"To his grim idol"
Someone nearby was doing some blasting, and in a "Use enough dynamite there, didya, Butch?" moment, sent the offending rock hurling through space to land in their house. Fortunately, no one was home and the damage was soon repaired.
But the response was not to build a boulder-proof shield over their house, on the odd chance this would occur again. The response was to make sure whoever is handling dynamite and conducting blasting operations does it with more control and more good sense. You would think that would be the response to the massacre in Newtown; but the response seems to be: we must put shields over our schools to keep the boulders from falling in.
Schools as "gun-free zones" are blamed for school violence. Unarmed teachers are blamed for school violence. Lack of security at the schools is blamed for school violence. Lack of armed guards patrolling the schools is blamed for school violence. The fault is in where we put the house, not in the guy handling the dynamite. The fault is in not making the house boulder-proof.
What's wrong with this picture?
After Timothy McVeigh found it difficult to buy explosives, but easy to buy fertilizer, we didn't respond by making all federal buildings bomb proof. We responded by controlling the ability of individuals to buy large amounts of fertilizer. Had we responded by turning all federal buildings into inaccessible fortresses that could withstand even another truck full of fertilizer and kerosene, who would have thought this reasonable?
This idiocy reached what I can only hope is its nadir with Lucinda Roy's argument on Diane Rehm's show that compared school children to $10,000 in unguarded cash. Ms. Roy's thought experiment involves removing every child from every classroom and replacing them with $10,000 in cash, left at their desks without armed guards. This, she says, would be considered outrageous, and yet it is comparable to the treatment of our children in schools now where, she insists, they are not safe.
It honestly doesn't get more ludicrous than that. But Ms. Roy is a professor at Virginia Tech, so we should take her seriously; or at least honor her personal experiences.
How about we do neither?
We control access to automatic firearms. We control access to explosives. Why can't we control access to semi-automatic weapons and the bullets that make them functional? We can't suck all of the guns out of the hands of private citizens. We can't stop any one person anywhere who wants to walk into the nearest school and start shooting. But we can make it so much more difficult in ways that will actually work rather than banning rifles with pistol grips or bayonet mounts (two of the definitions necessary to be an "assault weapon" under the expired ban).
Alternatively, we could turn our public schools into fortresses and then cower in them, afraid of the world outside, afraid of what strangers might do, in the name of "security." What lessons would we be teaching children in such places?
We'll ban "assault weapons" (whatever the hell those are), and high-capacity magazines. And the ones already loose in the country? Well, maybe in 100 or 200 years, they'll have rusted away and no longer be a threat. After all, it's not like we can control access to the things that make guns go "boom!" We can do it with dynamite. We can even do it with fertilizer. But not with guns; never with guns. Never, ever, with guns.
When it comes to guns, we even blame the victim. Or women; we could blame women.
Maybe Garry Wills is right; maybe we have found our Moloch.