I don't alway process as quickly as everyone else. I'm prone to over thinking, over feeling, compulsively trying to understand that which comes easily, and that which does not. I try not to dismiss other opinions, especially those that are in direct conflict of my own because I know until we see (as best we can) from the other point of view, we can do nothing to change it. But, I am at a loss. I can't see the other side of the gun issue no matter how open I insist I be, or willing to listen. This time, I have grown increasingly disheartened, and even angry. I've gotten argumentative in moments, and dismissive in others.
When someone compares guns to pencils or forks as tools that carry out the intentions of a person, I sarcastically and callously respond by saying, "Yes, yes. Totally same. I remember when that man misspelled an entire classroom of children to death, and that time 12 women were force fed to death in under a minute by a fork."
These things are not the same. And to imply they are further proves the demented thinking that fights so diligently for looser gun regulations, and greater accessibilities to the very tools whose single purpose is to kill. When I fully grasped it is my friends, my family and my neighbors who share this mentality, it changed how I see them. It encourages thoughts I'd rather not think. It makes me question their own mental health. It makes me wonder what value their children are to them. It makes me want to ask, "If you had to choose between your gun and your child, which would you choose?"
They don't have to answer. We've seen the answer. How many times have we read of a child accessing their parents pistol, only to accidentally maim and kill themselves? Whether people want to admit it or not, that is an answer. Knowing the destruction a gun can bring, and mixing it with the natural curiosity and adventure of a child, they've given the answer. When a gun remains in a person's possession long after their sweet child has been buried in the ground, they have answered.
(more after the fold)
Responding to a mass murder by a weapon that can neither be described as a tool for hunting, or a tool of protection by arming more people with guns magnifies how very unstable the thinking is that we have embraced in America.
Fires are put out before the root cause is examined. We don't let fires burn uncontrollably, threatening everything in its path from property to life. We act purposefully, extinguishing the fire, lessening its probability of destruction. Only when the threat is over do we seek out the reasons. And when we find the reasons, we don't just walk away and say, "Oh well. We can't prevent them. Let's turn a blind eye." No, we take steps to prevent future fires. Why do we not approach guns in the same way? Why aren't we lessening their probability of destruction? Why are we even debating about semi-automatic weapons? I've heard the best preventative measure in gun related deaths is making people pay harsh penalties for their crimes. Penalties come after the crime. If you want to save lives, you prevent the crime.
Go ahead and use the copout that people determined to kill will find a way to kill. Do we really want to be an accomplice in ensuring they can do it as easily as possible? Because so far, that's what we've done. We have been accomplices. By not making every attempt possible to keep guns out of the wrong hands, we are an accomplice. I don't want to be an accomplice. I won't be anymore.
Think of someone you know who has been killed by a gun. I'm thinking of the father of a high school acquaintance who was shot and killed by him. I'm thinking of a grandfather in Lubbock, Texas who accidentally shot and killed his grade-school aged granddaughter. I'm thinking of the sweet, angelic faces of the children who drew their last breath in a classroom before they really had a chance to live. And I can't help but wonder if they could, would they say to those who are hell bent on looser gun laws, and weapons that can kill 28 people in a matter of minutes, "You worked hard to protect the guns that were used to kill me. Now, will you fight for me?"
Every legislature who has championed gun laws that serve to protect an object more than to protect a life should be asked this same question. Everyday. They should be forced to look at the face of victims, and asked, "Will you fight for me now that I am gone?"