Guns and Crazy People

I'm all for gun ownership. But like ownership of cars, medical degrees and cases of beer -- all items that can cause grievous injury in the wrong hands -- ISTM that common sense regulation of guns should be a no-brainer.

And to gun-advocacy groups like the NRA, gun ownership IS a no-brainer. Their arguments bypass the brain completely and lodge firmly in the gut, the place where fear overpowers reason. Fear of tyranny keeps gun owners terrified that President Obama will take their guns away. Fear of break-ins and home invasions keep homeowners terrified in their own homes. Fear of random violence prompts citizens to demand further and further expansion of the presence of guns -- witness "stand your ground" and concealed carry laws.

Gun groups like the NRA stoke that fear, while gun sellers use it to increase sales and politicians pander to it to get votes.

Meanwhile, the body count mounts, while the Founders' ideal of a gun-carrying "well-regulated militia" recedes further and further.

The image, clockwise from upper left: Arthur Bremer (shot George Wallace); James Holmes (Aurora shooter);  Lee Harvy Oswald (shot JFK); Dylan and Kelbold (Columbine shooters); John Hinckley (shot Ronald Reagan); Mark Chapman (shot John Lennon); middle: Charles Guiteau shoots James Garfield.

I could have added more: Sirhan Sirhan and John Wilkes Booth, for starters.