Regulating Gun Ownership

This is a video that EVERYONE needs to watch. Whether you liked Obama or not, he made some excellent common-sense statements/suggestions about gun ownership.

Too bad his point of view was pushed aside simply because (some) people didn’t like him as a person. Had things been different, perhaps we would not have witnessed the latest shooting.

 

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I Could Not Have Said It Better: Guns II

I’m copying and pasting this blogger’s outstanding post on the recent school shooting instead of “re-posting” for one primary reason — one of her blog visitors added a totally uncalled for  “comment” that was extremely offensive, especially considering the subject. Such insensitivity does not need to be shared.

Having said that … here is the outstanding post:

Seems like only yesterday I posted my article (read: rant) about gun laws in the US. And here I am, again in a somber tone, reacting to yet another mass shooting. Only this time, my patience with the Christian response has worn thin. Never have I felt such anger towards religion than I did on Wednesday, when the ruthless murder of 17 people generated the typical, increasingly unacceptable response: prayer. “Oh, we’re sorry your kid is dead. But don’t worry. We’re all going to stand in a building for an hour and chit-chat with “God” about it, then have some coffee. That should make you feel better. And it will definitely prevent this from happening to anyone else’s child.”

“We’re going to send prayer chains around the country on Facebook Messenger.” Are you freaking kidding me? Chain letters? The equivalent of a seven-year-old’s financial scheme, or an Amish friendship cake is how we’re responding to a national crisis? I’m insulted. I’m angry. I’m afraid. I’m sick of the word “prayer.”

Donald Trump: “Our entire nation, with one heavy heart, continues to pray for the victims and their families in Parkland, Fl.” When asked whether more gun laws were needed to prevent school shootings, he did not respond. Because, clearly, there’s no problem with our gun laws when someone who has been expelled from school for erratic mental health issues, and who has had the police called on him 30 times for violent and threatening incidences, and who has already tweeted intentions to murder people can go to the corner store and purchase a gun. There is a more thorough investigation conducted when a single mom applies for food stamps, apparently, than when someone goes to buy a gun.

But we’re handling this. We’re praying about it. We’re all going to join hands and chant words to some fabled superhero who probably just didn’t notice this was happening, then go out for Chick-Fil-A. Let’s make a day of it! Let’s all post it as our status. “Praying for the families in Florida.” That should do the trick. Now, back to Candy Crush.

How about instead, we get our heads of our arses and out of the Middle Ages for a minute and do something that’s going to help, at least remotely or minutely, to prevent another tragedy like this? I said it before, and I’ll say it again. Prayer isn’t working. If you needed proof, let Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School be your proof. Now you can save your 15 minutes a day of doing nothing, and maybe get on the phone with your local government.

Imagine a “chain” of people donating an hour a week to acting on information their teenagers are providing about their own, or a friend’s mental illness. How about mentoring, tutoring, fostering, adopting, volunteering on a suicide prevention line, or serving in any arena where under-reached youth are crying out for help?  How about lobbying for stricter laws, or broader healthcare, or greater awareness? Imagine millions of people donating one dollar each towards school resources and equipment that may prevent another tragedy. How about donating time to raise awareness about depression, anxiety, or violent tendencies, or the resources available to report potential threats? How about everyone taking the time to actually respond when there are warning signs on social media, or concerns posted by classmates? If we have time to send chain letters and pray, we have ten minutes to listen and respond.

We could reach out to the family members and offer financial or emotional support. We could support groups that work tirelessly for safer schools. (According to one such group, the Sandyhook Promise, 80 % of school shooters told someone about their violent plan, or exhibited warning signs. )There is so much we can do. But our children go to school fearing for their lives. And who do they have to protect them? An older generation of idiots who are praying to supernatural beings to keep them safe.

“Kids are getting killed in school.  Let’s send chain letters to nobody! Let’s do absolute shit about it, and then pass it on to 1,000 people in a bulk email, so we look like we care.

Brilliant.

Now don’t get me wrong. If it’s not a cause you care about, you have every right to do nothing. Doing nothing is your prerogative. Go right ahead. But don’t invite me to do nothing with you, because it insults me. Don’t email me an invitation to sit in your church, behind closed doors, and wipe myself clean of my grown-up responsibility to act. And for the love of everything good, don’t send me a chain letter. Because I’m not seven, and you aren’t either. And it just makes me sick.

