As expected, there will be no ban on assault weapons in the Senate gun bill. And it doesn’t appear that the limit on magazine size will be in there, either. As I’ve said before, we love our kids, but we worship our guns. And now we know that the slaughter of 20 first-grade children and 6 teachers isn’t enough to bump the needle when it comes to gun control in the United States. The NRA’s “any gun, any time, anyone, anywhere” philosophy is used like a bludgeon any time the slightest limit on any gun is proposed. So if the bar isn’t set at 20 children, where is it? 30? 40? Maybe Girl Scouts selling cookies? I’m not necessarily arguing for a ban on assault weapons, or any particular restriction. I’m just wondering what it will take to spark a real discussion on guns in America, without the specter of the NRA looming over any politician who dares to speak against them. Because somewhere down the line, some incident will take place that is so horrific that the discussion will start, and will be driven by those who want to bring about the extensive ban that the gun nuts and survivalists fear. Frederick the Great said “Little minds try to defend everything at once, but sensible people look at the main point only; they parry the worst blows and stand a little hurt if thereby they avoid a greater one. If you try to hold everything, you hold nothing.” Unfettered freedom has never been a part of the American tradition. A willingness to accept some moderate restrictions now might avert more severe restrictions later, but that isn’t the NRA’s way. So they win another round, and the deaths of 20 little children in a classroom in Connecticut will have resulted in little more than an astounding increase in sales of AR-15s and ammunition. The right of the people to bear tragedy after tragedy shall not be infringed.