The time for gun control talks is now
Updated: Thursday, January 10 2013, 05:33 PM EST
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - As you know, two days ago, Governor Rick Snyder vetoed the Republican-backed bill that would have allowed gun owners in this state to carry concealed handguns into schools and other public places.
Tonight, in Tom's Corner, Tom Van Howe says the veto kept us from following a disturbing path.
I have this nagging suspicion that if the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, had not occurred, Governor Snyder would have signed that legislation.
But the enormity of what happened last Friday in that quiet little school in a bucolic New England town played a huge role in changing his mind. And maybe the whole country.
It's one thing to keep a loaded weapon someplace in your home for protection. It's quite another to turn Michigan into a 21st century version of the wild west.
It makes my blood run cold when I hear people, including at least one legislator at the federal level, say it would have been great if the principal of the Sandy Hook Elementary School had been armed and blown Adam Lanza's head clean off.
To start arming everyone, and allowing everyone to carry would benefit only the companies who make weapons.
It would be saying, in effect, that yes, we know, are aware, and accept that fact that we are a violent country...
That we are okay with our absolutely horrifying homicide rate that is 30 times that of France or Australia, and 12 times higher than the average for other developed countries.
We may have slipped in jobs, health care, student achievement, and manufacturing, but no country has ever been quite so good at watching its citizens kill each other off.
We can't even muster the strength to make assault rifles—like the one used by Adam Lanza—illegal.
Let's be honest: You know it, I know it—those weapons are designed for warfare. Designed to kill the most people with the least effort.
I know full well there are people who say they need Bushmasters for target practice and deer hunting. That doesn't mean for a second that I believe them.
Since last Friday, people all over the country are stocking up on AR-15 style attack weapons.
They're flying off the shelves—apparently in direct response to President Obama when he said the other day he would seek to reduce gun violence.
I mean how dare he try to meddle our second amendment right to be a violent, murderous, country.
And if by some cosmic link we were able to sit down and discuss that question with any of the framers of the Constitution, I think we'd find them appalled.
So rather than create the potential for even more heartbreak and sorrow by arming everyone, in schools and churches and ball games, we've got to start, instead, to make our gun laws less and less permissive regarding their sale and possession.
As Fareed Zakaria pointed out yesterday—with just five percent of the world's population, the United States has 50 percent of the world's guns.
Its lunacy. And its largely the result of the political clout found in a number of right-leaning organizations, not the least of which is the National Rifle Association.
Its time to stand up to them. Its time to start turning this thing around.
And assault rifles would be a good first target. A good place to start.
And, if not now...When?
From this corner...I'm Tom Van Howe.