NRA’s Wayne LaPierre says, “The only thing that stops a bad person with gun is a good person with a gun. Arm the teachers, arm the principals, sell more guns.” I say, “Malarkey!”

We already own more guns than any nation on the planet. We also have more gun violence. Obviously, guns like the AR-15 do not keep our kids safe but make them vastly more vulnerable. No one is against the Second Amendment. No one is suggesting we take guns away from hunters or from people wanting protection. But weapons of war have no place in our society. And we all know those horrors like Parkland are caused by mentally ill people. To do such a thing, you have to be sick unto death. Of course, we need to promote mental health and background checks. But we also need to ban guns that kill in mass numbers. One single teacher could not possibly take down a shooter with an assault rifle until the shooter has already mowed down lots of kids. And in a crowded school, the resulting crossfire is too awful to ponder.


Archbishop Rummel students including Maddux Meariman, left, and Luke Lemonier pray during a candlelight service at the University of Holy Cross school in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans, La. on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. With violence erupting over Mardi Gras and the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida, officials from the University of Holy Cross invited members of the New Orleans community to join in a prayer for peace and lighting of candles. The students from Rummel were moved by what happened last week in Florida and came to pray in solidarity.

It seems simple. We can’t cure all the sick people quickly, but until we do, we can keep war weapons out of their hands, thus reducing their capacity to kill by leaps and bounds. But as always, the NRA sees the Parkland kids’ deaths as an opportunity to boost sales. We “adults” have not stopped the greedy gun lobby, and now surviving children struggle mightily to end their own carnage.

What kind of nation do we live in?

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Jean Sellmeyer Smith