Still Not Feeling Safe?

“Guns don’t kill people,” says the NRA. “People kill people.” But people with guns kill more people than people without guns. If we can’t get rid of the guns in our society, can’t we at least find ways to keep them out of the wrong hands?

When a young man opened fire in a Nebraska mall, we learned that he used his father’s AK-47. No one seems to have asked why his father had an assault rifle lying around the house. No one seems to question his carelessness or see a need for laws controlling the storing of guns or the availability of guns useful only for killing people.

When a disturbed man attacked a Christian church in Colorado, did anyone ask where the guns came from?

More recently we have heard about a deeply disturbed young man who lived in a room reeking with urine and garbage who had gone out of his room only once as an adult: to buy an assault rifle with which to kill a third grade classmate who had obsessed his thoughts. Fortunately, his well-meaning grandmother had put a return address on the threatening letters he gave her to mail so they could find the would-be shooter and put him away before he could act on his threats. But no one seems to ask where he got the money or why the grandmother he lived with mailed his threatening letters and never wondered why he needed a gun.

It’s interesting to read blogs on the subject. On one side we hear from the citizens who think the solution to guns is more guns. One of these wrote:

“I don’t shop in the malls because most of them are posted no carry ; that only stops the law abiding citizens and advertises to the bad guys that everyone there is unarmed.”

To which another citizen responded:

“Right on, dude!! I’ve decided never to shop in a mall again until they let us carry our AK-47s. A handgun just doesn’t get it anymore. I think everyone knows it’s just not safe to leave the house anymore without a weapon. I’d carry a bazooka if I could, cause you never know when you’re going to encounter Bigfoot, and you want to be prepared for that. America will only be great again when we’re all packing and suspicious of everyone we see. Lock and load and keep your finger on that trigger, folks! You can’t ever be too safe. And, oh yeah, when in doubt, shoot first and ask questions later. Better to drop that unarmed grandma reaching for a mint right where she stands rather than take a chance that she was going to blow you away. The NRA teaches us to be paranoid for a reason, and we should listen to them. They know what’s best for us!!

But why is it, then, that the United States has the highest percentage of households with guns (39%) of the 36 wealthiest nations – and by far the largest number of deaths from firearms? In the United States, 14 people are killed by firearms every year but in England, where 4% of the households have a gun, one every two years.

The more guns, the more deaths from guns seems to be the message. But a society that requires seat belts for all and helmets for children on bicycles seems unable to stop the carnage.

Leave a comment

Your comment