I’m going to discuss gun control.
Now bear with me through this first statement please. I am actually a supporter of gun control. But maybe not in the way one would expect after hearing that statement. Make no mistake, I fully support the 2nd amendment, I am a law-abiding citizen, and to be honest I think that anyone in this country who wants to should be able to own, buy and carry any firearm they wish. I don’t think that our government should have any say in that matter other than our constitution grants the right.
Now wait you say, how is that supporting gun control? My support for gun control comes from my belief that the answer to gun violence is not government control, but rather personal and social accountability. Gun crimes, gun violence and gun negligence are not a symptom of the gun rather they are a symptom of the person using the gun. I find it interesting that if we remove the word gun from any of those situations we still have gun crime, gun violence and gun negligence. Have we as a society become so accustomed to a lack of common sense that we actually believe that if we take away the gun, then we take away the crime?
Crime, violence and negligence are systemic problems in our society. They are a symptom of so many failed systems. Our public education system, our criminal justice system, our entitlement system are all corrupt-perhaps not maliciously, but corrupt all the same because they don’t work-at some level. These things do not revolve around a tool, in this case a gun, any more than they do around any other tool, a knife, a hammer, a vehicle, or whatever tool is used to further a crime, violence or negligence.
So where does the solution lie? I know I mentioned that personal and social accountability is the answer. I think that as soon as it is no longer “sensational” to commit an act of violence with a gun and be a star on all the major media outlets then we will start to see a change. I think what should be “sensationalized” is the parent who left their gun accessible to a child or the person who left a gun unsecured in their vehicle, only to be stolen. The person “cleaning their gun” who shoots a hole through their neighbors bedroom wall? That should be sensationalized with the goal of those acts no longer being status quo. I realize that sounds a little harsh, it should. We as a society don’t fear punishment. We know this because of the obvious failure of the death penalty in stopping capital crimes. I mean, if people are not afraid of being put to death, then who thinks they are going to be scared of not being responsible with their gun? But in this society people are afraid of public humiliation and social scorn. A cultural or paradigm shift is what is going to be necessary to change gun crime, gun violence and gun negligence. And tragically this is not the kind of “immediate gratification” fix that our society today strives for.
This is a complex problem, I hope a lot of you will weigh in and start some good discussion here!!!