The school shooting in Chardon is tragic.

I cannot imagine what it is like to be a parent of murdered child. Or a student who no longer feels safe at school. Or a teacher with a double burden of personal safety and protecting their students. I cannot imagine.

I have heart clenching terror when I put myself in their shoes, but I would not insult them by believing that I can know what its like.

I grew up around violence and with lots of kids who experienced “broken homes” similar to that of the shooter. That violence was mostly directed inward – to the self, to relatives, to girlfriends. Even street violence has some logic to it. Robbery, gang fighting, drug wars. This modern, execution style violence has no logic that I can follow.

A unifying fact that cannot be denied is the use of guns to commit these crimes. The NRA and gun enthusiasts will begin their howling about how “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” even before the victims are buried. The arguments that a person bent on violence will use any weapon (“knife, bat or words”) so blaming guns is illogical, is specious until there is evidence of a “mass stabbing” at a school.

The truth is people with guns kill people.

Handguns are like no other weapon. Their only purpose is to kill people. Whether you call the person you are killing an intruder, an enemy or a classmate, the purpose of the handgun is to kill people. How is the access to guns not part of the problem? How does restricting handguns and assault weapons infringe on the right to bear arms or hunt? This is not what the 2nd amendment is about.

Do people even notice that there a two-page pull out section in the paper today advertising handguns for sale at Fin & Feather? Camo and deer blinds I get, two solid pages of handguns (.38 specials etc.) ranging in price from $150 – $1,500, I don’t get. Why is this acceptable?

I hope in the months to come the media coverage does not focus on those people who vociferously proclaim they will now buy and carry their own handgun in order to feel safe. None of those students who were shot in the back or the back of the head, had any chance to defend themselves.

Knowing one more person owns a gun does not make me feel safe.