A woman waits to hear about her sister, a teacher, following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. | Photo: Jessica Hill
|The agony of not knowing|
What happened in Connecticut to those innocent people cannot be expressed into words, nor can I express the tremendous amount of loss and suffering those unwillingly associated with this tragedy will incur for the entirety of their lives.
In light of the recent horror at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we as a nation need to ponder what's next, gun control or gun safety? Gun ownership is a Constitutional right, and over 40% of homes in the United States already have at least one gun in them.
Calls to prohibit handguns and assault rifles have echoed across this country over the weekend, and the facts about our country's tendency for violence has been repeatedly revealed on all the nightly news shows. People from all parts of our nation discussed how many deaths in America stem from guns, and in states where guns are most prevalent, so are deaths by gun. There is no denying guns play a pivotal role in a human's decision to dole out punishment or death.
There is also no denying countries where only hunting rifles and shotguns are allowed or guns are prohibited, overall violent deaths are extremely rare, and deaths by guns are almost non-existent – but we are not the rest of the world, more on that in a minute.
If we are looking at facts about guns and the violence associated with them here in America, we as a country rank number one in deaths by assault in the world; death by guns in our nation is about the same as deaths by car accident, which could lead groups of people to incorrectly conclude guns are dangerous.
Guns are effective, unstable people are dange
|Democrats have confounded anti-violence, which is great, with gun control laws, which is misplaced.|
rous, and if in a car driving recklessly or using a very effective bullet projectile system to cause violence on the innocent, it's still people spawning the violence, not an inanimate object.
The shooter in Connecticut, from what we are told, used his mother's legally purchased firearms, and unfortunately the responsibility is on the shooter, and some responsibility would also fall on the shooter's deceased mother. Not to be insensitive, but she did not store the firearms correctly in a safe and secured area, or else her son would have not been able to use those guns; this does not mean he would not have acted out his violent mania using a bomb or fire or someone else's guns.
And that's the crux, violence is violence, guns are merely a tool that is wielded by maniacs because they are very effective. But if we dive further into the facts, over fifty percent of deaths by guns are from suicide, proving once again guns do not cause violence or suicides, unstable people do.
Gun control laws and policy vary greatly around the world. Some countries, such as the United Kingdom or Germany, have very strict limits on gun possession while others, such as the United States, have relatively modest limits. In some countries, the topic remains a source of intense debate. | Photo:
Another one third of those deaths are caused by guns used in crime on crime violence, or used in illegal drug trafficking violence. A few thousand more are the result of negligent owners in most cases, causing accidental death by gun. Leaving five to six thousand deaths caused by violent people using guns on innocent people, something our country needs to come to grasps with, and figure out some solutions to the myriad of issues leading to that statistic.
Democrats have confounded anti-violence, which is great, with gun control laws, which is misplaced. It's like trying to regulate a free woman's body, because you have confounded personal choice with morality. I have owned a gun my entire adulthood, it's a wonderful deterrent to violence, not an instigator of it, and I have never had to fire that gun at anyone, nor has it ever crossed my mind.
I am all for discussing gun safety laws, as long as they do not impede a person's right to bear arms. Some requirements such as providing a receipt of a proper gun storage locker or case, with proper identification presented at time of purchase, along with a certificate of a gun training course, and a simple mental illness or criminal background check for certain classes of firearms, or for extended magazines on fully automatic or high powered weapons; are all sound ideas.
But to go further, to perhaps help our schools, where these tragic events are becoming more commonplace, why are we not arming the principals or teachers at schools and universities? They should be required to take gun training lessons, and have a stored firearm safely locked away in case of emergencies. If we are going to create public places where people have to be unarmed in masses, we are presenting an opportunity for criminals and maniacs to commit horrible atrocities on their fellow man.
As a pacifist one thing has become crystal clear, if everyone else is not a pacifist, pacifism does not work. Just as laws to prohibit guns will not cease gun violence on innocent people, especially if everyone does not follow those guns prohibiting laws (which criminals and maniacs will not).
And for all calling for gun prohibition, our country is founded on the principal that our normal citizens are the last line of defense for democracy against a tyrannical government, or outside aggressor. And during times when our own government indefinitely imprisons its own citizens without trial, goes to war without congressional approval, creates unilateral executive orders to strip our rights, and blanket wiretaps populations of people without transparent court approval; during times like these when our own government is leaning towards fascism not democracy, discussions about stricter gun laws should not be entertained.