I don’t know why people are killing other people with guns. I also don’t have any answers as to what to do about it. Some people feel that the problem will go away if we stop people from owning guns. I don’t know that I agree. I see no reason for people to have semi-automatic weapons available in their homes, however, there is a culture of gun ownership in the US and it is legal for them to own these weapons. Gun ownership is legal and after seeing the use people put them to I have to ask is it wise? Even though I question the advisability of gun legality I also wonder what happens when we begin to take the rights of people away? Where does it stop?
My mind can’t grasp the tragedy in Connecticut. The idea that any single human being can be so callous as to intentionally kill children is beyond my comprehension. There is something sick, something evil in a society that can create a monster capable of that act and that is where my problem lies. In the quest for answers to why this happened, people are taking the easy way out and blaming the tool by which he accomplished this, not the society that created it.
Even though none of us knew the Mother of the killer, she has become some kind of whack job who was stockpiling weapons. She had 4 of them registered to her and reports state that she used them at firing ranges in the area. Hardly a “stockpile” given that there were 2 other members of her family that may have accompanied her to the firing range. However, a member of that family used those guns to kill innocent children and himself. So, we let our rage flow and vent our anger on her head. Which in many minds justifies the fact that she was the first victim of her son’s rage. She got what she deserved. We don’t seem to be capable of thinking things through before we speak, or act for that matter.
As I was thinking what I needed to say next I was half listening to Lester Holt of NBC talk to David Gregory and heard Mr. Gregory state that since 1990 the support for stricter gun control laws has decreased. He was wondering if in the wake of this tragedy that waning support will change. If it does change, is gun control the answer? Guns were not the weapon of choice on 9/11 or in Oklahoma were they?
In the course of trying to look for answers for this tragedy and for all of the recent mass shootings here in the US, I discovered some very alarming statistics about the rise of mental health issues. The incidence of mental health disability has doubled from 1 in 164 in 1960 to 1 in 87 in 2007. It is thought that 1 in 5 of these people are receiving no treatment or are self medicating through booze or illegal drugs.
Of course, if these people didn’t have access to guns in the home they wouldn’t be able to cause so much grief to others. I’m more inclined to believe that if the internet wasn’t so accessible in the home or everywhere on the planet these people would be recognized and helped before they found the websites where they could buy weapons to stockpile in their homes. There’s websites that have the instructions for bomb making. Others on how to kill by strangulation.
If we aren’t going to accept responsibility for our actions we might as well blame the internet for making these people sick as well as blaming it on the guns. Which is, of course, a rather silly idea. An idea that exists in this post to solely illustrate that complex problems, like those we’re facing these days, have no simple answers. It isn’t going to solve our problems to continue to seek those simple answers because all we’re doing is giving those who use guns an excuse to continue to let them speak for them.
( image courtesy of washingtonpost.com )