My father-in-law told me a story about self-defense with a gun.
The family lived far out in the country, and in Alabama in the 1930’s there was no justice for Black people in the courts of law. One day when the adults were away, a gang of racists drove out to the house planning some act of terrorism. The sight of a rifle barrel poking through the window persuaded them to move on. My father-in-law laughed at the fact that the rifle was held by a twelve year old boy.
A rifle in a farmhouse, though it saved a family that day, could not protect the Black community of Selma from many other crimes and violations. It took the intervention of the Federal Government to bring equal protection under law to those citizens.
For some people a gun is a means of self-defense. But where is the self-defense in an assault weapon? How many rounds of ammunition does it take to stop a housebreaker?
Why are our politicians so afraid of an extreme fringe that confuses self-defense with the ‘right’ to build a private arsenal and buy weapons of mass destruction? Who does it serve when one gun is not enough, when accountability is seen as an intrusion on individual rights. When each senseless, horrific murder of innocent people is a murder of our right to peaceably assemble– without high security, without fearing our neighbors.
Before we get bombarded with news stories about the shooter, feeding into the myth that will inspire the next criminal to grab a gun and the headlines– here’s from Associated Press…
Twelve people who died in the Colorado movie shooting have been identified by the Arapahoe County coroner.
—Jessica Ghawi, 24, of Denver; aspiring sports journalist
—Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6, whose mother was critically injured
—Matt McQuinn, 27, of Denver; technical support provider
—Alex Sullivan, 27, of Aurora; worked at Red Robin restaurant
— Micayla Medek, 23, of Westminster, Colo., student at Aurora Community College
—John Larimer, 27, of Buckley Air Force Base, Navy cryptologist
—Jesse Childress, 29, of Thornton, Colo., Air Force cyber-systems operator
—Gordon W. Cowden, 51, of Aurora, small business owner and father of two teens
—Jonathan T. Blunk, 26, of Aurora, worked at a hardware store, served five years in the U.S. Navy.
—Rebecca Ann Wingo, 32, of Aurora customer relations representative at a mobile medical imaging company
—Alexander C. Teves, 24, of Phoenix, earned master’s degree in counseling psychology in June from University of Denver
—Alexander J. Boik, 18, incoming freshman student at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design who planned to become an art teacher