Comment: Gregory Clay — The gun game is out of control


Before May 24, most of us had never heard of Uvalde, Texas. Now it’s on the map for a reason. It is the home of Robb Elementary School, where 19 students and two teachers died in a mass shooting.

It’s easier to buy a gun than formula these days.

Tio Hardiman, leader of the Violence Interrupters in Chicago, advocates the use of body armor for students.

“You need a thin version of the body armor around the chest so it’s not so bulky for kids, starting around 6 or 7 years old,” Hardiman said. “And they should wear a bulletproof backpack. Everything you need to save the children.

Hardiman estimates the two pieces of protection would cost around $650, with around $250 for the chest protector.

Remember the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018, in which 17 people were killed. A few weeks later, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote an eight-paragraph opinion column for the New York Times. Stevens wrote, “In 1939, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that weapon had no reasonable relationship to the preservation or effectiveness of a “well-regulated militia”.

So, couldn’t this logic apply to an AR-15 or an AK-47?

Stevens added, “The support is a clear sign for lawmakers to pass legislation banning civilian possession of semi-automatic weapons, raising the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21, and establishing more comprehensive background checks on all firearms buyers. But protesters should seek more effective and lasting reform. They should demand the repeal of the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment is only 27 poorly constructed words: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

The NRA has spearheaded a national cause — and therefore a fervent following — based on the second half of that sentence.

Former judge Warren Burger called the amendment a “fraud”. In a 1991 interview with correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault on PBS’s “The MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour,” Burger essentially claimed that the Second Amendment was antiquated — particularly the “well-regulated militia” part.

As usual, Republicans and Democrats say it’s time to discuss bipartisan legislation. But as Hardiman adds: “Talking means nothing. The NRA is too strong.

And the NRA swears by that second half of the Second Amendment sentence — you know, the part about “keeping and bearing arms…” — as a source of absolutism.

Perhaps that’s why Ron DeSantis, the Republican Governor of Florida, vetoed $35 million in public funding for the Tampa Bay Rays’ new player development center. Note that the veto came after the Rays tweeted anti-gun messages.

Many gun owners agree with DeSantis.

The statistics are amazing:

  • There are 120 guns for every 100 Americans; the next closest country is the Falkland Islands, at 62 percent.
  • There are 330 million people living in the United States, with 393 million guns.

Jillian Peterson knows the routine well. She is a professor of criminology and criminal justice at Hamline University (Minnesota) and author of “The Violence Project”. That means she studies mass shooters.

His remarks on CNN about their thought processes were profound: “We interviewed perpetrators of school shootings who told us, I went there SPECIFICALLY because I knew there was an armed officer there who was going to kill me. The perpetrators plan to commit suicide, be killed by law enforcement, or spend the rest of their lives in prison.

We’ve seen this scenario too many times.

Gregory Clay is a Washington columnist and former associate sports editor for McClatchy-Tribune News Service. He wrote this for


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