It isn't about the weapons...

First of all, my deepest sympathy and condolences go out to the German families and community that experienced the horror of a multiple murder in one of that country's schools today.

That said, I have to make the none-too-original point that some of the strictest weapon-control laws in Europe failed to stop this terrible crime from being carried out.

To the dismay of many of my more progressive pals, with whom I agree on lots of other issues, I am in favor of as little government control of guns as possible. I never want to live in a society where only the police and the military have access to guns. Also, I grew up in the 1970s and 80s in a very rural area of Tennessee, where every farm home had a shotgun and/or rifle or two hanging on a rack on the living room wall. These guns were not locked up and my childhood friends who lived in these homes no more would have considered taking their parents' guns down and messing around with them than they would have decided to drive their father's tractor onto the front porch.

Since becoming a parent myself, I've had to decide how to handle the gun play issue. I wrote an essay about it which you can read here.