With all the conversations going on about the recent tragedy in Tuscon, I feel compelled to add my thoughts:
The biggest problem with guns is that they exist, and in great numbers. There is literally nothing that can be done about it. I don’t care how many laws are passed, they will surely continue to be available to anyone who really wants one (or two, three, or a hundred!). It would be impossible to collect them all and even if you stopped manufacturing them here, they would come from somewhere else. And, it is equally impossible to regulate them. Again, there are too many illegitimate ways to obtain a gun and any laws or regulations would be easily circumvented by anyone who was sufficiently motivated to get one.
So, guns exist and are not going to go away, and, by themselves, are totally harmless. What makes anything into a weapon is, of course, how it is used. Which brings me to the my next point…
Again, they exist and will for the foreseeable future (although it’s debatable how long that may be) AND they are beyond control due to an infinite number of variable inherent characteristics. No matter how many laws, rules or regulations are enacted, some will obey and some won’t, no matter what kind of punishment is threatened. They are the most unpredictable and, therefore, dangerous component of the whole equation. This point has been indisputably proven throughout history and you don’t need a PHD to see the truth of it. Which, again, brings me to my next point:
So, now we have guns and people, and the obvious need for targets. I mean, no one owns a gun simply to show them off or “collect” them… they are for aiming and shooting and, certainly, the intention is that a bullet will strike some predetermined target. Whether or not the bullet actually hits the intended target is of little importance in the final analysis for once the trigger is pulled, anything or anyone can be the “receptor”… collateral damage is inherent in the act of shooting. Once the projectile is on its way, no amount of second-thinking or regret will alter its course… the deed is done and the results are final. Although there were many opportunities to avoid this outcome, the choice has been made and is irreversible. Unlike an insult, a slap or a punch, a gunshot usually causes permanent damage, if not death. Yet, it seems many are able to perform this act with as little thought as it would take to order a Happy Meal at McDonald’s…. WHY?
From my personal observation, I think, as a society (mankind as a whole) has become completely disconnected at the individual level. The “how” and “why” of it would require a separate lengthy discourse and I’m not going to go into it, here. I will say that I think technology (cell phones, computers, violent games, etc), the decentralized, mobile family unit and ego-centric “me” thinking has all contributed to this phenomenon. “You, your feelings and your life mean nothing to me” seems to be the mantra of today’s society. People become nothing more than disembodied avatars in a surrealistic computer game and can be unemotionally blown away if they seem to be preventing anyone from winning their “game”. Yes, this is a generalization, and, as such, is not 100% accurate but I think it describes the situation fairly well.
This may seem to some to be dark and dreary “doom and gloom” synopsis… and, well, it is. To me, this shooting in Tuscon (and the vitriolic rhetoric that preceded it) are all just symptoms of a dysfunctional society. The larger problem, I’m afraid, is much more pervasive and dangerous. We, as a species, are on the brink of extinction and we can no longer afford the luxury of irresponsibly promoting our individual, self-centered agendas. We desperately need to engage in a new conversation that overlooks nationality, politics, money, religion and any other belief system that generates polarization rather than co-operation. And, there is no time left to waste in initiating it… the Gaea-clock is winding down and the “human experiment” is precariously close to ending. Isn’t it time for a change? Will you be part of the problem or part of the solution?
I thank anyone who has taken the time and effort to read this post, and I apologize if I wasn’t clear enough or eloquent enough to get my point fully across. In spite of my short-comings, I think that anyone who has the openness and willingness to understand it will be able to see what I’ve tried to communicate. Hopefully, it makes a difference in your life, and, either way, I’d love you to leave a comment and/or pass this on to others. PEACE!