Saturday, July 21, 2012

I don't know if there is a right answer.

Right now a lot of people are asking the question of whether the Aurora shootings could have been prevented. The only answer I can come up with is I don't know.
 
So far we know the only run in the shooter ever had with police was a traffic ticket. Regardless of why he did it, the big issue that will be debated in the days, weeks, and months to come, will be the guns. We won't be discussing the psychological state of mind of the shooter, the security at the theater, or even violent films.  It will come down to the guns.  It can't be denied that this massacre will spark a political war that we've been through before, one that tears this country apart every time.

In regards to the guns, here are our options:
  • Ban all assault weapons for sale to the public. The problem with this is while it might curb massacres like what happened in Aurora and other cities but it doesn't prevent someone from taking rifles and handguns into a public place and shooting it up. Also, factor in whether or not banning assault weapons to the public would pass muster with the SCOTUS. Take into consideration too that the NRA is a pretty damn powerful organization and will fight to the death arguing that ownership of an assault rifle is every American's God given right.
  • Ban the sale of all weapons to people with criminal histories. Wait, don't we already do this? We do, unless one is disobeying the law and selling to criminals anyway. Also, what happens when the person committing the crime doesn't have a criminal background? There's nothing we can do to prevent a person with no criminal history from obtaining a weapon. While all we hear about are the gun related violent crimes, we don't hear about all the responsible gun ownership that takes place every day in America. We don't hear about it because it isn't news when someone uses their firearms responsibly.
  • Ban all weapons, period. Okay, this could be the one sure fire way to prevent massacres such as this. If we banned all guns, even by police officers, if we melted down every gun in this country, would that solve the problem? Would criminals find a way to obtain their guns? Do we think that it's possible that all gun owners in America would give up their weapons? Would this even pass SCOTUS muster? What would happen to the Constitution? The Second Amendment?
     
    In America, people own firearms for different reasons:

    • Protection of life and property
    • Collecting
    • Recreational shooting
    • Hunting
    • Required for their profession
    • Use in criminal activity

    All of the above with the exception of the last one are perfectly legitimate reasons for owning firearms. What is not listed is the deep-rooted belief that owning firearms is an American tradition, something that has been an integral part of who we are, from the moment this nation was founded. America was born out of the struggle to break free from English tyranny and the most basic means of defense since that time has been the use of firearms. The desire to be free and to protect ourselves from the tyranny of government has been ingrained in us for generations. It's just something that's been a part of our culture since our forefathers founded this nation. It's about survival and there's nothing wrong with it but it is important to recognize that it is an vital part of who we are as a people and a nation.

    In the end, we absolutely cannot predict human behavior with any certainty and the idea that our destiny could be left up to some psycho wielding a gun is incomprehensible to us. Since we cannot control human behavior, we can do the next best thing, we can remove the tools that help put that behavior into action. The desire to do this is not right or wrong, it too is about survival. However, the question I have is:  Is it the answer?

    Once again, the only answer I can come up with is I don't know.
     
Camden, New Jersey 1949
Austin, Texas 1966
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1982
San Ysidro, California 1984
Killeen, Texas 1991
Littleton, Colorado 1999
Blacksburg, Virginia 2007
Kinston, Alabama 2009
Binghamton, New York 2009
Fort Hood, Texas 2009
Aurora, Colorado 2012

4 comments:

  1. While it is more prevalent in the U.S., it isn'tjust a problem here. Norway, Ireland, and a few other countries have had this happen as well. Gun control hasn't worked anywhere. Even the U.K. has had issues, and now they even have issues with knives... Bottom line, this is a human issue, controlling the tools will never be a solution. I prefer having the ability to protect my family and my person from those that would do us harm, and that already do not care about abiding with the law.

    ReplyDelete
  2. While it is more prevalent in the U.S., it isn'tjust a problem here. Norway, Ireland, and a few other countries have had this happen as well. Gun control hasn't worked anywhere. Even the U.K. has had issues, and now they even have issues with knives... Bottom line, this is a human issue, controlling the tools will never be a solution. I prefer having the ability to protect my family and my person from those that would do us harm, and that already do not care about abiding with the law.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous7/22/2012

    Yet another great article Jess! I appreciate the fact that you used every side of this issue. It is my opinion as a lifelong gun owner that preserving our 2nd amendment rights is first and foremost a priority. I do not hunt with my guns, however we have family that does. I know some families personally that actually hunt to help feed their families in this bad economy. We personally own guns for 2 reasons, 1 is for protection, and the second is that we like to go shooting and skeet shoot

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey Trish. I do think that if ever the government were to force American to give up all guns, there would be a serious backlash, but not just because of the reasons we think....the hunting, the recreational, and the personal safety. Deep down, we have been raised to accept guns as part of our culture as a means of securing our freedom. Thoughts?

    ReplyDelete