It’s on the news every day. Some idiot with a gun killed somebody – and often times the police don’t really know why. I’m looking for help here and so the question is simply, “What is wrong with these people?” It is a fair question but my guess is that most of us don’t have a clue as how to answer this disturbing dilemma.
The puzzle is two-fold. First there are a lot of guns in the United States (more by far than any other country on earth) and those guns are easily obtained by both legal and illegal means. Second we have a lot of crazy people out there who have no idea how to settle disputes like normal human beings and certainly no clue about the sanctity of life. And try this statistic on for size: The United States has 4 percent of the world’s population but about 40 percent of the world’s guns. The number of guns in our country is larger than the entire population by a wide margin (approximately 67 million more).
With those overwhelming stats I’m not sure that we are going to ever be able to do anything about the number of guns. New gun laws and harsh penalties for those who kill have been proven ineffectual. We might feel better when we have to register a firearm or go through a background check and we might feel better when a murderer is put away for life but it does little to make matters better in the grand scheme.
So what’s the definition of a crazy person in the context of this discussion? From my perspective there’s plenty of categories. There’s the druggie, the gangster, the dope dealer, the road rage guy, the guy who is PO’d at the world and the guy who seeks some sort of ill-conceived respect at all costs just to name a few.
The druggies get high and look for ways to get money. Often times that happens with a pistol in their hand. Gangsters have their reputation to uphold, dope dealers have to protect their turf, road rage guys (40 shootings this year in Atlanta alone) are egomaniacs who have no conscience, the guy who is PO’d at the world is the one who shoots up his former workplace and the “respect at all costs guys” just don’t have a grip on reality.
None of these categories make any sense at all to me.
As for the 2nd Amendment, the Supreme Court has heard relatively few cases but for the most part have upheld the right of citizens to bear arms. That body will likely play a non-existent role in the problem at hand.
Our police forces cannot be everywhere at once and therefore they are just going to be reactive. They will try to figure out who committed the crime but they cannot be the central figure in solving this problem. They can do their part by trying to counsel youngsters they come in contact with but their influence is minimal and is no fault of theirs.
Politicians are not going to solve this problem either. They can pass gun laws and can pile on penalties for both those who sell arms illegally and those who use them illegally. Those things may get them some votes and they may pat themselves on the back but the killings will go on because there are too many crazy people with guns.
Ultimately it comes down to this in my mind. We all have to share the blame and we all have to be a part of the solution. It is a long-term solution mind you but if we don’t start now this pattern will just get worse.
It starts with the family. Parents have to teach their children how to resolve conflict without resorting to violence. They have to ingrain in those impressionable minds concepts like empathy, patience and the ideals of our Golden Rule. They have to make sure that their children are surrounded by friends who are being taught the same kind of things and they have to be firm in their commitment to these ideals and consistent in the message.
If we don’t start now the issue is just going to get worse. The United States will continue to grow in population which translates to more killings and it’s for sure that the number of guns will match that growth.
Let’s don’t let our kids become one of the “crazies” – start today and see it through. We will all be better off in just a few short years.