Newtown, Connecticut

I lived the first seven years of my life within fifty miles of Newtown, Connecticut, where today two gunman killed at least 18 elementary school children and a number of adults. I’ve shot guns, owned by exceedingly careful and responsible adults in my family, which I mention in case anyone has the temerity to suggest that I’m a naive liberal with no experience with guns after they read what I’m about to say.

But I really want someone who advocates against gun control to balance the scales for me, to go ahead and try to explain to me why the inconvenience suffered by gun owners and prospective gun owners under much tighter restrictions on the purchase of guns and ammunition outweighs the death of children in their classrooms, a place where they’re not just supposed to be safe, but to thrive. Explain to me why their suffering is worse than that of the people who died, and lost family members, in the rampage at Aurora, Colorado, where they were drawn to a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises out of enthusiasm, because it’s a time when parents with infants can see a movie and trust that they’ll sleep through the screening. Please, balance out for me, the loss of Gabby Giffords’ potential with impatience at a waiting period, or frustration at not being able to fire a certain number of bullets per minute. Because this is the choice we make, every time. And I’m terrified to watch us make it again.