Who needs these military-style assault weapons? Who needs an ammunition feeding device capable of holding 100 rounds? These weapons are not for hunting deer – they’re for hunting people. ~Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.)
These things? Never useful.
~Buffy the Vampire Slayer
I found myself in a discussion about guns the night before the Sandy Hook shootings. While I am strongly anti-gun, I don’t hold it against my friends who exercise their second amendment right to own guns and enjoy an afternoon at a shooting range. I asked how easy it was to obtain a gun in Washington and a guy I don’t know very well piped up and said he just bought a shotgun. He went on to describe modifying it so he could load more than the usual number of bullets in it.
My friend said, “Oh, for hunting.”
The guy said, “No.”
In the awkward pause that followed, I wondered if this was the sort of person capable of committing a mass shooting. He clarified that he bought the gun to keep his home safe from intruders, and mostly, he just liked the sound of cocking a shotgun.
Probably the conversation would have taken a different turn if it had taken place after Friday’s shootings.
Say what you want about whether the second amendment guarantees your right to wield an assault weapon, but you cannot refute the fact that many fewer children would have died on Friday if the shooter hadn’t had access to his mom’s guns.
Mentally ill people would still find a way to commit violence, but the death toll would be lower. I’m reminded of the book and movie, We Need to Talk About Kevin, in which (spoiler), a (fictional) school massacre is committed with a bow and arrow.
At least if we make it harder for mentally ill people to get their hands on guns, when these tragedies happen, we can focus our attention on mental illness where it belongs.
2 thoughts on “I’ve never liked guns”
In real life, when I’m not blogging, I teach PreK, and Friday was our last day of school until January. I got a text from my husband about the shooting and a few people who follow the blog and don’t live in the States asked if I was okay. The shooting brought a lot of things to mind for me.
There are serious discussions that we need to have in this country. To me, the real issue in this tragedy is not gun control as much as it is about mental illness and how we treat it. Why is it so easy to get a gun and so difficult to get mental health treatment? Why do we still place such stigma on mental illness? Right now, there is virtually no help for the mentally ill. Is incarceration really what we want to do with people who need help like this? There’s no help at all to be had unless you get someone arrested. So, we send them all to be incarcerated together so they can trade notes and hone their ideas?
I also have to wonder why we continue to glorify violence as a society and sacrifice children’s innocence. I remember a time when parents hired a baby sitter to watch their kids so they could go out and watch a grown up movie instead of bringing their kids along in their pajamas. We’ve let violence pervade just about every aspect of our lives — TV, movies, music, video games and many other things that we don’t even pause to think about any more. A lot of kids don’t even realize that death is a permanent condition anymore and that people don’t get up and hit the reset button. We worship sports heroes who do the wrong thing much more often than the right thing anymore. Everyone wants to pass the buck on what’s wrong, but at some point, we each have to stand up, turn it off and go out and do something else.
Sheesh! I sound so preachy and long-winded. I guess it’s just that this subject has been on my mind a lot in the past few years, and this tragedy brings it all to the forefront. I hope that this ends up leading to some changes and that the lives lost on Friday aren’t in vain. To me, that would be an even bigger tragedy.
I agree with you,there were 35 murders in the whole country of England this year and more than that in one neighborhood in America absolutly no reason for it.Guns are sold like candy on every corner in America. Why?Someone give me a sensiable reason.
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