October 18, 1991

The police in Killeen, Texas, profess mystification over what led George J. Hennard to burst into a restaurant and kill 22 people who were having lunch. But regardless of what dark motives may have lurked within Hennard, there is on one thing virtually every reasonable person can agree upon: He was insane. If he was not, then we need to redefine insanity.

But what of other people who came forward after this dreadful event took place? The victims' bodies were not even cold before a spokesman for the gun lobby said the massacre only proved that people needed guns to protect themselves. If that person really believes that, then he is as insane as George J. Hennard.

On the day after the massacre, during debate in the House of Representatives on a gun-control bill so weak as to be virtually irrelevant, a United States congressman noted that not long ago a woman had stabbed her baby to death with a pair of scissors, and that if we ban guns, we should ban scissors. If that man really believes that, then he is as insane as George J. Hennard.

When the roll was called in the House on Thursday, 247 elected representatives voted down this almost-trivial gun-control measure largely on the grounds that to pass the bill would deprive Americans of their Second Amendment right to own weapons. If those 247 men and women really believe that, then they are as insane as George J. Hennard.

But of course we all know perfectly well that neither the gun-lobby spokesman nor the congressman who compares scissors to pistols nor the 247 men and women who voted against the gun-control bill are insane.

No, they are hypocrites and cowards.

And that makes them worse than George J. Hennard.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.