, and had to take the time to determine which one was the perpetrator. It would be much easier if the villain didn’t have a weapon.

“We need our weapons to protect us from the government.” First, the best way to deal with the government is to participate and vote. Second, your chances of beating the 82nd Airborne or Seal Team Six are slim.

Every year we lose more Americans shot to death than lost in action in the entire Korean War. As of this writing, there have already been 27 school shootings in 2022.

There is no universe in which these numbers, or the arguments against reform, make sense.

Ask your candidates what their position is on gun issues. If you see them reaching for white bread, mayonnaise, and any of the other ingredients above, prepare to be fed more nonsense.

Don’t bite. Speak up and vote for meaningful change.

Tommy Walz lives in Barre.

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