Sunday 22 July 2012

Thoughts and Prayers

I'm not always great at catching up on the news so this is a few days late.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims in Aurora, Colorado.  Nothing can ever make this better so I hope they can glean whatever comfort friends, family and community can give.

As for the gunman, I'm greatly disturbed to realize he did his best to maximize casualties, both in the theatre and his apartment.  The Behavioural Analysis unit of the FBI is going to have their hands full with this one.

But what bothers me the most are those who are busily screaming to use this tragedy for political purposes.  These people should realize they are never going to convince one another.  Those for gun control have yet another example of gun violence but if all the previous examples have failed to win hearts, yet another body count isn't going to do it.  Those who claim to support the Second Amendment should not be yipping about how more guns would solve the problem.

There's a ridiculous moment in their claims.  "Honey, do we have everything for the movies, our points card, some gum and our semi-automatic pistols?"  No society should ever let itself get sucked into such a culture of fear that we need to be prepared for deadly violence every moment of the day.

As a Canadian, I probably don't have the right to an opinion on American gun laws but that's never stopped me in the past.  I fail to see how having the right to bear arms as part of a militia group translated into the right to keep loaded weapons on your person at all time.  When it comes down to it, people have a tendency to be judgmental and crabby.  Adding lethal weapons to the mix just escalates the damage from hurt feelings and egos to actual wounds.

I'm not anti-gun.  They have a time and a place.  But it isn't at the grocery store or the park or any of a dozen other public places I could name. 

Gun violence rarely starts with bullets.  There's a host of social, economic and health problems which usually precede pulling the trigger.  As much as we long for a simple, direct solution, there isn't one.  It would be wonderful if we could band together as a culture and society and work on the underlying problems so that people didn't want to pull the trigger any more, at least, not outside the gun range.  But given how much effort is being wasted in assigning blame, I doubt we're going to see it.

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