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I’m so glad that COVID season is almost over, and we can get back to debating gun control and rouge cops that give good cops a bad name. For a minute there I thought we were done with random acts of violence that certain members of our elected body of officials seem to justify with the constitutional amendments. After all, the 2nd amendment clearly states that we have the right to bear arms and it truly doesn’t matter how unstable you are.

I would also like to congratulate the governor of New Hampshire for completely and thoroughly throwing every single business owner under the bus by lifting a mask mandate that was already weak to begin with. Congrats! All you’ve done is enabled the “I will not comply crew” and made it truly difficult for people to feel safe getting the economy back up and running in a somewhat smooth fashion. Hey! Don’t think I’m just picking on New Hampshire; Vermont’s leadership (Governor Scott) apparently feels that it’ll all be fine just in time for the bikinis and fireworks, too. So, masks off people, the war on COVID is over … herd immunity is only a few million dead souls away from being achieved.

But anyway, where was I? Right! Mass shootings. I had completely forgotten how people really like to murder strangers! Just walk into a place with a gun you’ve purchased legally and open fire. With almost a full year of not hearing this sort of news I have to say the first few hit me hard, and now it’s back, just an everyday part of my newsfeed. I always love the argument that if someone wants to get a gun, they’re going to get a gun. That is so true! There is no way around it: if a psychopath wants to find a way to kill people, they will. Well, using that logic, let them find another way! If they can’t easily get a gun, then maybe that leaves more time for them to get flushed out or they simply don’t commit mass murder. Just a thought.

I remember reading somewhere the causality between an incident and a law that went into effect because of a single occurrence. In the early 1980s six or seven people died taking Tylenol because someone was able to tamper with the packaging; now you can dislocate your fingers trying to open a bottle. Jayne Mansfield was decapitated when her car went under a semi; now all trucks have a little extra steel back there to prevent that. In 2001, one person attempted to smuggle a shoe bomb onto a plane and as far as I can tell we’re still removing our shoes at the airport. So, we are capable of cause and effect. Except when the right to bear arms comes into play. Thirty are dead due to gun violence since March 16, and all we can do is throw thoughts and prayers?

I have to say the one good thing about COVID and “lockdown” was the lack of mass shootings. Yes, we had some other horrible stuff happen, no doubt, and it’s happening again. As I type the jury is deliberating the fate of Derek Chauvin, the cop that murdered George Floyd. Recently, eight died when a gunman shot them at a FedEx Facility in Indianapolis, and he had a gun seized from him because of mental health issues. Somehow, he purchased two guns legally to commit this heinous act. Now you can ask about the Red Flag laws, and I would urge you to see just how weak they are, and this should be the brightest light as to why they don’t work.

I was once reasonable around gun control. I would often say that Vermont is filled with guns and we have very few problems. I no longer care. If you own a gun, you need to own a license for that gun. You have a license for any vehicle you drive and pay for insurance you don’t really use, so this shouldn’t be an issue. Yes, I also want you to pay a fee for the reupping of that license every 12 months. I wish I didn’t have to go that route but it’s clear now that COVID season is coming to a close, and we have to focus on mass shootings again. What the hell is up with that?

Peter “Fish” Case is a man with an opinion. He offers up a weekly podcast discussion that can be heard at theearspoon.com. Questions, compliments and complaints can be sent to him at fish@theearspoon.com. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brattleboro Reformer.