“I’m not going to be able to do it by myself,” President Obama said yesterday, during a press conference announcing his formation of a gun-control task force.

“Ultimately,” he continued, “if this effort is to succeed, it’s going to require the help of the American people–it’s going to require all of you.  If we’re going to change things, it’s going to take a wave of Americans–mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, pastors, law enforcement, mental health professionals–and, yes, gun owners–standing up and saying ‘enough’ on behalf of our kids.”

To which I say, I’m with you Mr. President.  Count me in.  Enough!

Enough of permitting the sale to civilians of military-style assault rifles.  No self-respecting hunter would suggest that such weapons serve any legitimate purpose.

Enough of permitting the sale to civilians of multi-round ammunition magazines.  No reasonable gun owner can argue that machine-gun-style shooting capability is necessary for self-defense.

Enough of permitting the unregulated, unrestricted sale of firearms at gun shows.  No honest gun advocate can articulate a sound argument for treating gun show sales any differently from gun store sales.

Enough of gun zealots arguing that the solution to gun violence is more guns–that if the teachers and administrators at Sandy Hook Elementary School were armed, they could have used those arms to fend off Adam Lanza.  That strategy–arming up to ensure the capability of defending oneself and one’s loved ones–didn’t quite pan out for Lanza’s mother, Nancy, who, according to all accounts, purchased and kept her firearms for the principal purpose of self-defense, only to have those very weapons turned against her, with tragic results.

Enough of religious zealots arguing that the solution to gun violence is “god”–that if prayer and other religious observances were regularly permitted and promoted in public schools, the power and influence of some almighty deity would result in a pure and sanctified environment in which sociopathological violence could not occur.  That strategy didn’t seem to work too well for all those children in Catholic schools and congregations, not only in America but around the world, whose lives were forever scarred by the sexual crimes of the very men who preached religious gospel.

And enough, already, of the absolutist-to-the-point-of-maniacal ideology of the National Rifle Association.  Sensible heads across the entire political spectrum–left, right, and middle–have all in recent days acknowledged that a tipping point has been reached in the debate between those who insist that any regulation of firearms is an unconstitutional affront to freedom, and those who urge instead that, just as shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater is not protected by the First Amendment, neither is the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms immune from the setting of parameters necessary for the common good.  Let’s just hope that the good sense and clear thought which seem to be tipping the scales in favor of the latter view persist and solidify sufficiently enough to overcome any opposing efforts the NRA might mount.

“How many deaths,” Bob Dylan sang, “will it take ’til he knows that too many people have died?”  For the victims at Sandy Hook–and Virginia Tech, and Aurora, and Tucson, and on and on–the answer is no longer blowin’ in the wind. 

The answer is:  Enough! 

~~Kenn Shapiro

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