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Each Monday, Tommy Tomlinson delivers thoughtful commentary on an important topic in the news. Through these perspectives, he seeks to find common ground that leads to deeper understanding of complex issues and that helps people relate to what others are feeling, even if they don’t agree.

On My Mind: The Solution To Gun Violence? More Guns, Apparently

Maria Lysenko

You know, maybe some of us have been thinking the wrong way about the gun problem in America all along.


We’ve spent so much time mourning the victims of mass shootings, including 18 who died in the two most recent events, the one in metro Atlanta and the one in Boulder, Colorado.

That’s 18 lives cut short, 18 families who lost a father or mother or spouse or child, 18 people who left behind hundreds of others who will never get over what happened.

Those people are feeling pain, for sure. But what about the pain of the American gun owner?

They are clearly hurting, too. You can tell by how they react to the latest mass murder.

The conservative talk-show host Erick Erickson, out of Atlanta, wrote a heartfelt piece the other day saying how he doesn’t really like guns, and how he understands the desire to control them. This led him to propose … hang on, I’m doublechecking my notes here … yep, this is what he proposes: to give a federally allocated handgun to every single American.

This is the theory of mutually assured destruction – we’ve got nukes, and Russia’s got nukes, and we don’t shoot ours at them because we know they’d shoot theirs at us. Although, to Erickson’s point, it would seem more fair if EVERY country had nukes. What’s poor Canada going to do when the bombs start going off?

Then there’s state Sen. Tom Corbin, of South Carolina, who is clearly in deep pain over gun violence. Because he has introduced a bill to … wait, let me read this again … OK, yep: He wants to make everyone over 17 who can own a gun a legal member of a militia. Basically, he wants to turn South Carolina into a standing army.

His idea is that the Second Amendment refers to “a well-regulated militia,” and the federal government can’t confiscate guns from a militia, so the oppressed and threatened gun owners of South Carolina would be safe to keep their firearms.

I wonder if Dylann Roof, who killed nine Black church members at Bible study in Charleston back in 2015, would be arguing that he was just part of a militia, and, you know, shooting people is what militias do.

It’s clear that by proposing any kind of reasonable gun control, some of us are bruising the feelings of a large segment of the gun-owning population — the segment that wants nothing more for a peaceful America than to give everybody a gun and have nobody be able to take it away.

So make sure to remember those folks, too, the next time we have a mass shooting. And the next. And the next. And the next.

Tommy Tomlinson’s On My Mind column runs Mondays on WFAE and WFAE.org. It represents his opinion, not the opinion of WFAE. You can respond to this column in the comments section below. You can also email Tommy at ttomlinson@wfae.org.

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