Leaders of the National Rifle Association call it the "fight of the century," hoping its more zealous warriors will buy even more guns. But here's the thing. If guns make us safe, how come we have more killing sprees than any other country in the civilized world?
Not one NRA spokesperson (the "R" stands for rifles, not AK-47s) has come up with a reasonable explanation as to why average citizens need assault weapons with high-capacity magazines. Some try the "armed militia" card, insisting the Second Amendment means every citizen must stand ready to overthrow the government. If Pentagon forces landed in somebody's yard, you'd need missiles and armored tankers.
After Newtown, Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, said we need more guns: "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." The Rev. Jim Wallis, head of the Christian group Sojourners, calls that kind of thinking "morally mistaken" and "religiously repugnant":
"The world is not full of good and bad people. That is not what our scriptures teach us, but that each individual is both good and bad … and when we are bad or isolated or angry or furious or vengeful or politically agitated or confused or lost or deranged or unhinged, and we have the ability to get and use weapons only designed to kill large numbers of people, our society is in great danger."