In reading some of the responses on the Connecticut tragedy, I’m saddened on two fronts.
First, for the families and victims. They were just kids. New to the world, ignorant to their little futures and just learning to be independent and live in peace with those around them. Parents made lunches that they hoped would give their little ones nutrients, bathed and clothed their kids, and assumed that at the end of the day, they’d tuck their little ones in bed, repeat until high school, driving privileges, and maybe college and a successful career.
And it will never happen. I’m pretty good with the English language, but even words are eluding me because it hurts to just think about. I don’t even want to think about how lucky my son is 21 in a few months and made it through childhood alive. This world sure doesn’t seem to cater towards the innocent and vulnerable, as evidenced by how the coverage of these stories place the limelight on the killer, rather than the victims.
Maybe that’s why I think we have to change – that is, get back to basics – as a society, and nothing is more basic than the Constitution. And that leads me to the other front that saddens me:
Second, I’m reminded how out of touch people are with the Amendments of the United States Constitution. And it’s frightening how instant-gratification and knee-jerk reactive Americans have gotten – and how people use a tragedy to push their agendas for political purposes as if such a quick reaction would “fix” a problem. It’s like trying to dress an amputation with a Band-Aid because a Band-Aid is the most available item in the First Aid kit.
“But the tragedy just happened. We need to heal.”.
Too early? No.
For the families, yes – let them bury their dead.
You know, for the rest of us, it’s NOT too early. It’s too LATE if people are actually suggesting that we need an overhaul of the Constitution when a tragedy strikes less than 24 hour prior. “We need new rules”, people are saying.
“But they were just kids. This is horrible!”
It’s absolutely horrible. But the ages of victims isn’t a legitimate argument to nullifying the 2nd Amendment, or placing more restrictions on law-abiding gun owners, of which there are millions of them in the United States.
And I’ll spare you the “ban cars for drunk driving” one-liners I’m sure many of you are used to, although I personally believe that there’s a logical merit to such a comparison. But here, let me give a few examples from people in my own Facebook circle that I disagreed with:
Allow me to make a few points here.
1. Disturbed people will make weapons when nothing is available. For instance, prison stabbings and shanks are made over long periods of time by people who have access to no weapons, but have anger, hate, rage, revenge and no morals. That’s right. People who want to hurt others will take weeks or months to plan an attack with minimal resources. They might bend off a piece of fence, wrap it in a mattress cover and stab someone in the neck so that they either choke on their own blood, or their organs eventually fail from internal injuries. But the end result is the same.
And here’s a guy who just walked into a hospital with his gun, and was shot dead as he drew on officers:
Here’s a student in Oklahoma who tried to get others to help him lock students and shoot them dead, and use explosives on police:
Making “guns more illegal” won’t stop these situations.
2. A grenade would have done more harm faster than two handguns. The Colorado Gunman had 30 grenades set up in his apartment, along with 10 gallons of Gasoline hoping for maximum damage. Gun laws deal very little with grenades and explosives, and could do similar damage that you CAN’T outlaw: http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/24/justice/colorado-theater-shooting/index.html
These were all legally purchased items, assembled carefully to do maximum damage to the largest amount of people. Unless you want to outlaw bleach. Or muratic acid for pools. Tinfoil. Plastic soda bottles. Etc.
The guy didn’t need a gun. He had time, and hate.
3. China does not have guns. China DOES has a history of abusive human rights violations. This is precisely what an unarmed populace who doesn’t even have the freedom to choose their own religion looks like. You know the news you hear about China? You hear it only because it has been approved by the government’s censorship committees and passed government scrutiny. Those citizens will never be able to stand against their government for their abuses. That should be a warning, not something we strive to be similar to.
4. In Japan, the Japanese society’s attitude toward suicide has been termed “tolerant,” and in many occasions suicide is seen as a “morally responsible action”. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11013-008-9108-0
In that instance, I actually agree that guns don’t belong in a society where suicide is socially acceptable, but that also makes it a non-comparison for U.S. related “gun death” comparisons. Life is more valuable in the U.S. than the value this particular culture gives it, and guns would likely be misused in that environment. Not that jumping in front of a train is better, but you can’t train jump in self-defense, and you can use a gun in self-defense.
Why DOES a person need 3 guns? Excellent question, and I’ll answer why on my next installment.
