I was astonished last night to hear Rachel Maddow suggest that perhaps our debate on gun control should start with what is acceptable to the members of the NRA. Her point of course was that, unlike the NRA, a majority of its members support a ban on assault weapons and licensing of gun purchases.
I have an alternate suggestion. How about we start with banning guns and then debate which guns are safe and/or necessary? How about we approach gun control with the same fervor the right wing brings to "no new taxes?"
For God's sake, we are talking about the fact that yesterday 20 elementary school children were killed.
Our children are locked down in schools, have teachers who are trained in shooter scenarios and these children themselves are drilled for such a potentiality. Parents and children are searched going in to school, and there are strict rules about visitors.
How about this, folks: the shooter was the son of one of the school's teachers; how hard to you think it would have been under any circumstance for him to get in?
Or this: locking down the school and keeping out guns makes it safe only after the children arrive and until they leave.
This horrific incident seals the fact that guns in our culture make our lives -- and those of our children -- unsafe. There are no amount of rules that will contain gun use to those which are legal. They kill and they kill easily. Tuesday's killing in Oregon and yesterday's loss of lives prove that licensing is irrelevant.
It's time to stop avoiding, for sure. But it's also time to stop offering compromise. Let's just use Grover Norquist as our model for this fight. It's just that important.