In July I wrote a piece about the NRA and the Second Amendment. That was after the Colorado theatre shooting. Now we have yet another horrific shooting, this time at an Elementary School in Connecticut with an even greater loss of life of which 20 are children and 6 adults.
The twenty year old killer had a .223 Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle, a Glock and SIG-SAUER handguns. All weapons used by the Military, Law enforcement and the Secret Service.
How in God’s name does a twenty year old get hold of weapons like these and plenty of ammunition to be able to massacre 26 people? Well apparently the guns were licensed to his mother, who he allegedly shot before massacring the children.
Less than a week ago a lone gunman shot people in a Mall in Oregon. Prior to that we had five other mass shootings dating back to April this year, with the loss of over 60 dead and hundreds injured. And these are just the incidents that make the headlines because of their horrific death toll.
Not that this is just an American phenomenon. There was the attack on a camp on an Island in Norway in which a lone gunman killed 77 and injured 110. And in March 1996, in Dunblane Scotland, a lone gunman killed 16 children. But those were isolated incidents, not the continuous school shootings that have taken place in America because of the easy access to assault weapons, handguns and as much ammunition as can be sent though the mail or delivered by courier.
Are we going to continue to leave our children unprotected as easy targets for insane gunmen? When will the so-called Right to Bear Arms become the Right for Young Children to be protected from crazies who can purchase guns anywhere at any time?
The NRA should take responsibility for continuing to lobby against gun control and an assault weapons ban, which in turn leads directly to horrifying events we see today when innocent people are killed an injured. To think that an aggressive gun control policy would not prevent most of these incidents from happening is just being blind to the realities in order to pursue an ideological agenda.
But gun control is just one problem. The other is the general rise in violence as a tool to either ‘act-out’ grievances or resolve emotional disputes. There seems to be a lack of parental responsibility which perhaps is indicative of a society that seems not to care anymore. A self-centred society where the psychological and emotional welfare of children and young adult’s is too often ignored. Acrimonious divorces fracture families and the affect on children is deep and destructive. Tolerance seems to be a word that is no longer understood as bullying is on the rise, either in schools or online. Societal behaviour starts at home, and is not the responsibility of schools or the Government. While we may never know what really prompted this man to shoot twenty children, we do know that when you kill a parent then then something was definitely not OK at home.
This is what a reader of my blog from yesterday commented:
|I, as many of you, grew up with the “Golden Rule”. When did we stop teaching this to our children? “Do unto others as you want them to do unto you”. Such a simple and yet basic phylosophy of life. It crosses all religious and political lines and just reminds us how to live as human beings. If we could get back to this, I think it would be a good start to restoring our country to the strong, respected nation that we use to be.|
There will always be sick people, but we have to pay attention to the warning signs and not just ignore them and simply dismiss seriously disturbing behaviour as ‘Oh he’s just like that. Just a bit odd’. We, as human beings living in a civilised society, have to be responsible not only for ourselves and our families, but for our neighbours as well.
In the discussion – or should I say lack of discussion – about gun control, there is a lot of talk about ‘Freedom’. With ‘Freedom’ come responsibility, and part of that responsibility is to keep our citizens safe. There are more guns in the USA than citizens. Most gun owners have more than one, and many include assault rifles as part of their armoury. There are more gun retail outlets than gas stations in America. Do those statistics make any sense to anyone?
Guns make it easy to kill dozens of people.
Guns are the weapon of choice for cowards, who without a gun would not be able to kill so many people.
There will always be disturbed, evil people in our society but do we have to make it easy for them to kill us en masse?