The other post that I thought was note worthy:
This is brilliant. We just need someone who can identify “nutjobs” in the supermarket, at the DMV and at the gun stores so that they don’t buy too much lighter fluid, don’t run people over and don’t buy guys to kill people. I don’t possess such a trait or skill, and venture to guess that nobody else does either. Guns are currently regulated with more laws than automobiles, and the penalties for misuse are far stiffer.
Further, a Bushman .223 is not an “automatic”, at least without serious modification. It’s semi-automatic. I realize pointing this out will be the fodder for anti-gun friends to claim that I’m being insensitive at this time, but stop before you start. Automatic means multiple rounds per pressing – think mobsters and machine guns. Semi-Automatic means that you need to pull the trigger 1x for 1 bullet. Everything else you have to load 1-at-a-time. This kid did not have an “automatic” weapon, and it’s posts like this that really set me off as people would look at this and deduct that “more rules for automatic weapons would have saved those kids”. Arizona is the state with the most lax gun laws, and even we can’t have Automatic weapons without registering with the government and agreeing to ridiculous legislation, including the ability for them to search the premises where it will be stored. Further, any Full-Auto in the U.S. civilian sector is a pre-1986 or illegal, and costs thousands of dollars based on supply and demand. This kid didn’t have that. End of story.
And since I’ll never have an automatic, you can go ahead and make all the gun laws banning them that you want, but realize that doing so doesn’t change anything. Only a select few even have access to that sort of weapon without modifications, and then the penalties are stiff if you modify and you can’t exactly hang out at gun ranges and pop those off without ATF rolling by to offer you some salutations and wanting a closer look.
Just as ridiculous would be someone who claims “If Obama didn’t allow the Gun Ban provision to expire, this wouldn’t have happened”. Nonsense. This gun was bought a while back, according to recent reports, and likely prior to any grandfather clause. So in reality, that “automatic gun” variable doesn’t even exist since he had a semi-automatic, which still allows for large capacity clips, flash suppressors and hand grips – and which was left in the car. Not that this will stop people from demanding it anyway, “just in case”, I suppose.
Finally, since we were discussing China earlier, and some people have made the point that killing people couldn’t happen “as easily without guns”, let me put that MYTH to rest by sharing a story out of China about Zhang Minsheng, who killed 8 children at a school with a knife, some in front of their parents, until someone was able to hold him for police.
China gave him the death penalty. Ironically, he was shot to death by firing squad by the government, but was able to take out 8 people with a knife.
Finally, for those who would be mad at the “gun types” or “enthusiasts” or “members of the NRA”, let’s clear the air here. These three groups are the largest PROPONENTS for stiffer sentences for criminals, criminal wrongdoing and harsher penalties for firearm misuse. We already know you want to pull our firearms, and don’t say that you believe in “tighter regulation“. That’s just fancy-footwork keywords for “More laws that disqualify citizens from owning”, and you darn well know it. You either believe in preserving gun ownership, or you believe in removing gun ownership. We know this, and obviously we don’t want criminals who don’t subscribe to adhering the law to be lumped in with those of us who DO adhere to the law, and follow it without compromise. Rather, gun grabbers tend to see us all as potential shooters who would shoot our mothers in the face and then go on a kid-killing spree, and then champion other countries that ban guns, but then trample human rights. I don’t understand that.
Yes, there are always PR issues with any advocacy lobby or group, but to say that anyone who advocates for firearm ownership is happy, or okay with the shooting of children, or sees what happened on Friday as acceptable couldn’t be further from accurate if they tried, and shame on you for even going there.
Many of us with guns would have pulled a trigger on the gunman after the first person was shot, and would have been justified to save lives both by law, and morally. That’s exactly how that punk Jared Loughner, who shot Rep. Giffords in Tuscon, was apprehended – by an armed citizen. The reporters always seem to forget when that happens, since that usually doesn’t make it in the news.
Except nobody would have been armed in this scenario. Schools are “gun-free zones”. Criminals don’t usually follow the law, so this is us trying to point out that rules, laws and enacting harsh limits only works when people are willing to follow those laws in the first place.
When people hate, they will kill. It will take time, and effort, but they will do it.
When people love, they will heal. It will take time, and effort, but they will do it.
Part 2, coming soon.