Thank God my brother was working from home when the umpteenth butthole with a gun this year walked into Dean’s usual place of work and shot someone, then killed himself. That was the other day at UCLA. By the time you read this, another gun tragedy (or twenty) will have taken place, guaranteed.

My mom was shaking when she heard the news. So was my brother. So was my friend whose son studies on campus and passes that building every day.

This isn’t the first time my peaceful, loving brother has faced gun violence. A robber held a shaking gun to his temple many years ago, demanding his wallet and his girlfriend’s purse. No one ever caught the guy.

Nor is this the first time my family has faced unspeakable violence caused by un-legislated handguns. Before my adopted sister joined our family, she had her own family. While she was lying in bed in a Detroit suburb many years ago, a man calmly walked into her home, shot her mother’s best friend, put a pillow over her mother’s face and shot her, then he shot my sister. Miraculously, the bullet just grazed her head.

She’s part of our family now, so is her husband and incredible daughter. Her birth-brother, not surprisingly, grew up to become a cop. He was still a baby in the home when the shootings took place and was un-touched, at least physically. That tragedy colors almost every part of her life, 35 years later.

And then there’s my other brother who was menaced by an ex-felon who purchased almost an entire gun, piece-by-piece, online. His father bought the last, critical piece and gave it to him, circumventing the flimsy rules supposedly keeping felons away from firearms. The guy also bought thousands of rounds of ammunition, all perfectly legally, and boasted around the office that my brother Scott would be one of his first targets. Thankfully people spoke up and he was arrested.

It’s tempting to wring our hands, blame mental illness and say “There’s nothing we can do about it. If Sandy Hook didn’t change things, nothing will.”

It would be understandable if you felt that way.  It’s not your fault. Feeble-minded NRA-backed Republican congressmen — whose grip on reality is so tenuous, that they can’t even admit climate change is real — have made sure nothing gets done about anything, let alone gun violence. They are the ones to blame, along with the NRA and their campaign to eliminate research into the public health effect of firearms.

These same dimwitted politicians claim the Constitution allows everyone to carry machine guns, infinite amounts of ammunition and rapid fire handguns. Nope, not even close. Let me write this carefully and clearly, so any GOP legislator or NRA stooge reading it can understand. Back when the Constitution was written, it took 20 to 30 seconds to load one shot into your gun. Furthermore, they also wrote that arms and militias should be “well regulated.”

The NRA doesn’t like that part of the Constitution. They only like partial sentences in our nation’s founding document. They must think it’s okay to pick and choose.

Republican lawmakers may be too stupid to understand the Constitution as well. But they keep claiming protection for assault weapons under its auspices (HINT: “auspices” means “authority). The Constitution also mandates that the Senate vote on Supreme Court members, but obviously Republicans couldn’t read that far; it’s a big document, written for educated people.

So until intelligent people take over Congress, why don’t we circumvent those dopes who don’t understand science, math, research and common sense. Let’s have a national dialog until then.

Everything can be done about this insane gun problem. Nothing is off the table.

Here are just a few questions we should talk about:

  • Who needs armor piercing bullets?

  • What about closing loopholes that allow guns to be purchased at gun shows?

  • Where would it make sense to begin the discussion about online weapons sales?

  • When can we begin talking about an assault weapons ban?

  • Why don’t we limit the number of bullets a clip can hold?

  • How about we limit the number of guns you can own?

Look, 30,000 Americans die every year due to gun violence. Only a few thousand more die in traffic accidents. Cars, roads, drivers and practically everything dealing with them are regulated by the federal government. WE NEED GUN CONTROL.

It’s time to stop listening to the lies. We have been in this abusive relationship far too long. We can change the pattern of abuse.

We must!