A few thoughts about guns

So much has been written & said about the Sandy Hook school killings that I was not sure I should say anything. As the days have gone on, I have not heard or read anything that reflects what I keep thinking about, so I’m sharing it here.

I’ve read in several publications that me & my fellow citizens of the U.S. of A. own 90 guns for  every 100 of us. If this is true, figure there’s about 350,000,000 people here, there are about 315,000,000 guns out there ALREADY. Even if we decided to stop selling all guns tomorrow, that’s still PLENTY of guns to shoot every person in the 50 states.

Yes, we NEED a much saner set of laws concerning guns & gun ownership and I am glad that something may get done towards this by the gutless wonders we call politicians (I know that’s really harsh……), but LET’S NOT KID OURSELVES: gun control legislation is NOT gonna make the epidemic of gun violence go away. Because this is a complex problem; it isn’t ONE thing, it’s many things. Things like: using violence as entertainment in tv, movies, video games, the media glorification of violent crime, the seemingly insatiable appetite we have for celebrity & fame, the widespread alienation of young men of all races & classes, to name just a few of those things. Truly, if we’re looking for an easy answer – let’s just lock up all white men from ages 14 to 50, ‘cos those are the people who do these killings (with few exceptions).

Or we could try blaming all the unarmed people around. I mean if any of the Sandy Hook teachers or kids had been packing some heat, perhaps so many wouldn’t have died this time. That’s pretty much how we treat rape here – as if it is the women’s problem and we train all the females how to avoid it and blame the victims…..for being out too late, wearing the wrong thing, being in the wrong place….using terms like “legitimate rape” and so on. Perhaps not…

I know some truly wonderful people who are gun owners – mostly hunters.  And these folks are SERIOUS about safety. Some of them belong to the NRA and I have had some passionate discussions on occasion about the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. Here is my question:

When does someone’s Constitutional right to keep and bear arms end, and everyone’s Constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness begin? Before or after the massacre? Or the drive-by? Or the ex-boyfriend/lover/husband who cannot let go?

Because there are thousands & thousands of people who have been deprived of their rights by being deprived of their lives. How many more will pay with their lifeblood? How many families will grieve over those murdered using the damn-near ubiquitous tools of terror that you can buy at K-Mart?

I’m so sad about these deaths. Not just these but all of those killed by senseless gun violence. My heart is sore. But I have to ask:

 Who’s next? Who gets to be the next innocent victim of someone’s right to have a firearm, to watch violent movies & television, endlessly play first person shooter video games?  Let’s talk about freedom; shouldn’t freedom include freedom from as well as freedom to?

I don’t know. I’m just asking.

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7 comments

  1. I’m guessing the conversation was heavy last night.

    I certainly do not have all of the answers–not even most of them. I just know that I can be kinder, and that is always good.

  2. Brian Williams had something good to say on the subject. “… The issue with gun control is proving a negative. Do I think making it harder to get guns could prevent a handful of mass shootings? Yes. Do I think it can prevent one fro ever happening again? No. But the belief it can prevent some which is based on the facts that America has pretty much has the easiest access to guns in the world and the most shootings, and the logical inference that those things are connected, puts me firmly on the side of restrictions. And at this point, as far as Im concerned, we haven’t tried it yet, and we have got to try something.”
    True there are a lot of guns in circulation and banning them all will not stop mass killings. But the argument that “if you outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns” is completely fraudulent. Consider the source of black market guns. They aren’t imported from mexico. Its usually some dude who gets a windfall of some sort spends his wad on alot of ‘home protection’ then 2 months down the line realized he should have saved that money because now he’s broke, then either; sells to a pawn shop (where the virginia tech guy got his guns from) or sells it to a guy he knows (aka black market). Also home burglaries of legal gun owners are another source. I also think these massive gun shows aren’t as critical when selecting buyers as they are in town for 3 whole days.
    Alot of this knee jerk reaction to gun control is not the way to approach this issue for or against. People should be vetted like they do police departments and federal agencies who are supposed to carry guns. If you tell me every yahoo needs an assault rifle or a handgun (which its purpose is pretty much just to kill humans) then yer bonkers.
    Long story short, something NEEDS to be done. Rallying around the 2nd amendment nor arming teachers makes any school safer.

  3. Hi, Helen. Thanks for liking my Write for Joy! page. I like your blog, Have sneaked in and out on several occasions. Concerning this discussion, I agree all over the place with you and your mom.

    I especially like this:
    When does someone’s Constitutional right to keep and bear arms end, and everyone’s Constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness begin? Before or after the massacre? Or the drive-by? Or the ex-boyfriend/lover/husband who cannot let go?

    I don’t have all the answers either, but I do believe we have to start somewhere–before another group of beautiful children is murdered. I think banning assault weapons would be a good first step. If you aren’t in the military or some form of law enforcement, you really don’t need to spray everyone in sight with bullets. A rifle or a pistol should be sufficient for personal self-defense in your home or car or in your store. And then let’s look at what we are teaching our children in cartoons, movies, video games, on TV, in books… Why are we teaching so much about war and learning so little from all the wars we have had? Why can’t we discuss our differences in a rational and calm manner? Why do we have to take the other kid’s toy? Why can’t we exchange our toys for awhile?

    Thank you for starting this discussion. All the best to you.

    Bobbie

  4. Sister-in-law, I agree with you that this is a complicated issue, yet, it is one that must be taken on in concert with many other challenges that our country faces. You’re correct that this isn’t ONE issue but a coalescing of multiple issues that revolve around a culture and acceptance of violence from many corners of our culture. Diminishing our culture of violence will take a herculean effort from a policy standpoint. Individuals will also have to re-evaluate their perceptions about how mean the world truly is since violent crime has been decreasing over the decades. Simply, American’s perception of violent crime outpaces actual violent crime numbers. In their personal re-evaluation, it must include why owning heavy artillery is a necessity.

  5. In Re: Kuramiyuki Bound – I’m gonna approve this link in the interest of free & open discussion, but please do bear in mind that I won’t approve another “comment” that is a link only and no comment. Thanks.

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