A mother lost her son on Wednesday, due to a fully preventable tragedy. A father lost his daughter. The world was robbed of three adults who were brave heroes in the face of a crisis. The youth who lived through this tragedy will be forever changed. The families who lost people will suffer the sorrow of a perpetual void. The time for talking to our imaginary friends about this is OVER.

P.S. Readers and followers: please limit your discussion to the post itself and refrain from personal comments/attacks against the above-referenced individual. (Most of you know who it is.) Thanks!

Inanimate Guns

Again and again we hear the mantra … “Guns don’t kill people … people kill people.” And often someone will add … “Guns are inanimate objects; they just lay there until someone picks one up and uses it.”

And while there is some merit to this reasoning, one cannot help but wonder … what if the gun were not there to pick up and use?

As I’ve stated before, I have no problem with responsible gun-owners who use their guns to hunt, target shoot, skeet shoot, collect, etc.

But where do we draw the line? How do we know the person who walks into the gun store to buy a gun is a “responsible” individual?

Background checks help. Waiting periods help. BUT, neither one seems to stop the senseless GUN KILLINGS that continue to affect our nation.

What’s the answer? Do we take away all the guns as other countries have done? I think most people would agree this will never happen in the U.S., primarily because of the Second Amendment, but also because the gun-loving populace (and the NRA lobbyists) would never let it happen.

Some have suggested more stringent gun-buying requirements, similar to car purchases. Others have suggested, at the very least, eliminating the availability of assault weapons (but what about those who already have them?). Still others have pushed for more and better mental health services.

Of course, the common response is that no matter what restrictions are placed on guns and/or gun purchases … the “criminals” will still be able to get and use a gun for their nefarious purposes. And unfortunately, there is much truth to this.

So what do we do? Do we continue to fight over this issue while our children and other innocent family members and friends lose their lives in unprovoked and senseless killings?

Below is a suggestion made by “The Other 98%” on Facebook. While it addresses the abortion issue as well (and is obviously tongue-in-cheek), I feel there is some merit behind the message as related to guns.

guns-abortion

I bring this issue to the forefront of my blog because I live in Oregon, not too far from the Roseburg massacre. I did not know any of the killed or injured, but the proximity of the incident definitely has had an effect in our community.

I think we can all agree … there are no easy answers. But answers are something we urgently need to find. And soon.

P.S. I just came across this article. Unfortunately, nothing has changed.

Bruce Willis’ Simplistic Statement

Following is a ‘brief’ that was in today’s local newspaper:

Bruce Willis says he’s against new gun control laws that could infringe on Second Amendment rights. He dismissed any link between Hollywood shootouts and real-life gun violence in a recent interview while promoting his latest film. He believes “the real topic is diminished” when observers link Hollywood entertainment with high-profile mass shootings. “No one commits a crime because they saw a film. There’s nothing to support that,” he said.

It’s that last statement that sent me through the roof. Of course no one goes out and commits a crime just because they saw a film! It isn’t simply the movies, video games, or television programs that cause individuals to go out and murder innocent people. It’s what these forms of communication are frequently promoting, i.e., violence and disrespect for human life.

Watch practically any action movie or TV program and you’ll see this person killing that person (most frequently with a gun). Look over the shoulder of your teenager as he plays one of the popular video games and what is he doing? Shooting and killing.

Certainly not every person who is exposed to a violent movie or video game is going to go on a mass murdering spree. There are nearly always other factors involved. However, as Eugene V. Beresin, M.D., (Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital) writes in the following online article:

While the causes of youth violence are multifactorial and include such variables as poverty, family psychopathology, child abuse, exposure to domestic and community violence, substance abuse and other psychiatric disorders, the research literature is quite compelling that children’s exposure to media violence plays an important role in the etiology of violent behavior.

Dr. Beresin goes on to say:

The “typical American child will view more than 200,000 acts of violence, including more than 16,000 murders before age 18.”

He adds:

“They may come to see violence as a fact of life and, over time, lose their ability to empathize with both the victim and the victimizer.”

I was particularly struck by this statement:

“The typical scenario of using violence for a righteous cause may translate in daily life into a justification for using violence to retaliate against perceived victimizers. Hence, vulnerable youth who have been victimized may be tempted to use violent means to solve problems.”

In my opinion, while Mr. Willis may support Second Amendment rights, his comment related to films and crime demonstrated a complete disconnect to the very real issue that is facing our nation today.