Gun Control Solutions and Opportunities
Our nation – ye our world – is tormented by and heartsick over the destructive use of firearms. Innocents are slaughtered daily. All humanity is indiscriminately included – tots, children, boys, girls, men and women. No one is safe from psycho killers, jealous love partners, disgruntled employees, armed thieves, religious fanatics, vengeance driven outlaws, insane glory seekers, accidental discharges AND – to be totally frank – from each other!
Firearms – guns – can propel a piece of metal that travels at a great speed with a simple twitch of a finger. Once fired, this piece of metal is on its destructive way with no retrieval possible. Technology brought us this system of destruction a few centuries ago and technology ever continues to “improve” its methods of delivery: faster projectile speed, larger size and more piercing bullets, extreme rapid firing, with more “advances” on the way.
This seemingly intractable problem – the murder of millions yearly by gunshot – has two major precipitates: one, the weapon itself; and two, the possessor of the weapon – people!
Firstly, the gun is an invitation to easy destruction by its very design. It is portable, easy to conceal and readily available. It can fit under the arm in a holster or tucked in the pants. It can be stored anywhere convenient: under the pillow or on the night stand, in a kitchen drawer or in the car’s glove box. The gun is very easy to use: load and squeeze the trigger – nothing to it. But nothing tops the fact that the gun can be fired from a distance without the victim even aware of their mortal danger. You can pick someone off from five hundred yards away and nobody can see or hear you pull the ever-so-easy-to-use trigger.
Compare the ease of using a gun with the means used to kill people in ages past. Most of these methods involved strength and skill and a lot of nerve. The bow and arrow requires skill and strength just to draw back the string. And, being a rather large weapon, it was very easy to see, thus gave the potential victim a chance to run out of its range or put up a effective shield against it. (Think Braveheart with the arrows raining upon the shields).
How about knives and swords? Once again, great skill, strength and agility are required in order to harm another person. The use of these weapons allows for plenty of time to reconsider what and why you are doing, giving thought to the idea of chasing someone around the castle, knowing that your intended victim has had time to pick up his own instrument and start whacking back at you!
Both of the above methods of destruction also require extreme proximity to the intended victim. This requires stealth, planning, rubber-soled shoes, surreptitious administered sleeping pills and a lot of guts. Today the infrequent stabbings that do occur are while the husband/boyfriend (victim) is asleep. Arrow deaths are quite rare for the same reasons.
Now to the real cause of gun deaths- people! Guns do not fire by themselves! It takes a human being to squeeze the trigger that sends the lethal bullet on its way. Simple solution here: Take all the guns from trigger squeezers! I don’t know how many ways there are to say “ Fat Chance!” but you can forget this idea as a remedy. There is no way on God’s Little Green Acre that a critical mass of people would agree to giving up their firearms – good guys, bad guys – it just won’t sell!
Next idea: downsize the weaponry. The current proposed restricting legislation thinks how wonderful it would be if a gun could only get off ten rounds in fifteen seconds. Are you kidding? Mankind will not be hindered from using guns – no matter what new “restrictions” are legislated. No go here.
Next idea: Grab the Loonies before they act! You might as well put every person in the slammer or a ward as it is absolutely impossible to predict who and when someone is going over the edge. Remember the phrase, “Going Postal!”? Long time employee gets canned for drinking on the job, goes home, grabs his shotgun, comes back to the post office and bangs away, nailing six, seven former co-workers. Abusive husband/boyfriend won’t let anyone else “have” his wife/girlfriend, arrives at her workplace and takes out her and ten others. Why weren’t these guys locked up before they went ballistic? Because our society values individual freedom over public safety.
Next Week: The discussion continues with some very surprising conclusions.