Feeling Safe?

So we’ve had another shooting, this time not on a college campus but in a shopping mall. Yesterday the reporters were out in other shopping malls asking people whether they felt insecure. How are we supposed to feel when such things can happen anywhere at any time?

What nobody seemed to be asking was why the shooter’s father-in-law had an AK-47 lying around the house. Did he keep it so he would feel more secure? What about all those who died because he had such a weapon and didn’t bother to lock it up? What was he doing for their security? Have you ever heard of a burglar being shot down with an AK-47?

Notice also that for weeks and months we’ve been hearing tirades about illegal immigration and how it makes us less secure. But the young men with guns in Roanoke and Omaha and elsewhere were here quite legally. The people who flew the planes into the Trade Towers were here legally. The man who blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma was a native of this country. I’m not worried about illegal immigrants when there are so many citizens out there who are armed and dangerous.

It concerns me also that with each successive massacre, the cries of outrage seem to be fewer and feebler. There was a time when the reaction to such tragedies was new legislation to limit the number of weapons available to future shooters. But now we seem to accept the fact that the NRA controls the Congress and nothing can be done about it. We seem resigned to hearing at regular intervals that five or ten or twenty more normal people going about their daily business have been gunned down. We have become targets in a shooting gallery and those whose business it is to protect us no longer care. President Bush’s message to the people of Omaha was that he knew they were strong and would overcome. It’s as if he wants us to believe that gun violence is as uncontrollable as a tornado, just one of those inexplicable things that happen.

What is inexplicable to me is the notion that a homeowner should have an assault weapon lying around and that no one seems to think that’s a problem. Fulminate about illegal immigrants all you want, they are no threat to me. The real threat to my security comes from someone who grew up next door or down the street and has a bad day and is able to take it out on those who just happen to be within his range because there are so many guns lying around loose. Is there finally no one in Washington willing to defend my security in a way that would make a practical difference?

I will write my Congressman today. What will you do?

Leave a comment

Your comment