I have to admit I don’t understand the fear that needs to hide behind a gun. I understand the need to feel safe, which includes a right to self-defense, but I do not understand how any talk of curbing gun violence triggers such hysterical and irrational reactions from some gun advocates.

The people that heckled the grieving parent of a child shot down at Sandy Hook School when he tried to speak to the Connecticut legislature in no way represent responsible gun owners, but they do represent the part of gun advocacy I understand least. I understand wanting to defend one’s home, or to hunt, or simply to collect guns as a hobby. What I do not understand is the unwillingness of rational gun owners to have a conversation about why private ownership of nuclear weapons, or tanks, or military grade machine guns is a bad idea. Very few gun owners would defend private ownership of those kinds of weapons, so why are they not rising up to refute the insanity of the NRA?

I am not a gun owner, but I am willing to concede and defend another’s right to bear arms. It seems to me the other side of that conversation would be for gun advocates to admit that there is a limit to the kinds of weapons that can be privately owned in a civilized society. If I were a gun advocate, I would feel it my duty to denounce the people who heckled a grieving parent simply because he wants to limit gun violence. It is one thing to disagree, but we usually heckle only when we cannot bear to hear the truth another has to say.