Making sense of the latest senseless slaughter

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Chris Simms and I devoted the opening segment of Wednesday’s PFT Live to the latest mass murder. In Uvalde, Texas, an 18-year-old killed 19 children and two adults with an assault rifle.

To properly function in American society unfortunately entails co-existing with the ever-present risk of becoming the victim of gun violence. To become too comfortable with that risk invites numbness and apathy.

It’s easy to think nothing will ever change, because nothing ever does. Maybe it finally will.

Here’s an encouraging development. I expected at least as many “stick to sports” emails as supportive ones in response to the attached video. In reality, every email we received in response to the commentary was positive. Every single one.

Maybe it finally has happened. Maybe we’ve finally reached the point at which we sufficient numbers of us cry, “Enough.”

Really, enough. We all know it. Even the staunchest Second Amendment advocate knows it. Men and women of sound mind and goodwill have the right to keep and bear arms. There are ways to ensure that those who affirmatively would use weapons of war for their intended purposes cannot do so.

Hopefully, we will soon strike a better balance between the right to liberty when it comes to guns with the right to life when it comes to not being shot by one. Hopefully, those boys and girls who died on Tuesday will not have died in vain.

38 responses to “Making sense of the latest senseless slaughter

  1. This horrific tragedy can’t be rationalized or simply fixed… Right now is a time to mourn. My heart aches for all the children and families right now.

  2. How will universal background checks, closing gun show sales loopholes, and banning high capacity magazines harm sportsmen and legitimate gun owners? No one is pretending they are cure-alls that will stop every incident of gun violence. But they will help a little. And we can look children in the eye with a little less worry and shame.

  3. You know, everyone’s all about self-care, wellness, and mental health until this kind of thing happens, then it’s all about banning guns. If this kid had a hammer he would have attacked them with a hammer. Why doesn’t anyone talk about mental illness in times like this?

  4. As someone that usually disagrees with your view anytime you post something politically motivated I wanted to say thank you for this post. I agree 100% with what you said here. I’m also supportive of the 2nd amendment and peoples rights. But innocent people and kids shot and killed senselessly also have rights. Finding a way to keep people safe and while allowing people their rights should be the goal.

  5. I’m not American but this is such a simple issue. Every country in the world deals with mental health issues but only the USA has a mass shooting epidemic. So is it a mental health issue or is it insane gun laws? I promise you your founders didn’t have military grade assault rifles in mind when they created the 2nd amendment. You can’t buy a beer at 18 but you can buy a military grade assault rifle. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad.

  6. I’d recommend bringing back prayer to our schools…Our first major school shooting occurred less than 5 years after God was kicked outta our schools…

  7. My guns have more protections than my children. That’s really messed up.

  8. Gun bans don’t work.. except at the Capitol building, the Supreme Court and the White House.

    It’s almost like our political elites want us to live under one set of rules while them and their families are kept safe

  9. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with individual gun ownership rights. It is and always has been about the state’s freedom to form a militia to protect itself from the Federal government. The Founding Fathers never had any intention to have a federal law for or against gun control. They always felt that was something left up to the states. When the Constitution was signed there where gun laws all over the country and the 2nd Amendment had nothing to do with them.

  10. Hard to make any sense out of such a senseless tragedy. Every families worst nightmare, for what? Nothing. All we can offer is our hearts and prayers and hope they can one day find peace and strength to carry on.

  11. I think the thing that’s overlooked in these tragedies, is that committing one of these acts is basically a suicide mission. More often than not, the shooter doesn’t make it out alive or unscathed. So what we’re dealing with in almost all circumstances is someone who is a) isolated from the community/friends/family… b) suicidal. There are almost 50k suicides in this country every year. Awful and sad. But then there’s the less than 0.0004% of them that decide to get a weapon of some sort and commit an atrocity on their way out. That’s just plain sick. I don’t get it.

  12. “Maybe it finally has happened. Maybe we’ve finally reached the point at which we sufficient numbers of us cry, “Enough.””

    That’s the problem, Mike: For 50% of this country, it will NEVER be enough.

    So, it just going to continue to happen again and again and again and again, just as it has for the past 20 years while the other 50% of the country watches in horror.

  13. This has been going on for thousands of years and will continue. If someone his Hell bent on doing something like that they’ll do it. There’s nothing anyone or any policy will do to change that. Evil people are out there, always has been always will be.

  14. Long time reader hut never joined up.
    Had to join up to thank you for your message. It takes bravery to tell the truth.
    Always loved pft but I appreciate this post.

    These are our kids.. and we do nothing to keep them safe. So many shootings and all we do is.. train them to hide? Save themselves?
    Sad and pathetic.

