Guns and Tragedies: A Common Partnership

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This post is a variation of a comment I wrote for an earlier thread on Facebook. Although this is more controversial than I normally get on my blog, my feelings on this subject are so strong that I feel compelled to state them openly, without fear, and without reservation.  To protect the privacy of those I responded to I have removed their names and adjusted the content appropriately as well as adding additional content.

I realize that personally I have a radical view on guns. Objectively I don’t usually think any radical approach is good, even when it’s my own. I don’t think good people owning guns generally do things to intentionally put other human beings in danger. I also know that many, if not most of them would gladly give up their guns if it was as a result of legislation that stopped the killing of innocent people.  I know that in reality it doesn’t work that way. I know there is no connection between criminals owning guns and decent, law-abiding citizens owning guns.  I even admit things don’t clearly get better by taking the guns away from good people. I just feel that many of them have misplaced passion.

A few people have tried to use the comparison of what happened in China a few days ago when a man attacked 22 children with a knife as “proof” that taking away guns won’t stop madmen. They’re correct, it won’t. But the difference between what happened in China and in Connecticut is the difference between children getting injured and children getting killed. That is right there in the headlines.  Both are horrible, but clearly one is worse than the other.

I understand that the good people who own guns want to keep their guns, but I don’t understand how some of them want it so much they won’t even admit something needs to be done. That is because some, and I emphasize some are so full of themselves and their Rush Limbaugh style politics that they consider someone like me the enemy. I resent the insinuation that they are better people than I am because I lash out in anger when something like this happens. They are so concerned about their politics, claiming it to be so important to own a gun that they come after me, who has freedom of speech, maybe even a greater, certainly equal cornerstone of our society, for placing the blame where I feel it belongs.

Am I right in how I look at the gun issue? Maybe yes, maybe no. But don’t tell me how I am taking away your constitutional right to own a gun while calling me an uncaring person for exercising my right to free speech. This, ‘you liberals don’t even wait till the blood is dry to turn this into something political’ attitude is complete and utter nonsensical self-serving partisan garbage. Who are these people to tell me when I am allowed to react? Who are these people to self-promote themselves to such an extent that they try to tell the world it makes them a better person than I am? Not once do I ever even insinuate that gun owners are less hurt by what happened than I am. But with some of them, the second you state an opinion contrary to theirs, they forget what is wrong in our society and come after someone like me. They have the audacity to imply, sometimes even say outright, that people who feel as I do are part of the problem. Do I put that onus on them? God forbid. I never would. But they are the ones politicizing everything, and anyone, Democrat or Republican, who uses this tragedy as a way to prove that they are a better person than someone else, needs to look long and hard in the mirror.  What they will see is someone more concerned about their image than in right and wrong.

In a less imperfect world, average citizens who own guns would be able to use them at a crime scene to either stop an evil lunatic from committing a heinous crime or if nothing else minimize the damage.  However, in our world it just doesn’t happen that way.  Not one of these gun related mass murders has ended with a gun-owning citizen shooting the murderer.  Does that mean that a decent citizen should lose his gun? No.  But saying that stronger gun control laws take away the option for a citizen to stop the crime is an argument that has yet to be proven to have any real merit.  I rather you just be honest and say you like hunting or want to protect your home.  Both of which you have every right to do.

I know there will be some who will feel such anger by my words that they will verbally attack me.  There will be some who will read this on Facebook and possibly choose to longer be my friend.  You all have every right to your opinion, but I ask you this.  Do we not want the same thing?  Do we not all want a country, dare I say a world, where children can live without fear, where people can go to a movie theater or to a park without fear, and where the value of human life is so great that we not only protect the children but protect all people?  Of course we do.  So before you come at me with all your venom and hatred, take a moment and realize that I very likely want the same thing that you do, and if that is not enough for you to have an intelligent respectful dialogue about a problem that impacts all of us, your friendship will not be missed.  But my hope is that good people will wake up and actually work together to come up with a solution that allows civilized behavior to flourish and grow, not be the ultimate victim of the guns of madmen.

As I was concluding this piece, two things happened that caused me to add to it.  The first thing was a chat I was having online with an old friend. She is a mother of 3 and lives in the country.  She was telling me that she owns guns, but that they are locked in a large safe where the children can’t get to them.  She allows her children to learn how to shoot but only while being very strictly monitored.  My reaction to what she said was extremely positive.  We both agreed that people need to take the careful measures that she does and since many don’t, government needs to get involved.

The second thing that happened was that I saw an interview on CNN with the family of Vicki Soto.  Vicki Soto was a 27 year old first grade school teacher at Sandy Hook elementary.  She is one of the victims of this terrible tragedy.  She is also someone I am deeply honored to mention on my blog.  She died shielding her students and saving the lives of young children.  Her heroics give us hope, restore our faith in humanity, and show us that heroes still do exist and I can think of no better way to end this post than to honor her memory.  As we ask God why, let us also thank God for people like Vicki Soto, for without angels like her we are surely lost.  May she and all the victims of this horrible tragedy rest in peace.

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4 responses to “Guns and Tragedies: A Common Partnership

  • DevilDogOz

    I’m one of those gun owners and I will respond to some of your points: you certainly have a right to your opinion and to express it but be cautious regarding labelling the ‘gun nuts’ (my term, not yours) as hateful and intolerant of your opinion – any review of HuffPo or DailyKos will show that the right, conservatives or Republicans certainly have no monopoly on intolerance and namecalling as their method of discourse, whatever the subject. You imply many would give up their guns if it resulted in legislation that stopped the killing of innocents – we already have that; murder (other than by the state) is never sanctioned. No, I don’t believe I would surrender my firearms over other peoples bad bahaviour. And you realize that multiple laws are broken each time one of these tragedies occurs? I now lean toward more restrictions that I’ve ever thought I would in the regulation of guns but don’t kid myself – more laws may slow this but won’t stop it. You maintain armed citizens never stop these crimes – why? Because most of them (and every school shooting) takes place in a ‘gun free’ zone – and law abiding citizens and concealed carry holders abide by those laws, however counterproductive they’ve turned out to be. I am a concealed carry holder and have twice in my life produced a gun (without firing it) that prevented the commission of a crime. It is my sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent further tragedies like this.

    • davidgroen1

      Let me start by thanking you Paul. Your level headed way of discussing this is what will be crucial in coming up with a solution. I hate guns but not because they are in the hands of someone like yourself.
      I am very specific in stating that some people react with hate and name calling, not all. It just baffles me, and in some ways scares me when people on the other side of the fence fight me as though we want different things. Other than personally owning a gun, I believe you and I want the same thing regarding this issue. A safer society.

  • Risa

    Thanks David. I truly do not understand people who aren’t even willing to discuss legislation that might save lives even if it inconveniences them slightly – isn’t it worth it if ONE life was saved? And the comparisons to everything else are so inapt. The primary purpose of guns is to kill. That’s what they do. No other utensil has that as its primary purpose. Cars don’t have that as a primary purpose and are essential for our social and economic structure, unlike guns. But if there could be, say, a breathilizer built into the ignition somehow to prevent drunk driving, I would be for it, even thought I am CERTAIN that at some point, my own car wouldn’t start with me behind the wheel, and I wouldn’t be drunk and I would be severely inconvenienced. it would be worth my inconvenience if one life could be saved that way. I am mystified by the vitriol of people who can’t make the same analysis.

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