A player from the Kansas City Chiefs murders the mother of their three-month old child and then heads to the Chief’s facilities and shoots himself in front of coaches and teammates.

In Florida, a man decides that a teenage patron at a convenience store is playing his music too loud, so he does what any reasonable person would do. He gets his hand gun and murders the young man.

And there will be some of you who will object to my renewed call for the elimination of hand guns in the United States.

You can keep your rifles and shotguns and defend your home with them in the extremely unlikely event someone breaks into your home. You can keep those weapons that are, after all, much more useful against the government should you feel the need to engaged in armed rebellion. The argument that you need a handgun to defend your home just doesn’t hold water.

You see, you can’t tuck a rifle down your pants and march into the facilities of a professional football team unnoticed. You can’t sneak up on someone as dangerous as a loud music player carrying a shotgun. Because a handgun has only one advantage over a long gun, and because that advantage is that it can be easily concealed, a handgun is the weapon of cowards. I live in an area where I hear gun shots every day and night. Most of them aren’t close, but some of them are. I work in areas where I hear gunshots regularly, many of them less than a city block away. I can tell you from personal experience being in close proximity to shots being fired on a rather regular basis that there has never been an opportunity for me to have used a gun to stop or respond to anything – and I am literally in the middle of it.  There is very little reason to believe that if you carried a handgun every day you would ever be able to intervene in any situation in a meaningful way.

Handguns are the weapon of lost tempers and situations gone wrong. They are no sporting weapons. Rather, they are remnants of one of the most violent times in American history. Their fans today are modern-day cowboys who lack any of the real danger of a real cowboy and also lack the sense to use their weapon appropriately. I’m sorry, Mr. “I have the right to defend myself,” but you don’t need to do it with a handgun. There are many ways to defend your home with more effective weapons that would make it harder for the disturbed and the foolish to end people’s lives indiscriminately. Insisting that your right to use a handgun instead of a rifle or shotgun is more important than the lives of everyone murdered with a handgun each year is nothing more than a sick blend of narcissism and selfishness that is most unattractive.

What will it take to wake us up?

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