If I could, let me take the opportunity to lay out a time line for you.
Sunday morning at 2:02 a.m., a shooting erupts at a night club. By the time it's done 50 are dead, 53 are injured. By the time the shooter is dead, it's labeled the largest mass shooting on American soil.
Today is Wednesday, and it's still in the news cycle. Campaigning for the top slot in the land has resumed and the images are still flowing onto social media and the nightly news. By tomorrow, it'll be a little less, and by Friday a little less. There will be a little up-tick in time for the weekend because there will be candlelight vigils as we all try to make sense of it and support each other in this time of grief.
Next Monday will arrive and a few more reports will surface on just how many times this guy was in the palm of the hands of law enforcement but they were unable to corral him. The gas bags will point across the aisle at one another and blame the other guy or gal, yet the nation will still be trying to figure out what to do and how to make sense of it. Next Wednesday another one of my columns will appear in the paper talking about something different, and we will effectively move on with our day-to-day lives. After all, 50 dying in a mass shooting claimed by ISIS is part of our every day; we've become desensitized to it. I'm not suggesting that we've come insensitive to it, it just doesn't horrify us the way it once did.
Begin, change. I'm sorry, but I'm the guy that always said, "The constitution says ..." But I'm done now; I honestly can't take it anymore. I don't own a gun and I will most likely never own a gun. It's not because I don't think you shouldn't own a gun, it's because I see what they do when you put them in the wrong hands. Well, I'm gonna change my tune now. I'm going to say it, and I mean it: We must do a clean sweep and ban any piece of military equipment that has the word assault associated with it. As citizens we don't need them. If your argument is, "The constitution tells me I have the right to bear arms," then good for you! Go down to the local trading post on your faithful stead and purchase your flintlock musket, because honestly your arguments are beginning to grate on my nerves. If you want "assault rifles," you have to develop a stronger reason other than, "I want it." It's a weak argument, and I'm done with it. On Friday, my opinion would have been different. I would not have understood your desire, but I would have defended it. No more.
I demand that we outlaw this weapon from falling into the hand of non-military personnel. Keep your rifles, keep your handguns, but anything that holds more than six bullets, you have to turn it in. Period. End of story. At least that's the kind of clarity 50 dead human beings brings to me. If that's not enough for you, try these numbers on: Since Jan. 1, there have been 285 killed in shootings classified as mass shootings and 649 wounded (and we're only half way through June).
When the Port Arthur shootings went down in Australia they banned guns, all guns; over 600,000 guns were collected in a government buyback program. It did not put a complete stop to guns deaths, but it did reduce the amount of gun deaths by 65 percent. As for mass shootings, there hasn't been one since. So what's it gonna take America, what's it gonna take? What the hell is up with that?
Fish is the opinionated morning jock on Classic Hits 92.7. He offers up his opinion at 7:50 a.m. every morning (Monday through Friday). Let's start the revolution. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org