Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I tremble for my country

when I read news stories like the one here. In a nutshell, sales of guns jumped in the days after the mass shooting in Arizona. The most popular model? The same Glock the alleged shooter used. Here's a quote from the story, which ran on the Bloomberg site:

One-day sales of handguns in Arizona jumped 60 percent to 263 on Jan. 10 compared with 164 the corresponding Monday a year ago, the second-biggest increase of any state in the country, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation data.

Handgun sales rose 65 percent to 395 in Ohio; 16 percent to 672 in California; 38 percent to 348 in Illinois; and 33 percent to 206 in New York, the FBI data show. Sales increased nationally about 5 percent, to 7,906 guns.

Think about it. Those are just the LEGAL gun sales.

I am an Army brat. I grew up in a house with a gun in it. My uncles hunted for the table. (In fact, one uncle was such a dead shot that he was asked to excuse himself from a community turkey shoot.) I know that there are legitimate reasons for owning a gun, which is a tool as well as a weapon. I've shot guns at a local range because I write fiction in which people shoot guns and I don't want to make it up. I'm a pretty good shot, as it happens.

But I am also the daughter and niece of people who went to Virginia Tech, so when the mass shooting happened there, it hit home. And in that case, as with the Arizona shooter, there were warning signs that the individuals involved were dangerously unbalanced. And yet, they got guns.

I've heard all of the slogans--"If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" and "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." I am not impressed. It's a lot easier for people to kill people when they have guns. In California if you want to buy pepper spray there's a whole process that includes watching a video. Maybe it's time to make it a little tougher to get a gun.

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