The very informal poll I took of health care workers suggest that the National Rifle Association missed an opportunity to impress everyone with their calm, clear-headed handling of the current gun control debate. Admittedly, my sample was small: the folks at my dentist's office and the staff at the Red Cross blood donation center.
It was my dentist who made the most concise point. He wondered why the NRA didn't agree to some limited ban on assault rifles and ammunition magazines more than ten rounds. At that moment, he suggested, the rest of the country would have applauded their willingness to appreciate just how difficult this problem has become. As if in response to my dentist's suggestion, the NRA's president, David Keene said on Thursday that his organization has been "generally supportive" of stronger background checks. It was a little difficult to make his comments out, as he was wrapped in the Second Amendment.
Later, as I sat in another comfy reclining chair, the discussion about gun control was a little more pointed as the Red Cross folks went about the chore of relieving me of a pint of my blood. They seemed confused about the need for automatic weapons for any private citizen. Unless those private citizens were suddenly set upon by wave after wave of rabid deer, those assault weapons were probably not being used for hunting. Maybe they were concerned that same herd of feral fawns might attack them inside the city limits. In which case, I suppose, all bets are off.
On the way home from my health care visitations, I pondered the wisdom I had encountered. I thought about the fatigue I heard in the voices of the Red Cross techs. The thing they didn't say was that the blood I was donating was quite possibly going to be used in a hospital emergency room. Maybe even one where the patient was there because of guns. The problem about this whole gun control issue is the bleeding hearts.