Gun Control and the State of Our Nation

Posted on February 11, 2013


epic-parenting-fail-girls-gunsIf you scan the news, even briefly, it’s hard to miss the spree of killings lately. It seems that every other day, our kids are getting killed, or some “quiet neighbor” snapped and shot up a mall. These recent events have once again cast to the forefront, the always passionate issue of gun control. I would like honesty for once, to lead this discussion.

On the one hand, you have the left’s argument that quite simply, there are too many guns with too many people having access to them. The right of course counters by stating criminals would find a way to get guns anyway. The left could then argue that a number of killings are accidental, unplanned, or are made by people who are stressed or emotionally volatile but not per se criminals and tighter access would prevent this. The two sides could go back and forth as they have been ad infinitum. Ultimately, to the extreme, the left fears everyone will have guns and go around shooting people, while the right feels no one will have them and good God-fearing Christians will be left defenseless against criminals, and if you’re up north, possibly, Canadians.

Both extremes are ridiculous as is the Nation Rifle Association’s proposed solution: Put armed guards or staff in schools to protect it from being a product of domestic terrorism (surprised they aren’t using that term yet).

On the surface the NRA’s idea does seem plausible. Knowing that someone armed is at a place you’re planning to rampage could be a deterrent. Even if it didn’t deter, at least this trained individual could protect our kids if an armed conflict occurred.

First, as with the death penalty argument, or even the gun control argument, studies show that punishment is not a deterrent. Second, I would hate to think that some $8.00 an hour rent-a-cop with a GED is the guardian of our children’s safety. Third, how do we know this person won’t turn on our kids? Maybe he’s irritated that little Billy calls him names and one day just can’t take it anymore.

So back again to the NRA. Their basic premise is to fight fire with fire. To this, the left says, “Great, so what about escalation? If we have armed guards, people will start bringing in semi-automatic weapons, then armor piercing rounds etc. Where does it end?”

This is a bit of a slippery slope on the side of the left, as I don’t see folks bringing tanks to schools. It’s also irrelevant as it doesn’t take high-end gear to kill. The right knows all too well killing can be done cheaply. Just ask a soldier what he made in year or a congressman which lowest bidder made the same soldier’s flak vest.

But if we take out the escalation of weaponry, what about the escalation of locations? Will we then need armed guards at parks, playgrounds, or perhaps churches? We already have them on our planes. If armed guards protect our schools (they won’t) Mr. Triggerfinger will find another place to attack. Do we arm the state employee who sells the crappy version of a $12 hamburger at the state park? What about the referees? Our priests? Hell why not just arm our kids too?

As the NRA states, the problem lies with the people, not with weapon. But be real. In our patient, intelligent, mindful society, they just can’t imagine what could go wrong if everyone had more guns. Right…

So if the problem is people, than who are the typical gun owners? Let’s just be honest and say it. A lot of these folks are on the right. I know that deep down, many of these people think guns are toys. And please don’t recite some hunter safety creed bullshit you learned when you were nine. When you’re out in your truck (another toy) drinking a case of Pabst, while shooting at anything that resembles a mammal you aren’t too concerned about your constitutional liberties. You like destroying stuff and it makes you feel like a man. Good for you. Just admit it.

To the other half of the right, (see article about two types of Republicans) I’m not sure what your angle is. You belong inside a double-gated golf course, not on a shooting range, so stop pretending you’re hardcore. Maybe you think that more guns will thin out the poor and minorities you try and avoid. But I have news for you; it’s your own race shooting up our schools, not Tyrone or Pedro.

Besides rednecks and scared rich folk, proud gun owners also include in their ranks, criminals, the insane, paramilitary wannabe’s, and a sprinkling of your average Joes.  There are simply too many people out there with different motives to try and convince them all to act responsible. This fact in-and-of-itself negates any education and responsible training the NRA brags about providing and it also negates any controlling laws that the left will try and pass. If people want to kill they’ll find a way. Poison works. So do explosives. So does viruses.

So if we can’t control people as the right wants and we can’t really eliminate guns as the left wants, what are the options? If we combine the left’s and right’s ideas into a quasi- hybrid solution, that might work to some degree, but it still won’t eliminate the problem.

We need to examine the root cause of the problems, i.e. people snapping? What is stressing these folks out? The jobs? Technology overload? The chemicals in the food? Violence in the media? What is their motive for doing this? Can these traits be identified beforehand? Why don’t they feel shame, value life, or accept responsibility? What is different now than 50 years ago when this hardly occurred? This doesn’t happen nearly as often in other developed countries like Japan or Switzerland. What are we doing wrong, or they doing right? We’re a pretty inventive country, I’m sure there are other ideas. With 360 million minds out there, someone has to have a solution. I’d like to hear your thoughts.