By Lauren | December 17, 2012
As the nation struggles to understand last week’s shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, we’re beginning a long-overdue discussion about gun control. The experts are out in force on both sides, making arguments for and against putting limits on the general public’s access to guns. It’s quite the circus, and likely to accelerate as the debate gets under way.
One particular class of “expert” drives me right up the wall. I’m deeply and specifically offended by the folks who focus on probabilities to argue against putting rational limit on civilians’ access to deadly weapons. I heard one talking head point out that any given individual is more likely to be struck by lightning than killed in a mass shooting. His subtext? It probably won’t happen to you or your loved ones, so why press your legislators for meaningful change?
The answer is simple: even if we only see one mass shooting per decade, that’s one too many. The fact that a tragedy is unlikely to occur doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take steps to prevent it, especially when we can do so by prohibiting people from getting access to dangerous objects they don’t need in the first place. When it comes to mass shootings, the fact that they rarely happen shouldn’t be enough to satisfy – they can be prevented, and they should never happen at all.