Bryan turned seven last Friday. He is in first grade and doing great. His teacher is wonderful, as are his classmates.
He and his fourth-grade sister got crushing hugs when I got home Friday, with my head resting on theirs so they could not see my face.
I have been staying away from the news coverage, mostly in self-defense but also because there is nothing to learn from it. Or if we do claim to have learned from this, what does that say about us? What do we know now that we did not know before last Friday morning?
You want to hunt? Fine. You like target shooting? Fine, under controlled circumstances. You want ostensibly to protect your home against robbery? Fine, but from what I understand you or other residents are more likely to be injured in that event, so there's that. None of those situations - none - require civilian ownership of military-grade weaponry with high-capacity magazines, and that includes home defense. All of those situations should be regulated with an eye toward firearms' only function: the inflicting of lethal violence at range. Name another commodity as prized by Americans (as reflected in its political support) designed for the express purpose of killing or wounding.
Other than those situations, sign me up for the state monopoly on lethal force. We're not breaking any ground here, this is Social Contract 101. I pay you taxes, you give me civilization. Is it going to be flawless? No. Will there be crime and horror? Yes, but if Australia and the UK are any example, the levels thereof will be lower and yes, I will take that correlation any day.
So: fewer and less powerful firearms and more regulation, including some effort to keep firearms out of the hands of those whose mental state might lead to unfortunate decisions. That last bit might have let me catch up with my brother after a long estrangement.
Thank you, good night, and God help the United States of America.