From a gun-control standpoint, the Sutherland Springs shooting should cause all sides to concede a few points.
In the wake of the shooting, president Donald Trump said it was a good thing that an armed citizen had a gun that was finally able to injure the shooter.
This is the classic "good guy with a gun" scenario that conservatives love, and like it or not, liberals will have to concede that in this case an armed citizen with a gun likely saved lives. We'll never know how many more lives the shooter may have taken had he gotten away, but it's safe to say that after shooting up an entire church, he probably wasn't finished.
President Trump was right. It's a good thing there was somebody else with a gun.
But those who want to talk about the good that the armed citizen's rifle did cannot do so without acknowledging the bad that the killer's AR-15 did.
In response to an earlier post, one commented on my Facebook feed, "Who took down the shooter...? Conservative, with a gun..."
Indeed, he did. The problem, of course, is just how many people were dead and injured before the conservative with a gun was able to get to him. The harsh reality of this shooting is that even with a good guy with a gun, the final score was Good Guy 1 (injured), Bad Guy 46 (26 dead, 20 injured).
As someone who has spent most of his life, living in the Midwest, I don't have a blanket opposition to guns. People use them to hunt, for sport, and often have a legitimate need for self defense.
The problem with many assault rifles is that their modifications allow them to go far beyond what is needed for hunting, sporting or self-defense. The purpose of these weapons is to take out a large number of people at once. Why, we have to ask ourselves, do we really think we need these weapons in the first place?
That isn't a statement of, "ban them." But it is a question gun-rights supporters should ask themselves.
Some of the talk in recent days among gun-rights supporters has been about the need for more guns in church. I suppose someone could even make the argument we need more AR-15s in church and on the streets in general.
Maybe it's just me, but that doesn't seem like the type of society I want to live in or the church I want to go to, and not one person who wants to try to tell me that more guns make us safer can explain why Canada and Australia aren't a total wreck.
I get the nuances and limits of gun control, but I'm not convinced we have to keep watching episodes like this unfold in our country, more so than any other civilized country in the world combined, and resign ourselves to not being able to do anything about it.