  15. In America, this kind of thing happens and you’re all surprised and shocked. For those of us outside America, this kind of thing happens and we’re all shocked. But not surprised. Not even a little bit.

  16. Honestly not sure what can be done. More gun laws aren’t going to help. I know that’s hard for some people to understand but it’s a reality. Is it possible that men are being so devalued in our society that the young ones who don’t have the intelligence, experience and maturity to ignore the voices of those that try to tell them that masculinity is toxic at the same time young women don’t want anything romantic to do with the “beta” males that they’re trying to turn all young men into? There was a time, not long ago, when men knew who and what they were supposed to be and how to behave. But the powers that be in media, government, schools and corporations have convoluted it so badly that an increasing number of males don’t know which way is up. Tik Tok is proving that dozens of times every day. I can’t believe the nonsense my kid shows me on that platform alone. Those of us who are old enough not to be influenced don’t care what is being demanded of us but these youngins are so confused.

  17. “Thoughts and prayers” have not cured the disease. Time to try legislation and some tough love.

  18. Legislation already did, back when we had the Brady bill, assault weapon ban, and a fully staffed ATF.

  19. It’s like Dan Hodges said:

    “In retrospect, Sandy Hook marked the end of the U.S. gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.”

    This stuff doesn’t happen in countries with rational gun control laws. Unfortunately, we have decided that the right to play GI Joe in our backyards is more important than limiting gun violence.

    Since the Supreme Court overturned hundreds of years of precedent regarding the Second Amendment (basically, ‘it says well-regulated militia, dumby,’) I’m not even sure what legal path exists to do anything meaningful.

  20. Before I start I would like to say my thoughts and prayers go out to all the families who have lost love ones to gun violence. Here is a few things I would like to bring up for others to think about. I am finding it strange for a 18 year old to be able to buy guns but not allowed to buy alcohol. Studies have proven that some young people do not mature quickly as others. Everyone is different for sure and this country needs to understand our children are the most important thing for this country. Maybe I am wrong but I thought the last president signed into law for schools to be protected while he was in office, so what happen to that or is it not still active.

  21. Largely agree, Mike. I suppose I infer from the cries of “Enough” is that many believe there is some perfect solution out there, and all we need to do is enact it, and gun violence will be solved. It is an incredibly complex problem, and to resort to finger pointing (e.g. “If you do not support this, you are in favor of killing kids”) is counterproductive. Hoping our elected officials can rise above the politics of it all and find some common ground from which to address this problem.

  22. Political agenda in the face of tragedy is about as low as it can go. Free thinkers do not need opinions on the second amendment they have their own thoughts. Grieve these children, support their families. Do better.

  23. Well when the mayor is claiming this a mental health not a gun control issue I’m thinking we haven’t reached the collective point where we say “enough”. Unfortunately. Knives and guns are equally accessible. There’s a reason why guns are always preferred. Legislation won’t solve the overall issue. But changing the ease of accessibility would most certainly help. The Second Amendment doesn’t prevent criminals and the mentally ill citizens from bearing arms. So technically the mayor was 100% incorrect. Maybe the problem is really with the Second Amendment?

  24. Right now is a time to mourn? Agreed. But we can mourn and take effective action to prevent this tyoe of slaughter. Every country faces the same mental health and violence in media/video games challenges. We are the only country where no action is taken when school children are slaughtered by gunmen.

  25. The only real gun control would be to abolish the second amendment.
    And that will NEVER happen.

  26. Raise the age to purchase a firearm to 21.
    If you are under medical care for a mental disorder and/or on any type of medication designed to alter your brain chemistry, should stop a person from purchasing a weapon. Furthermore, if you have ever had a documented case of attempted suicide or under medical care for a mental disorder should preclude a person from buying a gun for a rolling 5 years.
    If a child under 18 obtains a parents gun and does harm to people, the parents should be charged with the murder or attempted murder.

  27. purplengold says:
    May 26, 2022 at 12:13 am
    It is now time to stop the automatic weapons sales in this country.
    Automatic weapon sales are highly regulated and rare today. You even need to go through an FBI background check before you’re allowed to purchase an automatic weapon. I think you’re confusing a fully automatic gun to a semi-automatic. A semi-automatic gun fires a bullet every time the trigger is pulled. The majority of weapons sold are semi-automatic. We can’t have much of a debate or solution if one side can’t even properly define what we’re talking about.

  28. How so doubledeuce? I’m confused how somebody calling out banning the sale of automatic weapons doesn’t include both full\semi-automatic weapons ?!?!?!? If anything that statement holds zero distinction between the two.

  29. If you can’t agree that an 18 year old shpuld not have access to an AR15 based on the mere technicality that it’s not an automatic rifle, you are part of the problem. Claiming that we can’t find a solution because of this distinction is specious at best.

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