No question that after such tragedies like Sandy Hook we naturally return to the gun control debate. As a society we want to stop these tragedies and it’s simply human to want to assign blame and to try and correct whatever led to the tragedy so that it doesn’t happen again. After all, as a living species on this planet we have an advantage over other life forms in that we can reason and define cause & effect to live within our environment. But part of being human is also our natural ability to recover from such tragedies… rather quickly in some cases.
As I am writing this I am listening to the various news reporters lamenting about how covering these tragedies over the years just brings with it the continued pattern of initial public interest and compassion followed by a national “forgetfulness” and moving on. Well, this is true, and perhaps sadly, this will also happen even after 26 little kids and teachers are killed in school. Quite obviously the families of the victims will be affected the rest of their lives, but it’s natural that the rest of us will, in fact, move on. This is how our species survives. It may not be pleasant or seem fair to those more deeply affected than others, but death is a matter of life.
What will happen though will be parents addressing their own childrens’ security concerns within their respective school districts and some changes will be made. Outside of that, there’s the inevitable debate about gun control… and more interest in some mental health policy to spot the insane before they cause harm.
But listening to some of the proposed gun control legislation I am forced to question some element of logic and moral common sense in some of these actions. Now mind you, I am not really disputing or promoting any particular opinion about gun control or Second Amendment rights here. This is just a list of.. “huh??’s”.
- Limiting the size of magazine/clip ammo capacity. I don’t see how this would have prevented what happened at Sandy Hook although I am guessing the goal with this control is to limit the number of casualties a single insane gunman might inflict. But then this begs the moral question… just how many victims from a shooting must there be for it to be acceptable (and who decides what is acceptable?)? More to the point, as a society do we (or should we) mourn because one child has been killed any more or less than we would following the killings of 26? So.. with this gun control element we are making ourselves feel better in that a lone gunman might only kill a few people rather than a whole bunch? Ok.. yeah.. this control might reduce the number of victims, or carnage at the crime scene, but does nothing to addressing the real problem. Seems like some elected officials are just using this some politically safe control that likely will not piss off the NRA but looks good to the public.
- Bans on assault weapons. This is sort of a carbon copy of my thought above about limiting magazine capacities. As fellow human beings are we more concerned at our own collective “feeling better” knowing that one person could be killed rather than 10? “Wow! Good thing only 6 people were killed (one pistol capacity before reload) rather than 25. I’ll be able to sleep tonight!” I dunno about that concept. There’s another thought to all this. An assault weapon is essentially a semi-automatic weapon, which means a bullet loaded from a magazine is fired each time you pull the trigger.. no bolt cocking is required. There are a number of civilian sport weapons that are also semi-automatic. So the suggestion with a ban on assault weapons is that somehow random acts of violence will be reduced, when in fact, it would be more logical to consider some sort of ban on any semi-automatic weapon.
- Limiting the sale of certain ammunition. Presummably this is some sort of legal “end run” by those favoring gun control in order to skirt the Second Amendment. The idea is that, ok, the Constitution says we can own guns but it does not say we can own ammunition for those guns. But this doesn’t address all the ammo already out there that will last decades.
If you ask me (which you’re not, but I’m going to tell you anyway), if the nation feels like it’s necessary to control guns and rates of fire and ammunition then that’s fine. By why aren’t we trying to work on the more essential problems… like what is causing people to do these things and how might we protect the most vulnerable in our society? I feel the general public is being seduced into this idea that the problem will be solved by gun control legislation and it will not. We would be best served if we spent all that time and effort on mental health research and trying to incorporate greater security measures where they are needed.. like our schools.
Consider this… Adam Lanza, the shooter, used weapons purchased and registered legally in the state of Conneticut… one of the toughest gun law states. He was of legal age for their use and he even was familiar/trained with firing those guns and presummably with some level of gun safety through his mother’s interest in firearm ownership. Although his mother purchased the weapons and passed whatever checks were in the system, Adam also had no previous encounters with the law. In other words, it’s obvious existing gun control, background checks, and some training in their use and safety had no effect at all in preventing him from doing what he did. So why keep hammering away at gun control? I fear we are being seduced into thinking that this is the easiest way to stop future mass shootings… because that is what we want to believe.
As the population in the world increases so will more incidents of random violence. Focus on the causes that make a person desire to kill, whether he/she uses a gun, a knife, or their hands. Yes.. enough is enough and it’s time we tackle the real problem.