Students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., evacuate the school following a shooting, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (WPLG-TV via AP)
Just days ago, seventeen people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL were robbed of their dreams, aspirations, and future when they were murdered by a former student of the school. Like many of the mass shootings before it, there were countless people running, screaming, injured and scared; hoping that the shooting would stop and no one else would be killed. And, like many of the mass shootings before it – things are already turning political, people are finger pointing, protests against the second amendment and the National Rifle Association are underway, and people en masse are calling for change.
Like most traumatic events, people don’t always think logically, rather most people think emotionally. In the best of circumstances, groups of people develop a ‘herd’ mentality – which is easily amplified and even manipulated when compounded by a major or traumatic event. The one thing everyone can reasonably agree on: it was a tragedy that should not have happened, and we as a nation must identify and correct the factors which are contributing to an alarming increase in these types of events.
Every time there is a mass shooting, increasing numbers of people call for the ban of guns and/or so-called “assault weapons.” Most people don’t realize that the term “assault weapon” is a misused term for an often times negative reference to modern rifles. The media will commonly refer to AR-15 style modern sporting rifles as an “assault weapon.” There are calls and protests happening right now – demanding the outlaw of guns, like the one used in the Parkland, FL massacre.
Even certain types of guns are outlawed, or hell, even if all guns are outright outlawed, there’s still going to be mass shootings and murders. You’ll hear things like ‘high capacity magazines are more deadly because someone can shoot more bullets faster.’ If you’ve heard something like that before watch this video of an Indiana Sheriff, who demonstrates how fast you can fire a low capacity weapon.
Laws will not be the instant turn-key change so many think. Each year, law abiding citizens have more and more rights stripped away from them as a result of new laws passed. There are currently so many laws on the books, no-one knows exactly how many laws there are; and furthermore, with so many existing laws, that the average law abiding citizen unknowingly commits up to three felony crimes per day. With such a huge number of laws already on the books, we should theoretically be walking on sunshine and live in a crime free utopia, right? Unfortunately legislation and law making doesn’t work that way.
If you want to ban guns, you should consider banning hammers, rocks, knives, scissors, baseball bats, bows and arrows, and slew of other everyday objects that can be used to injure or kill others.
With respect to numbers, FBI Data shows there are more people killed in the US with a blunt object such as a hammer versus an ‘assault weapon’ type rifle every year.
Want to repeal the second amendment and prohibit the rights of law abiding citizens to access firearms? What about chemicals, gasoline and oil-based products, common household goods and cleaners, fertilizer, metals, plastics, piping, pressure cookers, and numerous other articles and items which are used in the production of IED’s – Improvised Explosive Devices (for those who don’t know, an IED is a home-made bomb.) The Boston Marathon bombing, Oklahoma City bombing, and in frequent instances across the globe; IED’s are regularly used to injure, maim, and kill countless innocent victims. The people protesting guns should consider protesting against every component used to make homemade bombs and explosives.
Look at the results of outlawing guns on a local level. For example in Chicago, Illinois, and Baltimore, Maryland, you will find some of the strictest gun control laws in America. Yet they have dozens of shootings and killings every week in their cities. These cities are essentially huge “Gun Free Zones,” where in most instances the mere possession of a gun is more-or-less completely illegal, and yet they are among the most violent and deadly cities in America. Do you know why that is?
It’s because law and legislation is not the magic cure to stop mass shootings and killings. Yes, it’s a politically divided subject, with both sides having a night and day difference of opinion. People seem to forget when they’re upset following a traumatic event that only law abiding American’s follow the laws. Criminals by their very nature (see definition of a criminal) do not follow the laws and rules like the majority of society. Passing more laws and legislation does absolutely nothing to stop future acts of crime. Rather, the majority of American’s are losing their rights in the name of crime and violence prevention, and yet the violence isn’t prevented by a piece of paper – a.k.a. – a new law. The people affected by and who would follow such laws aren’t the ones who are going into places gunning people down in cold blood.
Criminals and the insane don’t care what the laws are; black markets where guns and other items are sold, bought, and traded by criminals are an illegal operation – with no permits and licenses. No, it’s all a criminal enterprise, whereby all the activities are already illegal, yet they continue despite the laws which say it’s a crime. Yes, something does in fact need to be done to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally insane, but the outright outlawing of inanimate objects serves no real purpose in the reduction and prevention of violence and gun related crime. Instead another focus should be how criminals obtain the firearms used in the crimes they commit.
If guns are banned, bad guys will still get them and use them for any illegal and gut-wrenching purpose they like. Instead or eroding and eliminating more rights of the people, perhaps we need to look at things differently. For instance; where have we gone wrong as a society where a teenager who got into trouble at school, made a decision to obtain a gun for the purpose of going back to the school and committing a unthinkable act of violence – taking so many innocent lives. Were the laws, rules, regulations, and other processes already in place properly followed? Were there warning signs that went unnoticed, or even ignored; which could have prevented the most recent massacre?
It’s not very far in the past where one could visit any high school campus and see boys with pocket knives any given day, or see rifles and shotguns in the student’s automobiles during hunting season. Granted, it’s a different time today, but why? Where have we as a society altered our course, with such deadly consequences? Not speaking to outside influence, such as immigration or other hot-button topics; what the hell has happened that someone wants to do so much harm, and take the lives of so many? Were there warning signs present, but went unnoticed? Were things said, or written, but dismissed rather than taken seriously? In most cases there will be some sort of warning sign, a comment, behavioral change, something written; any number of indicators. Sadly, these are too frequently dismissed; with deadly results.
Our nation very clearly has some deep and disturbing issues. It’ll no doubt be a long road ahead to identify and correct the issues; which are directly contributing to the violence we are so frequently seeing today. However, for groups to band together and call for the ban of guns, more gun control, and similar measures; is a poorly-informed and dangerous stance to take. To demand the revocation of rights and passing of more laws which only effect the law-abiding is absolutely incomprehensible.
Again, any measures taken or laws passed will do nothing to change the actions of criminals, or a person determined to commit a criminal act. Instead of focusing on guns, maybe it’s time we look deeper. Maybe it’s time we as a nation say “what has happened in the last +/- 25 years that has caused the mental change driving these acts of violence.” It is only when we understand what is causing the problem, that we can begin taking actions to stop future violence and attacks. It’s not a gun that kills someone; it’s a person that kills someone. And if a person wants to kill, they will – regardless of any laws relating to guns. Let’s determine what the problem with a person is, since it’s a person who is doing the killing, not an inanimate object.