In the wake of the Newtown massacre, gun nuts demanded nothing be done to curb access to firearms. Instead, they insisted we need to beef up our mental health system. And, besides, our society would be safer with more guns, not less.

So what did the North Carolina legislature do? They introduced bills that have passed the state house that would allow guns in restaurants and bars, on college campuses and in public parks. As for that mental health stuff? Not a thing. They don’t really believe in helping people, but they know a good sound bite when they hear one.

The Republicans in the legislature believe that the best way to counter a mentally ill person with a gun is a supposedly sane person with a gun. In their John Wayne world, the good guy with the gun kills the bad guy before he can do too much damage. In reality, we will likely have deaths from trigger happy would-be heroes, collateral damage from shootouts and an uptick in sane drunk people shooting each other.

Hey, it’s the price we pay for freedom.

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