It’s not just about guns

An ex-cop in Los Angeles is on a rampage, and half of California is nervous. In Texas, a former Army sniper is shot and killed by another former GI.

Closer to home (my home), a couple junior high students could be expelled for having brought to school a handful of bullets. Would bullets explode when thrown against pavement? Other students reported it before the experiment could be carried out.

  • That LA cop? He’s using, apparently, firearms provided to him as part of his job.
  • That sniper in Texas? He took an Iraqi vet, a PTSD victim, to a legal firing range, thinking a chance to fire a gun might help him stabilize.
  • The kids around the corner from me? Bullets were in their house; they simply made off with a handful for their experiment.

None of these incidents, and there are thousands more, would have been prevented by the kinds of action anti-gun activists suggest. They were/are the result of human anger, human ignorance, human instability; against those — to quote Schiller — the gods themselves contend in vain.

In other words, there is a kernel of profound truth in the pro-gun argument: guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

Before you consign me to the trash heap, or write an indignant comment, note that I said “a kernel” of truth. If we insist that the only problem is guns themselves, we make it too easy for extremists on our right to dismiss our fears.

My point is this. There is no law we can pass, no constitutional amendment enact, no agency establish, which will eliminate all dangers inherent in gunpowder and other explosives.

So, in addition to establishing meaningful registration and regulation of firearms, we need to take better care of people. Our friends, our family, our neighbors, among whom, somewhere, a catastrophe is waiting to happen unless we pay attention.


4 thoughts on “It’s not just about guns

  1. Wow. I am a really strong anti-gun person, and I have to admit, I almost did dismiss your post. But you are profoundly right!
    I have been wrestling for weeks now with the question of what I can do to make life a safer more peaceful experience. I have decided to absolutely refuse to watch any movies or TV shows that glorify violence (ok, that leaves me pretty much with “The Dog Whisperer”, but I’m OK with that!!) and to talk about my choice. I’m going to keep voting for politicians who believe in sensible gun legislation and for those who support more mental health services and better insurance coverage for those services.
    And I’m going to keep slightly rephrases that motto: “Guns don’t kill people all by themselves. Angry, suicidal, mentally ill people who live in a country that is flooded with guns kill people.”
    Thanks for a reasonable post on a very emotional issue.

    1. Thank you. As you might note from my reply to Vic, it’s been a difficult position to reach, difficult and painful, but I’m open to any other route to the top.

  2. Were but mom, the Dem’s spokesperson on gun control, and Phil, the GOP’s spokesperson.

    It’s a no-brainer that removing all the guns legally held by members of the community, will not eliminate the thousands of murders that occur each year from firearms. But! I’d proffer, it’s an even bigger no-brainer, that it, ‘will’, drastically reduce that number.

    Sadly, the cynical, but I’m afraid, realistic assessment of the position, is that it’s a struggle, likened to scaling a ten thousand foot high, overhanging cliff, using only finger tips and toes. Probably harder.

    It would be nice though, to see common sense prevail over selfish/venal vested interest.

    Take care Mom&Phil

    1. Vic — As you know, I’m all for a perfect… make that a “perfectable” or maybe even a “could be better” world. But that goddam cliff — I get about twenty feet up, lose my grip, and fall on my ass. Again. After enough falls, enough bruises, I begin to get the message: find an easier hill to climb. That, or resign yourself to sitting at the bottom forever. Love “the impossible dream,” but there are those two intimidating facts about it. It’s a dream, and it’s impossible.

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