Saturday, June 8, 2013

Guns Don't Kill People, But They Make It Easier For Lunatics To

Those of you who receive my newsletter know this blog was to be on the recreation of our heroes.   I was going to examine the revamping of characters such as Sherlock Holmes into a contemporary detective, Superman into a dark brooding hero, etc...

I was recouping from a nasty stomach bug and mulling the blog over in my mind, when my friend Sonya began posting her outrage at events at Santa Monica College on her  Facebook page.  Realizing something ugly had just taken place, I switched my podcasts off and turned CNN on.

Police in S.W.A.T. gear were ushering additional squad cars onto the scene and "encouraging" reporters to stay behind the yellow crime tape.  I soon learned that an ebony clad gunman's rampage in Santa Monica had left four people dead.

Armed with a semi-automatic rifle & 1,300 rounds of ammo, an assailant's spree began at home by killing his father and brother, and setting their house ablaze.  He then carjacked a lady's car and shot at a public bus, eventually making his way to the aforementioned college campus where he shot at several people and the library.  The shooter ended up killing four people and wounding five others before being put down by police.

This was yet another link in the long bizarre chain I wrote about back in January.  Somehow a portion of our population has accepted the idea that violence is an acceptable response to anger and/or frustration.  Why?

I used to poopoo the idea that TV & video game violence lead to real world violence.  "Surely," I told myself, "people can distinguish between fiction and reality."  The idea that real people would kill others, in an attempt to mimic The Joker, The Punisher, or The A-Team was completely absurd to me.  Perhaps I was wrong.

Be that as it may, the moment we begin censoring content for violence is the moment we start the slippery slope toward only being able to publish/perform state approved messages.  None of us want to live in that world.

So, what can we do?

We can make guns harder to get.  Without the ability to obtain a military assault rifle, the Santa Monica assailant couldn't have caused the mayhem he caused.  He couldn't have done it.

The U.S, averages 87 gun deaths each day as a function of gun violence, with an average of 183 people being injured, according to the University of Chicago Crime Lab and the Centers for Disease Control. Yet, in Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), during 2011 & 2012 combined, there was a total of 44 gun related homicides.  The difference being, the British government legally curtails ownership of guns.

Before you cry, "2nd Amendment," can we all agree that we can buy meat in stores, call the police, and protect ourselves with tazers and mace when we're in the bad part of town?  Private citizens no longer need to keep and bare arms in order to maintain a well regulated militia, which makes the 2nd Amendment obsolete.

You can't tell me it's OK for our government to collect meta-data on our phone calls, in the name of national security, but it's not OK for them to legally curtail the ownership of guns.  The fact of the matter is, if gun ownership was legally curtailed, the police would have legal cause to confiscate such weapons BEFORE tragedies like this occur.

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