I’m sitting here tonight like many Americans are; stunned, hurt, and saddened.
Today marks a National tragedy.
Many people are still drowning in their grief.
The numbness has started lifting for others, and the anger has set in.
Right now the biggest problem is the anger.
When we’re angry we make rash and irrational decisions.
Fingers get pointed, and usually in the wrong places.
Once that starts nothing gets accomplished.
Between the incident at the mall in the beginning of the week and today’s school shooting the fingers are all pointed, and loaded, waiting for someone to go off.
As is easily predicted, the first cries are those for “Gun Control”.
Which are answered with cries of “You can take my rifle when you pry it from my cold, dead, hands”
Lines are drawn, and people stare at their opponents down the muzzles of their pointed fingers.
The hardest part for most of us is taking a step back and looking at this attitudes objectively.
Their points of view are starkly black and white.
Completely opposite of each other, yet made of the same ingredients; justification, empowerment, and fear.
Fear, of course, being the greatest of these motivators.
Each side fears their rights will be violated should the other side get what they want.
What makes it so difficult is that because each of these views are such polar opposites, that there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground, just two sides to the line, and we each seem to favor one side or the other, because we’re told that there is no other choice.
When we point fingers we are only looking in one direction and fail to see the issue from different angles, which is dangerous when it comes to a situation like this.
Gun Control is not the answer.
Gun control only empowers those that have guns, legally or illegally, based on the simple principle that the gun provides an advantage over anyone that doesn’t have a gun.
(Just like the nuclear arms race of the 80’s)
There are so many ways to get a gun without standing in a line at Wal-Mart that the idea of gun control should be preposterous to anyone that honestly thinks it through.
Now, removing all requirements about guns and leaving them unregulated is also a HUGE mistake.
At least currently it is.
When it comes to free reign of guns we are too immature as a country for everyone to be packing heat.
There’d be too many accidental deaths, as well as too many small crimes related deaths because of fools that are too gung-ho now that they have a gun…and I do mean on both sides, aggressor and victim will pull the trigger without thinking, simply because they can.
The biggest impact we can make in those regards is not increases in Gun Control, but instead, in increases in Gun Education and Safety.
I think that trigger locks are great things.
They are fantastic safety devices, plus they make it less desirable to steal a weapon.
As far as gun education, that begins at home.
We should all teach our children about guns.
Teach them the pros and cons.
Teach them about safety.
Treat the gun the same way as we do when it comes to teaching kids about crossing the street, talking to strangers, driving, etc.
Be frank with them.
Simple honesty is what they need.
Remove the glamour, taboo, and mystery away from the gun.
My father had a rifle on his wall when we were growing up.
He talked to us about it.
Explained everything and answered all of our questions about it.
It hung right there, on its rack, unlocked, unsecured, in easy enough reach.
We never took the gun to play with it, and we never shot anyone.
We respected the gun.
That made a world of difference.
Many Gun Clubs, Hunting Associations, and Gun Enthusiast groups offer a variety of classes about guns
From gun care to gun safety.
There’s no reason that anyone in America should not have respect for guns.
Switzerland has the world’s lowest rate of violent crimes AND lowest rate of gun related accidents.
Every citizen is required by law to own a firearm, and have all been taught all of the necessary facets of gun usage and ownership.
They have respect for the gun, and prove that it is possible.
Before you counter that a gun is a weapon, and weapons are meant to hurt and kill, do me a favor, shut up.
Weapon is a sub-classification.
It is part of the greater classification of Tool.
A tool is anything designed to aid a person in the completion of a goal or task.
Weapon is simply a usage specific sub-classification.
Just like Forks are ‘Eating Utensils’; tools designed for the purpose of preparation and consumption of food.
When we think of tools we only tend to think of hammers and screwdrivers.
We forget about spoons, pens, computers, cars, etc… (which can all be used as weapons with the proper motivation)
The most important thing about a tool is not, as most would believe, what it’s designed for.
Instead, the most important thing about a tool is the person using it.
It’s the person that decides what the tool will be used for, and how well it will be used.
That’s where the real heart of the matter lies, with The Person.
More specifically, The User.
It’s been said time and time again; “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”
The phrase has become so overused that it’s become a joke.
However, it’s the truth.
When a man kills another man with a gun, we look immediately at the gun, and we forget about The User.
The gun didn’t pull its own trigger, it didn’t load itself.
That’s something that people do.
The school shooting, the mall shooting, and the shooting at the Batman movie this year all have something in common.
You’d think it’s guns.
Technically you’d be right, but it’s those kinds of technicalities that lead back to Gun Control protests.
What they really have in common is that the perpetrator was a disturbed individual.
There was some type of psychological problem that drove them to do what they did.
Each event was planned out.
Each shooter chose an appearance that would maximize the impact of the situation (in today’s tragedy the shooter had to be himself, that was how he had access, and he needed his mother to know who was killing her)
These people craved two things; pain and attention.
They took the pain, we gave the attention.
And they knew that we couldn’t deny them the attention, because the world they wanted to shock and hurt is the world of rational human beings.
The world they hated because they weren’t a part of it.
They lived in a different world.
They were invisible to us in their world
So they constructed fantasies to help them move about in our world.
They used these fantasies to fuel their fires and motivate them to their end games.
Our world was shattered when their worlds imploded.
Gun Control would not have mattered to any of these three shooters.
None of them were registered for the weapons they had.
The best form of gun control for them would have been psychological counselling.
If these three had been seeking the appropriate counselling the odds are that none of us would ever have heard of them.
Which, of course, would make our lives all the better
When you look back on these tragedies, first ask why none of these people were receiving the help they so desperately needed. Remind yourself of that every time you think of these events.
If you don’t let yourself forget that these were mentally ill people that blended into the waking world you may be able to spot the next Chameleon before they do something drastic.
Next, remember the people that were lost, hold their families in your heart.
They will need all of the love and caring they can get.
It’s difficult surviving something so traumatic.
Lastly, remember all of the people that helped the victims and survivors in each of these incidents.
Remember the paramedics, police, firemen, security guards, etc…
Remember the employees that put themselves in harm’s way to get people to safety.
Remember the teachers that put their students at ease while protecting them.
Remember everyone that showed up with blankets, donuts, coffee, water, and whatever else was needed by the survivors.
Remember all of those that helped.
They became heroes, if only briefly.
Their actions built the foundation upon which healing will be built.
Always remember them, someday you may be called upon to be a hero to someone.