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It’s time to talk about guns

December 20, 2012
By Andy Heller , Daily Press

FLINT - Not long after the news of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre broke, I wrote on my Facebook page, "Tell me again how wonderful it is to have unfettered access to all guns and all ammo at all times? Thanks NRA."

It wasn't long before people were posting back that it was "too soon" to be talking about guns.

"I think it is a little sick to be playing politics when people are dead," one wrote.

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Andy Heller

Wow, deja vu.

Isn't that the same thing people said last August after an Army veteran shot six people to death inside a Sikh temple in Wisconsin?

And a month before that, didn't people say, "This isn't the time to talk about guns," when James Holmes dyed his hair Joker-red and took four guns into a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., murdering 12 and wounded 58?

And a few months before that, after a former student shot and killed seven people at a Korean college in Oakland, Calif., didn't people say, "How dare you bring up restricting guns now! Let us grieve first then maybe we'll talk"?

And in 2011, when Jared Loughner took a Glock and shot former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the head outside a Safeway then blew away six other people for good measure, didn't the nation shrug at the notion of gun control and say, "Not now, we're healing"?

And wasn't that pretty much the same thing people said in 2009 after an Army psychiatrist shot up Fort Hood in Texas, killing 13 and wounding 29?

And the same thing they said in 2008 after a gunman - angry about not winning construction contracts - went on a shooting spree inside City Hall in Kirkwood, Mo., killing six?

And the same thing they said in 2007 when a South Korean student with mental issues used semiautomatic pistols with hollow point cartridges to calmly murder 32 people across the campus of Virginia Tech, the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history to date? And the same thing they said in 2006 when a 28-year-old gunman massacred seven in Seattle. And the same thing they said in 2003 when a Lockheed Martin employee shot up his plant, wounding 14 and killing seven? And the same thing they said in 1999 when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold - the teenage founders of the modern massacre movement - used an arsenal to wipe out 13 and wound 21others inside Columbine High School in Colorado?

I'm sure you get my point by now: After each slaughter, we've said the same thing: Now's not the time to talk about guns.

So may I not-so-politely ask: When the heck IS it going to be the right time, America? Is there a certain body count we're waiting for - 50 at a time, 100? Or maybe it's a busyness thing. You know how crazy everyone's schedule is these days. Maybe we should just get something on the calendar right now: "Next Tuesday, talk about our



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