Saturday, April 28, 2007

Guns and lunatics

Only a lunatic could seriously believe that more guns in more homes is good for America’s children.

So concludes Thursday's Bob Herbert column in the Times. Two of my recent posts have separately discussed violence and children. Herbert forces our attention to their tragic, inevitable confluence in today's gun-addled America.

Herbert: Only motor vehicle accidents and cancer kill more children in the U.S. than firearms... Children in the states with the highest rates of gun ownership [are] 16 times as likely to die from an accidental gunshot wound, nearly seven times as likely to commit suicide with a gun, and more than three times as likely to be murdered with a firearm.

I'm sorry to report that more than a few of my students endorsed the lunatic position, and some even thought Newt Gingrich was onto something when he suggested giving concealed weapons to all the profs -- people like me. Way to go, NRA. The lunatics really are in charge now, aren't they?

There is no reason that any private citizen in a democracy should own a handgun. At some point, that simple truth will register. Until it does, phones will ring for dead children, and parents will be told not to ask why. (Adam Gopnik, New Yorker 4.30)

I'm asking.

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