I take you first to the movie APOLLO 13.  Astronauts Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon and Tom Hanks have been traveling in their severely wounded spacecraft for quite awhile now.  Answers are slow in coming from the command center in Houston, and tempers are getting edgy.  Kevin Bacon hits his head on the craft and bellows out in anger.  Bill Paxton yowls back at him.  They engage in some anger, close to blows, definitely in the area of strong verbal accusations about who is at fault for their predicament.  Tom Hanks, playing commander of the flight Jim Lovell, quells the two fiery astronauts.  He tells them, firmly and strongly, that it was nobody’s fault — if he had been in the seat when the call came up, HE would have made the move that caused the onboard explosion.  Kevin Bacon complains that there have been no answers from earth, and that they don’t know what to do down there, so the astronauts are left to their own devices.  Tom points out strongly in a stern, commanderlike voice, “You are worrying about something ‘way down the line.  We have a thousand steps to do, and you’re worried about step 945.  We’re on step 8.  We’re not gonna go bouncing off each other here.  Not now!”

That’s where we are in this latest gun control conversation.  We are at step 8.  SANDY HOOK rekindled the matter less than a month ago.  We are still in the midst of the hurt and the pain.  We are still shuddering at the pictures of those children, at the stories of the heroism of the adults in that school.  We are still grieving, still sorrowful, still angry, still confused.

So now, so many things are being said about gun control that just strike me like Kevin Bacon’s attitude.

Gun control proponents think that limiting or banning large magazines on guns, and even banning such weapons provide the solution.   Questions about a national registry of mentally ill people is being raised.  Background checks for anyone buying a gun, whether in a store or at a gun show.  There are comparisons online about how one has to be put through a background check to sell tickets at a local high school game, but that same person wouldn’t have to have a background check to buy a gun at a gun show.

Gun control opponents pull out the Charlton Heston line about guns and prying them out of cold dying fingers.  Posts are made on FACEBOOK about how Hitler said this or that about guns, and how ironic it is that we’re going that same way.  Words abound that all gun owners will lose every gun they own.  Comparisons have been made that there have been this many deaths via assault weapons, but there have been so many more deaths via drunk drivers or doctors who screw up in surgeries and why aren’t we doing anything about those?.

We are a good long distance from an answer as to what to do.  I think we’ll end up with a solution that addresses things as they are now.  In another 5 years, the logic we may apply to today may not be relevant and we’ll have to go through it all over again.

A rather scary prediction: no matter what we do, sooner or later we’re going to lose people when somebody finds a way to deploy an Iraq-style roadside bomb to take out a school bus or some similar situation…. No established gun laws, nor any repeal of guns laws, will matter when that happens.  There where will we be?  (PS – I know.  I shouldn’t be giving people ideas — but you know what?  I’m relatively sane — you can bet someone else has already thougth of it……)

In the meantime folks, back off the hard sell, easy on the emotional solutions.

We’re not gonna go bouncing off each other here.  Not now.

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