Friday July 10, 2020

Editorial: Why Is the Solution to Gun Violence More Guns?
Posted by Steve Juon at Monday, November 6th, 2017 at 10:00PM :: Email this article :: Print this article

Editorial courtesy of Steve 'Flash' Juon.

[Smith & Wesson courtesy Wikimedia Commons]After being visited this weekend with the horror of yet another mass shooting in Texas leaving 26 people dead, Americans are once again reminded that this horror is not going away any time soon. Although I find myself in support of the right to bear arms, I'm routinely insulted when tragedies like this are used to promote the idea that we'd all be safer if more people had guns. The absurdity of this is evident on its face by the fact this latest incident happened IN TEXAS, which is one of the most gun friendly states in the union, where you can openly and proudly walk around with pretty much anything other than a grenade launcher or a bazooka anywhere you like without a permit. It doesn't seem like all those armaments did anything to stop this tragedy.

I'm far from your stereotypical left wing hippie liberal. I played politically incorrect games like "Cowboys and Indians" as a kid, and the cap guns we used were so scarily realistic we were actually told to not point them at adults or even cars driving down the road. I actually saved the permit my dad got from the Navy to bring back two rifles with him that he bought in Japan, signed by his commanding officer and stamped "approved." I actually encourage people to hunt deer because I find them to be a nuisance animal that breeds out of control and causes far too many traffic fatalities. I've had one run out in front of us on the interstate going 65 MPH and it's one of those reasons I'm glad car safety standards are so high these days. Damn thing did two grand damage and nearly ruined our weekend. I wish some hunter had found it first. And of course like so many kids my age I played video games that came with guns like Duck Hunt and Hogan's Alley. I'm definitely not anti-gun in any way shape or form. There are plenty of hip-hop songs celebrating the right to bear arms in the name of self defense.

At some point though our personal and our national fascination with guns comes at our own expense. The truth is that laws restricting who can buy guns don't change the equation. If somebody intends to do bad things with a firearm they probably don't want a background check and a paper trail anyway - that's just not smart. Illegal guns will always be bought and sold to do illegal things. The curious thing is how many times we do have horrific incidents committed with legally acquired and stockpiled weapons. That's not a reason to restrict or repeal the Second Amendment, but it does once again raise the question of how any of us are made safer by more people having more weapons.

Here are just a few questions I'd like to pose to those of you reading.

1.) What is it about the cultural climate of America that makes us lead the world in gun violence?
2.) Why does our mental health system fail to recognize disturbed individuals before they act?
3.) How would giving more people who are not trained how to properly use weapons make us safe?
4.) What gun law has ever had any affect on homicide rates in cities like Chicago or Memphis?
5.) When do we as a nation ask ourselves if we're well enough armed already?

I wish I had the answers. I'm not here to advocate taking anybody's guns away, but I'm here to ask why we keep making more when it seems like there are more than enough to go around.

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