It would be much too simplistic to suggest that the absurdly easy and widespread availability of high-powered weapons in our country is the only explanation for the drumbeat of mass murders that continues to plague us in 2016. That said, last night’s horrific assassinations of police officers in Dallas, Texas were yet another reminder of what a powerful factor it is and, perhaps more importantly, how ridiculous it is that so many Americans continue to harbor the notion that the right of “self-defense” justifies it.
Look at what happened: A dozen armed and highly trained officers were shot down in cold blood without a chance by snipers. At least five have already died. This wasn’t a case of innocent and helpless school children, Bible study attendees or even adults partying in a night club being gunned down; it was a case of our finest and most highly trained public safety officers. And if these individuals had no chance, what possible chance do the rest of us have to “defend” ourselves by, as the NRA fantasizes, shooting things out with bad guys? To suggest we do is close to insanity.
The only hope in the effort to end the killing in our streets in the foreseeable future is to stop the spread of dangerous assault weapons and, at a minimum, begin the process of regulating them carefully and thoroughly as we do with automobiles. If we don’t, the killings will continue until our country becomes unrecognizable.