In the preceding article, we discussed different kinds of gun violence, organized by cause. Most gun violence is suicide; only a very few mass shootings ever occur in classrooms. Ideally, none would; ideally, people also wouldn’t ever want to kill themselves, guns notwithstanding.
In order to do this properly, we’ll need a discourse, so that all sides can find middle ground that they can agree on. And in order to communicate, we’ll each need to use the same words to mean the same things.
For example: It might surprise some people to learn that there is actually no such thing as an “Assault Weapon”. Sure, you’ll find it in the dictionary of your choice, but the definitions are nebulous and disagree. They named the 1994 law after it, but the descriptions involved such superficial specifics as a bayonet lug or pistol grip without enough generalities to retain long-term value. The law expired in 2004; by then, the industry had long since retooled such that they could largely avoid its strictures.
Watching video of kids getting shot is traumatic. How could it not be? And who can watch that and not be furious — terrified — sickened?
So how can we possibly expect that our immediate reaction will fix a damned thing?
We don’t make good decisions when we’re upset; nobody does. Instead, we get angry; we kick and throw things; we cast blame everywhere. The universe hates us and everyone’s evil. And then, if we’re smart, we settle down and figure out what went wrong so we can stop it from happening again.
There’s been yet another school rampage shooting, and I don’t know what to do except weep. Best I can tell, nobody else does either.
Oh, there’s a lot of noise and a ton of blame being thrown, and I’ve heard the phrase “common sense gun control” more times than I can count. It’s a meaningless string of words; if there were any effective way to stop rampage shooters with a simple, common sense approach, we’d have done it by now.
Whenever I say that, there are two responses: – “Well, at least do something!” and – “Just ban guns! Ban them all!”
Wars and government atrocities aside, the United States has more spree shootings than any other country each year.
This is a problem that demands discussion between reasonable and intelligent people. Unfortunately, the political climate in this country is one of extreme and entrenched polarization; moral certitude precludes (more…)
“This meme shows what evil bastards Republicans are.” [LIKE] [SHARE]
It’s this sort of attitude that’s what’s wrong with America today. It’s horribly counterproductive. Your meme will never convince the unconvinced; all it does is make the Democrat feel smug without compelling them to do anything whatsoever.
Every time something horrific happens, every op-ed writer in America puts out their thoughts on it: why it happened, how it could have been prevented, the senselessness of it all. And what’s sad is, a lot of people are getting sick of it, ignoring it, moving on. We see so very much that’s horrible and we just can’t face one more thing in a litany of more things. And the last thing we need is some self-important armchair political hack telling us who did what wrong and who’s at fault.
So why am I, yet another self-important windbag, writing anything? Why do you need another helping of empty wind from someone else who doesn’t matter? Why do we need any of them yapping at us when what we really want to do is grieve in peace or fix the damn problem already and get on with the business of living but this time in safety?
NOTE: This article was written as a response to another, originally published in “The Bollard” on April 5th. It can be read here.
A guy wrote once that, although debate and compromise are valuable things in the right place, there are some positions that are completely, flatly wrong. These, because they’re just so obviously invalid, are no longer worth discussing, and compromise with them is plain dumb. (more…)
My last article was, at least nominally, about gun control.
It started optimistically enough; I began by stating that our country is more heavily armed than some war zones and pointing out the most recent mass shooting event. Somehow, though, in examining the statistics on gun violence, I concluded that the guns are not the real problem.
If you’re curious about that, feel free to go read that article; it’s a trip. If, on the other hand, you’re concerned directly with controlling the ownership and possession of firearms, read on here. (more…)
I should have started this with “Spoiler Alert”. ‘Cause nobody’s seen this movie yet.
A couple of days ago, President Obama announced on national television that he was taking executive action about gun violence. He invoked memories of tragedies, from Newtown and Aurora through Ford Hood and San Bernardino, and at one point he broke into tears.