It has been a month since evil came to the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, I waited to post until I could do it clearly.
Like anyone else, I bow my head in prayer everytime I hear about some nutjob who starts shooting into crowds of unarmed innocents, be it a theater, a school, or anywhere else.
I don't like that certain weapons are so readily available, and I cringe when NRA "Spokespeople" say the answer is more weapons, and that schools should be patrolled by armed security.
But trying to control the availability of assault weapons in this Country is like trying to raise the Titanic and sail it into New York Harbor. There are at best estimates, somewhere between 300 million and 500 million firearms in the hands of private citizens in America.
Does anybody really think you can get a handle on even 10 % of them that are NOT in the system?
I wish that we could put a cork in the bottle and lock the genie back in, but I don't think that will ever happen. The only way to even make a dent in this cycle of violence is to make adequate mental health treatment readily available, and in some cases, FORCE People to accept care. Yes, that idea brings about threats that it could be abused, but it is about time that we put the rights of everyone to walk freely and without fear in the community above the rights of a crazy person to scare everyone.
I have a carry permit. I rarely have need of it, but I like having it on occasion. I believe anyone who can meet the criteria should be able to get one, but I also feel that the criteria could be toughened up. I don't believe that the average citizen has a right to own a semi automatic assault weapon. Firearms have only one purpose: KILLING. And you should only shoot to kill as an absolute last resort to defend your life or the life of another.
What does it say about American society that we all need to be armed to the teeth to prevent killing each other? Why do we risk allowing people who it is reasonable to suggest aren't always going to act responsibly to have deadly weapons? Why can't anyone see how this circle of violence has evolved in America? We need more firearms to protect us from the firearms that are already out there?
My bottom line is this: I don't worry about me acting irresponsibly with a firearm, but I do worry about others. Our constitution (at least in my interpretation) guarantees me the right to protect myself and my property from others. I am actually glad that Pennsylvania has the "Castle" defense on the books. I also don't believe I need military grade weapons to ensure that. Either a Mossberg Pump Shotgun or a Glock 9 MM will do me just fine, thank you
But that doesn't stop stupid crazy people from picking up a firearm (and I mean any firearm, from 22 pistol to an M-16) and randomly firing away. We have all these laws on the books that haven't stopped anyone who commits murder from doing it. What makes us think one more law will make a difference?
There is a saying that guns don't kill people, people kill people.
I would add that gun laws don't stop people from killing other people, but I truly believe that a potential victim with their own firearm at least has a fighting chance.
Now before you go thinking I am actually for arming everybody, I would add that I think arming teachers and bringing more weapons into schools is about a bad idea as there could be. We are promoting a cycle of violence that seems without end. If we start arming teachers and having armed officers patrolling the schools, we are telling kids that to expect violence is the norm, not the exception. We are turning up the speed on the evolution of our culture into what some might call the "Culture of Death." So who is to blame?
We can't blame video games.
We can't blame Hollywood
We can't blame Firearm Manufacturers
We can't blame the media
We can't blame the Government for not protecting us.
Again, who should we blame?
This is the America that we have made. We voted for the politicians, we buy the stuff that the ad people market to us. They sell us what their surveys tell them we want, and like it or not, we seem to like what we have got. The Allstate Insurance Commercial has it right, they say the "Mayhem" Commercials are the most popular they ever had. Mayhem, just what America wants, and just what America gets.
We made this country what it is. If we don't like where it is headed, it is up to us to change it, and change starts with each and every individual. I don't know where to start, but I do know we better start soon.