NORWALK, Conn. – Can there be more depressing news on the threshold of Easter, Christianity’s most sacred observance, and Passover, a time of celebration for Jews, than the recent article by Matt Kiernan in The Hour that pistol permit applications have “skyrocketed” in Fairfield County?
He explains that “Since December 2012, police departments in towns such as Redding and Ridgefield [and Norwalk] have had double or even triple the number of people coming in to apply for pistol permits than the previous year.” That’s an increase of 28 percent in Redding, 47 percent in Ridgefield and 47 percent in Norwalk.
In Stamford, the percentages are even more interesting, “The Stamford Police Department has received a total of 334 applications so far this year,” the article states. “That number nearly matches all of 2012’s 419 applications. ‘That’s like an explosion,’ said Stamford Police Capt. Richard Conklin.”
In affluent Weston, the police department reports that, “It’s taken four less months for the number of permit applications in Weston to surpass last year’s figures,” according to the article.
And that is just a sampling of what’s going on here in placid, affluent, church-going Fairfield County. Is this what was meant by our founders when they mentioned a “well regulated militia”? Did Jesus Christ or the Buddha or Father Abraham or Mohammed recommend that their followers be constantly armed to ward off offenders with big rocks, knives, spears, swords, pistols or bazookas or whatever instruments of destruction might be available to their time and place?
I think not. That is why, as a civilized society and taking into account the vagaries of the human spirit, we have elected instead to have an official military, a state militia, competent police throughout and that is why all our religions attempt to teach us self control and restraint in all things and compassion and understanding for the unstable amongst us.
What is wrong with us? Is our society so tense and paranoid that citizens choose to arm themselves and be prepared to live their entire lives under tenuous and fragile restraints – too often lost to passionate impulses – to commit mayhem at any real or imagined provocation?
We need to think about it before we continue to arm ourselves.
Happy Easter, Joyous Passover, Allah be with you, Blessings from the Buddha, Welcome Spring or whatever…