SCHOLL: Can we safely mingle with guns?

December 21, 2012 

The 12 days of Christmas was severely altered just 11 days before it started. “Joy to the World” will not flow from our throats as loudly this year. Wrapped toys beneath some Christmas trees will be left unopened. Some distraught parents will sink lower on Christmas morning. Twenty children did not return home when a young man walked into a school with two serious handguns and an assault weapon. Most of the dead children were kindergarten age.

As we cannot comprehend the depths of the starry heavens, so we cannot comprehend why this happened. Does the Constitution’s Second Amendment really insist Americans must endure the continuing killing of our people? Should domestic arguments end in death because a Glock is three steps away? Should standing behind the counter at the 7-Eleven be one of the most dangerous jobs in the country?

Our young people and children -- now our babies -- are victims of America’s largest mass shootings. To many, the Second Amendment’s wording for “the right to bear arms” was actually speaking about our right to maintain a militia, not about keeping a gun in the hand of anyone.

Noticing a gender association to the misuse of weapons, my wife asked, “What happens in the brains of men when they reach for a gun?” A frequent answer is “guns are an extension of the penis,” and this observation is offered for normal men. Add mental illness or a criminal mind to the issue and we might wonder if men and guns should ever mingle; we will never comprehend the relationship between such minds and their guns.

A few years back hunting was outlawed in Connecticut. Deer overran neighborhoods and endangered their roadways. We need hunters in our country. Without hunters, animals will starve and we will live in constant conflict with animals. As with hunters, we will always have guns about us. The question will be: what is the best way to let people mingle with guns? Back in the dark teenaged years of my youth, when I hunted, I was legally required to have a “plug” in my shotgun limiting my gun to three shotgun shells; it could hold five shells if permitted. Today, it is legal for people to buy clips, holding 20 to 30 armor-piercing bullets -- for simple handguns as well as the assault weapons designed to slaughter our nation’s enemies.

The NRA bullies our timid elected officials to oppose the least restriction on any issue relating to guns, even for the most efficient wartime weapon. This attitude is not well thought out and completely dislocated from reason or the reality of today’s world and the minds that live in this world. We cannot walk into the courthouse with a gun, but recently a man legally entered the Macon Dog Park with a pistol strapped to his side.

This Christmas, through our tears, we should know that change will come. There will be a day when the Wild West will live only on the Western Channel. We will decide to become a more civilized nation.

The NRA will help lead this change. As the voting public changes and before disloyal politicians abandon the NRA, it will find a reasonable voice to lend to the discussions. Protecting assault weapons will not seem so important. Logical, protective measures will dictate how people will mingle with guns. It won’t be perfect, but it will save lives.

It will happen. It has to happen. There is something wrong in any state that installs more official hurdles to vote or secure a driver’s license, than buying an assault weapon. Our people, our children in school have a right to life. Change will happen. Just maybe, 20 dead babies 11 days before Christmas will be enough for us to reexamine how we mingle with guns.

Tom Scholl is a resident of Macon. He writes every other week for The Telegraph.

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