Q: What does it take for a gun advocate in Arizona to understand the danger and violence of guns?
A: How about getting shot point-blank in the face at a meet-and-greet session outside your district’s local Grocery store?
Before I continue, I must clarify that I don’t endorse gun violence, I’m not a vengeful person, and I’m in no way suggesting that U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords deserved to be shot this morning. I am, however, reading this breaking news story within the context of gun violence in America.
This morning at approximately 11:00, Democrat Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head while at a Safeway grocery store meeting her constituents. The alleged gunman—a twenty-two-year old male—approached Giffords and opened fire, striking at least twelve in attendance, including a nine-year-old girl, who has since been pronounced dead. Four others have also been pronounced dead, including federal judge John Roll. Giffords is in critical condition.
I am sensitive to the victims of this tragedy, and to the families of the recently deceased. I am sensitive to the eye-witnesses in Tucson and the traumas they endured this morning. I am not sensitive, however, to a state that openly allows people to walk around with guns. When you allow guns, people will use them; when you allow guns, people get shot.
According to Title 13, Chapter 31 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, guns need not be registered or licensed in the state. In fact, Arizona has a law in place prohibiting any political subdivision of the law from enacting any laws requiring licensing or registration.
In Arizona, once you turn eighteen, you can legally purchase a gun. When you turn twenty-one, you can purchase and carry a handgun. I wouldn’t trust an eighteen-year-old with my Metropass, let alone entrust him with a life-taking weapon.
My thoughts are with this Arizona Congresswoman. I wish her a full recovery, and my heart goes out to her family. I also hope that when she recovers—if she recovers— Giffords learns that while she and the other adult victims of this morning’s tragedy chose to live in a state that allows its citizens to bear arms, that dead nine-year old never made that choice. She will never have the chance to make that choice. She was truly the victim