This is not the blog I thought I'd be writing tonight.
Our response to addiction comes in three forms: one, acceptance; two, moral
approbation and three, clinical identification and prescription.
Pick an addiction, any one I suspect, and you can see how this plays out.
Take alcohol, for example. Some accept the drinking without comment or
request for change. Some see drinking as a weakness of character. Others
perceive alcoholism as an illness suitable for diagnosis and treatment.
Our addictions are many and varied. If they have a commonality, it may
well be the rush, the tie, the hook that pulls and holds the addict in.
The addict's need defies logic and health. The attraction is undeniable
and inescapable. The addict is self-centered and incapable of appreciating
the consequences they impose upon others.
Many, many addictions have been named, scrutinized, ridiculed, investigated,
proscribed and prescribed. Some still live in the shadows, still too concealed
to be considered in polite company. But some addictions are fully revealed,
proclaimed, endorsed, espoused and even extensively lobbied.
Some among us revel in an addiction that has yet to be named though is
a great scourge upon our nation. Our nation has long enough accepted and
endured the frightening obsession/addiction to guns. This weekend, this
addiction took the lives of 20 beautiful babies in their first grade innocence.
This addiction, this repugnancy, can go unidentified, unexamined and unchastened
The gun fetishists deny their addiction. Of course, that's what un-realized,
un-repentent, un-treated addicts do.
Addicts rationalize away their disability. For the sake of guns they swear
allegiance to the Second Amendment. But do they swear similar allegiance,
devote similar energies to the Fourteenth or to the Nineteenth or even
to the Sixteenth? Or is it solely the Second which receives their enduring
vows? Also, where does the Second Amendment provide for a right to keep
and bear many high capacity magazines for a Bushmaster Assault Rife? Where
does it provide for owning a Bushmaster Assault Rifle at all? And even
if it did (which it does not) how can such an expression make the murder
of 20 innocent babies not just endurable but allowable and acceptable?
Another rationalization is that guns don't kill people, people do.
Of course, guns don't kill without people and people without guns
don't kill nearly as well. (People with assault rifles kill people
remarkably well.) How many innocents would have been spared in the time
it took the first responders to arrive if this mad man had been restricted
to something far less lethal? Without access to weapons of mass murder,
how many mad men would not tread that dark road?
Another argument is that assault rifles are necessary to protect oneself
from an invading horde motivated by some calamity or to hold off a government
determined to deny the liberty of every God fearing American. From the
press reports today, the mad man's mother subscribed to the first
theory. That didn't work out for her. For the second theory, teenage
blood-lust fantasies of Red Dawn do not make a convincing argument for
condoning the deaths of thousands of men, women and children each year.
It just doesn't.
Addictions are many and varied, and the people who suffer from them have
varied degrees of dependency. Some, upon a horrific event that seizes
the intellect and makes clear the heart, will awaken to their addiction
and vow to avoid it's destructive pull. Some though, even though the
heavens have fallen and death rains down in a deluge, cannot pull themselves
from the depths of their condition. For them, their addiction is intractable,
America has suffered from these people's addiction long enough. Enough
innocent blood has been spilled. Whether we proclaim our moral outrage
at their self-centered, societally destructive fetish or whether we label
it for the peculiar, suicidal/murderous attraction it certainly is, we
must remove this ability to kill each other so wantonly so rapidly from
The adults in the room, the non-addicted among us, have a solemn duty to
move society past the days of acceptance of the gun addicts affliction,
for their affliction afflicts us all.