I’m tired. Like so many other Americans, like our President, like anyone who has a heart, I’m weary of the almost clockwork report of a mass shooting. Once again, someone has murdered nine and injured far more, laden with firearms … guns that the shooter’s father didn’t even know the gunman (who still lived with his father) had. So many lives have been lost in similar fashion over these past years, far more lives than any terrorist attack or the other conventional boogeymen dangled before us by our politicians on a regular basis.
Fatigue shouldn’t be used as a reason for inaction however and, while we should grieve for the fallen, our tears won’t be of much use either. Some kind of action needs to be taken, but common sense action. Much like fatigue and depression are of little use, wild reaction is pointless as well.
The United States has a long history of a gun culture that comes close to worship (and you could argue that there are regions where it truly is worship). By that very history, there is a tendency among people who want to shy blame away from the guns themselves, to focus all the blame for these incidents on the problems our nation has with mental health and dealing with those suffering from mental and emotional diseases.
They aren’t entirely wrong. We do have big problems in how we deal with and address the mentally ill. However, basic common sense tells us that a problem of this magnitude cannot be tackled by focusing on only one part of the problem. The shooter is one part of the equation, yes, but the firearms themselves present another part of the issue.
A gun has one purpose and one purpose alone: to kill. We have a lot of laws and licensing in place to be given the authority to drive a motor vehicle, right? Because of our American love of guns, the restrictions on gun sales, proper licensing for use, and gun education are treated horribly by our government.
Yes, there are some laws in place, but they can be circumvented easily in multiple ways and they are wildly inconsistent throughout the country. The simple fact that these various gunmen, often with known mental and medical issues, could stockpile so many firearms and other weaponry with not a single warning bell set off in the actual system has to tell us that the piecemeal protections we have in place are far from sufficient.
It’s just common sense to restrict devices meant purely for death to be more intensely monitored and regulated than our transportation.
Next time, we’ll be back to our usual, more light-hearted topics with Writing Is A Bad Habit. Until then, friends, good reading, good writing, and good luck!