What a horrible day!
I've spent much of the day glued to the television screen, apalled by the senseless slaughter of innocent children and adults in Newtown, Connecticut. Gone are the days I remember from my own youth when children went off to school with no worry of some deranged person invading with guns and summarily executing them and their teachers. Teachers could concentrate on the 3 R's, not on crisis training to deal with such madness.
My rural community was full of guns, mainly rifles and shotguns for the annual hunt and dealing with predatory "varmints." Little, if any, thought was given to someone invading their homes and certainly not the local school with murder and mayhem on their mind.
I remember my dad handing me his old .22 rifle when I turned 14 and giving me stern instructions how to handle it. He let me know that if I ever brought that rifle into the house with the clip in or the bolt closed, I wouldn't see it again for a long, long time.
We regarded guns as tools with a legitimate use, and certainly not for harming or even threatening another human being. I'm sure there were mentally deficient and challenged people somewhere in our community, but for some reason, they never became the kind of community dangers they seem to be today. I think they were usually consigned to asylums and homes where they could be properly cared for and monitored. Today, we are too concerned about "entitlements," the possibility of unjust incarceration just to get rid of unwanted people, and especially the social expenses that might take a few dollars away from the bloated rich. Thus, people who should be supervised and cared for by experts are left to prowl their communities and we have inevitable tragedies such as we witnessed today and in Tucson.
I'm not in favor of draconian gun control. Our forefathers demanded the right to keep and bear arms for logical reasons, and it wasn't just to be able to hunt. They also wanted to be able to protect themselves and had no inkling of the world we now live in where resisting the rise of tyranny with individual arsenals would be the height of folly. You can't resist a military armed with jet aricraft, helicopters, guided missiles, etc. with household arsenals! Not even with assault rifles and multiple round ammunition clips!
No one needs anything other than rifles, shotguns, and handguns for hunting or home protection, and having to meet common sense standards of mental and psychological fitness and adequate instruction before such ownership is allowed is simply good common sense. The Swiss are armed to the teeth, but they also have universal military training and know what they are doing when they pick up a gun.
Rather than think we can "save democracy" by becoming wild-eyed militia fanatics, we had better concentrate on electing qualified people who love and support democracy to public office so they can rein in the military industial complex and keep it from taking over our republic. If that takeover ever succeeds, any militias that might exist would soon be "toast."
Just a few days ago, my friend, Mark Manning, wrote a very inciteful article on this very subject. Rather than try to say the same things all over, I urge you to read his blog article: http://manningtheneutralzone.blogspot.com/2012/12/guns-kill-people.html
That's all, folks.