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If only we could eliminate idiots 


After reading Mr. Goodman’s rambling rant in the latest New Times issue (“It’s time to dust off your copy of The Crucible,” Jan. 20), I thought that a well-considered riposte was in order.

First of all, his list is absurd. Yes, cars don’t drive drunk, drunk people drive cars and so forth. So what? Obviously society and laws place the responsibility for the deeds committed on the individual who is responsible for committing these actions.

We’re talking about a mass killing. The real point, which Mr. Goodman conveniently ignored, is that people use existing laws to obtain 30-round magazines to efficiently kill people. If these were not available, perhaps Mr. Loughner would have killed fewer people. Only an idiot would disagree with this. If he had used a kitchen knife, he would not have had such a high death toll.

The justice system will hold Mr. Loughner accountable for his actions. The larger question is that if we had more stringent gun laws, perhaps we would have lower death tolls, because if recent history is any indication, this will happen again and again.

No one has said we can eliminate evil. I, for one, would be happy if we could get rid of idiots. Alas, this is only wishful thinking. Perhaps, if the Founding Fathers had foreseen machine guns, laser sights, and 30-round magazines, the Second Amendment would have been eliminated from the Bill of Rights.

After all, things were different in the late 18th century when the most advanced weapons were flintlocks. Who knows? Definitely not Mr. Goodman.

Nevertheless, the Second Amendment is here to stay. This tragedy will change nothing. The rest of his diatribe was rather amusing. Yes, I think most progressives understand metaphors. After all, if right-wing nut-jobs understand them, then I think progressives also understand them. Perhaps Mr. Goodman can exercise his Second Amendment rights during a TSA inspection at an airport. That would certainly make the news.

He then goes on to complain about the metaphorical lynching of talk radio, Sarah Palin, free press, and gun rights. Sounds like the rhetorical right-wing laundry list. I’m surprised he didn’t throw the bogeyman in there.

In short, everybody has a right to an opinion. The Bill of Rights is here to stay, and I don’t see anything changing this

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