Friday, December 14, 2012

Violence, Tragedy, and Gun Control

The United States has been plagued with mass shootings this year and it's time to start talking about what is causing it. Our society cannot continue its self-destructive path.

Too many times, I've heard people say, "Gun control doesn't work because criminals will always have guns."

I suspect that today's shooter in Newtown, CT was not a 'criminal' and probably obtained his guns legally. Let's remember that the people who lost their lives today were not gang members killing each other. It was one man who decided to kill 20 children and 6 adults. They were not deserving of their deaths, they didn't join a life where dying by the gun is an acceptable end. They were going to school.

I live in a state (Texas) where anyone can get a gun in under an hour. This is unacceptable. There is a right to bear arms but that doesn't mean that we have to get them as soon as we want them. Responsible gun owners would be perfectly fine with regulation; that's part of what responsibility entails. If you want a gun, why shouldn't you have to wait for weeks or even months to be approved for purchase?

To drive, you have to go through months of training. There's no such federal law mandating that kind of training for driving but states know that cars are killing machines and long periods of training are necessary before handing out licenses. Guns should be treated the same way. There is no other reason for a gun but to kill or destroy. If you are protecting your house, that's fine. But let's call it what it is. You are in possession of a gun for protection and the means of that protection is to kill the intruder. It is a killing machine.

"Guns don't kill people, people kill people." I'm sick of that cliche. If the shooter had a knife rather than a gun, the scale of his massacre would be no where comparable.

You romantic revolutionaries, pretending that guns are necessary to protect against tyranny: You're wrong. You already have a weapon to protect against tyranny. In fact, you have many: peaceful assembly, freedom of speech, the right to vote, to name a few. What worked for rural colonies no longer works today. Your poster boy, Thomas Jefferson, even acknowledged that constitutions must change otherwise they impose their own tyrannies. The right to bear arms, unregulated, unchecked, is not compatible with our society. It worked when the threat of invasion from the British was real. It worked when people weren't packed like sardines into cities. It worked when not every city had its own armed police force. It worked when there was no national army. We have progressed past the point of that necessity. It is no longer valid.

When you say, "America has a violent history." You're right, but no more violent than any other country. The story of Europe is a story of violence and war, yet they do not have the same problems we do when it comes to citizens killing each other. Our past is no more nor no less violent than any other country. Our present is more violent than most. The madness needs to end.

There are a ton of people, their hearts pointed in the right direction, who waste energy protesting against war. It is any wonder why countries go to war? Just look at the societies they are built on. We are a violent people, we are full of rage, and we are full of pettiness and until we can start treating each other with respect and patience on a personal level, we will always have war on a global scale. We are tearing each other apart from the very bottom, how can we expect our leaders to be any different?

My thoughts are with all of the victims today and I hope that we can make a serious effort to limit the risks of having a government that believes the right to own a gun, unregulated, is greater than the right to live free of fear.


  1. Just couldn't wait to play the gun control angle, could you?

    While you may think its cliche, the bottom line really is that people can and do kill people with guns.

    But I'm sure that you won't let anything like facts get in the way of a infantile rant in the face of a horrific tragedy.

    I'm sure all the people who suffered heartbreak and loss will appreciate your myopic outlook on guns.

    By the way, the guns in question were registered in his mother's name, not his.

    Also, mental illness, while not an acceptable excuse for this horrific event, is what the young man suffered from.

    Like it or not, a gun was his implement of choice. Gun control has absolutely nothing to do with it and to suggest otherwise is foolish.

    1. How is it NOT about guns, GB?

      Sure, it's about mental illness too but if you took guns out of the equation, would this have happened? That's debatable, of course.

      Infantile rant? It's never the 'right' time for the pro-gun civility police to talk about guns. And who are you to speak for the victims? I haven't claimed to speak for them. My heart goes out to them in every possible way but we live in a society built on discourse and every time is the right time to talk about it.

      This post was written before it came out that he had used his mother's guns. He had easy access to guns and he used them. Access to guns shouldn't be that easy.

      Mental illness is an issue, of course but let's get this straight: not everyone who is mentally ill acts on their illness. I would make the argument that ANYONE who kills somebody is mentally ill. You can't catch everyone in that net. Some mental illness is temporary, you can't possibly catch everyone before they commit a crime but you can prevent crimes from becoming as horrendous as they often do if you limit access to guns.

      What's so wrong about waiting periods and background checks? I never advocated banning firearms outright.

      Get off your high horse. Every time is the right time for discourse in a democratic society.