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Hell in a Handbasket

My blog. My opinion, whether you agree or not.

I’m moved to tears by the recent killings in Newtown Connecticut. A clearly disturbed kid of merely 20 years forced his way into the elementary school and killed 20 children, five adults, and himself. He had previously killed his mother at home after stealing guns that she had legally purchased and possessed.

The hue and cry of those that oppose guns is, understandably, to make it more difficult to buy guns. From that perspective, it’s a reasonable approach. But it’s an approach that doesn’t get to the heart of the matter. It’s an approach that cannot work.

Making it harder to get guns is not the answer. Guns are already hard to get. With few exceptions (black market notwithstanding), in order to purchase a gun, you have to have a license, so you are known and vetted by the local and state police. In order to purchase a gun, you have to pass an on-the-spot FBI background check, so you are known and vetted by the FBI. In order to purchase a gun, you have to purchase it from a licensed dealer or someone who knows you.

It will never be impossible to get guns. There will always be a black market. Heroin is illegal. It’s pretty easy to get. (heroin deaths in Massachusetts have risen 6-fold over the past 13 years). Marijuana is illegal. It’s pretty easy to get. If guns are made illegal, they’ll still be easy to get – machine guns are illegal, but they’re still used on the street by criminals, mostly by drug cartels.

It’s not the guns, clearly evidenced by the recent attack in China in which 22 children and an adult were wounded by a knife-wielding attacker. Thankfully, those people will apparently survive.

It’s not the guns, as evidenced by all of the guns in the country during the 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s. There were no mass murders like what we’re seeing today.

It’s not the guns, as evidenced by the Oklahoma City bombings. The bomb was made of fertilizer and diesel fuel. I’ve known how to make that kind of explosive after reading a Field and Stream article while I was in junior high. (yet I’ve never blown anything up).

It’s not the guns – it’s the people. But how?

What is it that makes people do these terrible things, whether they use guns, knives, Sarin or Ricin? Or trucks full of explosives?

What is wrong with a society that produces people who think it’s OK to blow up a building in Oklahoma City?

What is wrong with a society that produces people who think it’s fun to poison a subway?

What is wrong with a society that produces children who think it’s OK to go shooting in a theater, mall, or elementary school?

As long as these people are being produced by society, there will be a danger of mass killings like this, regardless the tool used to do the killing.

What is wrong with these people, and how do we fix it?

I just wish I had an answer.

 

 

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