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Folks --

I need to let you know that I am tired. And I am done.

I don’t suppose I need to tell you how horrific this week has been. On Monday the Boston Marathon was bombed. On Wednesday, the Senate voted against enforcing basic, simple, common-sense gun registration requirements. Tonight, a MIT police officer was fatally shot at the scene of an armed robbery. That took place about two blocks from where I work.

Look: a lot of you are gun enthusiasts. You’re the epitome of responsible gun owners, in fact: you are fastidious about keeping your guns safely away from young kids and you don’t leave your weapons lying around unsupervised. Some of you don’t even keep your guns in your house. I believe, absolutely, that a gun in your possession is safer than a gun in almost anyone else’s hands, and I am grateful to you for being responsible with your weapons.

But still: I am tired. And I am done.

I am tired of hoping that we can reach a sensible “compromise” on gun control, where “compromise” means something like prohibiting dealers from selling guns to convicted violent felons or people who are actively mentally ill. And I am done with being patient with the long game, done with waiting for incremental progress in dribs and drabs.

I am tired of hearing about another child who accidentally shot himself with his father’s legally bought and registered gun, another woman shot and killed by her husband with their legally bought and registered gun, another teenage kid killed in a drive-by shooting with a gun that was legally bought and registered before being stolen and sold on the black market. I am tired of hearing these things. And I am done with the argument that firearms that are bought and registered legally, by law-abiding citizens, pose no threat whatsoever to other law-abiding citizens.

I am tired of reading about yet another mass shooting by someone who, up until that moment, was a law-abiding gun owner. And I am done with the claim that a gun purchased for “self-defense” is more likely to be used in self-defense than in committing a crime.

I am done with considering incidents like these an acceptable, inevitable cost of the freedoms guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

These costs are not acceptable. They are not acceptable and they are not inevitable. It is possible for reasonable people to support the right to keep and bear arms, and at the same time to accept some reasonable, common-sense restrictions on that right. We saw reasonable people make exactly that decision this week in the Senate -- overruled, unfortunately, by a slim minority of senators terrified of being unseated by the NRA.

You folks who are reading this: if this is not something you can agree with, and you don’t think that you can agree to disagree, I will understand if you choose to leave my friends list. I will not hold it against you and I will continue to consider you a friend. But you must know where I stand:

The NRA today is, quite literally, the enemy of the American people. It acts against the best interests of every single person in this country.

The bombs that were used against the Boston Marathon on Monday were pressure cookers filled with gunpowder and shrapnel. Right now, as of this writing, investigators have a better chance of tracing the pressure cookers to their point of manufacture and sale than the gunpowder. And that is largely a result of the NRA’s lobbying to prevent adding chemical tags to gunpowder to facilitate tracing its purchase.

That is insane. It is insane. There is no other word that can reasonably be applied to it. It is insane.

It is past time for us to wait for this problem to get fixed. It is time to act, and it is time to start with the 46 Senators who voted in favor of selling guns to violent felons and the mentally ill.

So you see, my friends and loves, I do love you, and I am grateful for everything you do. I really am. But I am tired. And I am done.
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34 comments
Greg S.
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Well said, sir. I am in complete agreement. 
 
Eloquently written Tim, thank you and good luck to you and your fellow countrymen and women in your attempts to sort out this problem. You must, not only for your own sakes but crucially, your nation's standing in the world's eyes depends on it.
 
So, what are you going to do? Shoot those 46 Senators with legally bought gun?
 
I, for one, am fed up with the apparent idiots who can't tell the difference between "common-sense restrictions" and "a ban on guns."
 
I, for one, am fed up with the conspiracy theory nutjobs who probably have saved searches and come out of the woodwork every time somebody speaks favorably about gun control.
 
Oh, crap, I didn't hit What's Hot, did I?
 
Well said Tim. I agree 100% with you.
 
Turn your TV to the OFF mode. . . You still have that choice, for now. Not sure for how long since you are fine with giving personal control of you life to the someone else.

Remember, when seconds count the police are only minutes away.
 
If you ask me, I'm giving up far more personal control of my life by allowing schizophrenic maniacs to buy semiautomatic rifles.
 
Oh, thank goodness. (They should change the name from "What's Hot" to "What's About To Suck," as a colleague of mine observed.)
 
+Pete Bayliss I often wonder whether those who maintain the right to carry arms in the US would advocate granting us that 'right' in the UK, where gun crime, although clearly an issue, is nowhere near as out of control as appears to be the case in the US.
 
Key phrase "As it appears to be"

The agenda pushers take advantage of a crisis.
 
Demographically and geographically the EU and the US could not be more different, not a reasonable comparison.
 
Yes, the US is never comparable to any other country whatsoever. Unless we're pointing fingers at the EU to prove that 'socialism' can't work.
 
+mathew murphy Isn't it funny how I also hear that argument made when talking about how well universal health care works in other countries.  "American exceptionalism," indeed.
 
Thank you for that honesty, Tim, it means a great deal.
Greg S.
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If you haven't hit What's Hot yet, I suspect you will.  Might want to turn comments off at that point.
 
Well written post.  
 
More than 40% of the Senate endorsed what amounts to a tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory believed by about 4% of the population. The United States Senate proved this week that it is in deep capture to the sort of lunatic nonsense that, were you to hear it from a homeless man on the street, you would call mental illness. 
 
Well Said!  Rather than add my own rant, I will add 2 thoughts:

1. We can have Guns (Anarchy) or we can have Civilization (Rule of Law).  What has been the Humanity's Historical Trend in this regard?

2. Why should it be more difficult to get a drivers license, get a job, rentor buy an apartment or house...I could go on.  These and mony more require background checks and much more.
 
What we all need is less talk about revolution, and more talk about evolution.
Greg S.
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+Michael Adams It's ironic that the ones most interested in cradling their large-clip assault security blankets and muttering about revolution are the least likely to voluntarily participate in any sort of evolution :-( 
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