We are entering another faze of the ritual mes culpa. In this phase we look at how to prevent this specific tragic event. After 9/11 we restricted air travel though various means that discourage the relatively effortless travel most Americans enjoyed before that time. After the Oklahoma bombing we monitored those who bought large amounts of fertilizer. The underwear bomber was used to provide a means of attracting TSA agents through the opportunity to look at random naked people.
Sure, we can respond to each incident, or we can try to prevent the pattern. For instance, we know what to do to minimize terrorist on airplanes. Secure the cockpits and station trained profilers in airports. Not violate the rights of the citizens to travel freely. Not violate the rights of travelers to privacy.
Unfortunately we seem to be entering a debate of how to chance of a repeat of single event, and at best minimize the occurrence of a type of event which, to be honest, is more of a PR problems for certain persons than a out of the ordinary occurrence. We want to believe it is an out of ordinary occurrence, and it may be for certain wealthy areas, but for many it is a fact of life.
So what I want to do here is advocate that if we have gun control it is not because 20 children were murdered in one day in one place, but because hundreds are children at murdered every year, and the parent of these children do not have the world coming to their aid, or President Obama coming to their memorials.
We need to protect our children from crime, and not just in the school. Children have a right to feel safe everywhere. All children, not just those who parent have the means to choose where to live. Homicides are committed mainly with guns, the majority ranges from a little more than 50% to almost 80%, depending on the region. Many of these are acts of passions, accidents, or simple acts of violence. No matter what one's stance on gun control is, one has to admit fewer guns will mean, on average, few children dead. On can talk about defense, but reality shows that guns are more likely to kill a kid. Maybe the kid is coming straight for you, and deserves to die. I don't know. But I think that guns kill kids.
Gun safety is not an issue. It is a red herring. Like a safe cigarette. It can be argued, as was common 20 years ago that cigarettes in moderation are good for your health, and the issue was to find a safe cigarette. This is no longer the case. Cigarettes when used as directed are dangerous. Likewise, guns when used as directed, are inherently dangerous. A loaded gun pose a imminent and real danger at all times.
Limiting the availability of guns is going to do nothing. How do limit it, to persons who have not abused the privilege previously? That has certainly not prevented the periodic massacre. Should we limit it to people who are mentally unstable? Who are these people, how do we identify them. Is a women who collects gun because she believes some powerful black man is personally going to invade her home and rape and kill her family insane? Are her delusions that she is so important that she is going to be personally targeted enough evidence for us to deny her a god given right to own a gun? I am certainly not singling out anyone here. These are stories i have been told long before last week.
Limiting the availability of large clips may minimize the body count, but then we saying a body count of 1 is acceptable to keep our guns.
So if we are to save children, all children, from the violence that leads to their early death, we must have real and radical change. Not only a realization that person who owns guns in a quiet suburb may in fact be crazy, but also the realization that violence is not a solution. And I don't mean the violence taught by tv, or video games, or football, or other ritualized death matches. I mean that taught by our churches, who have spent the past election cycle scaring the populous, and other leaders that we are in imminent danger and at some point violence will be necessary. This needs to change.
We need real change. Not only for the 20 children who died in one place at one time. But also for approximately 80 children under the age of 10 who were murdered in Texas in 2010. How many of those were by firearms? I don't know but almost 60% of murders in Texas is with firearm. Perhaps none of these children were murdered with firearms. Perhaps they were justified. I don't know. What I would bet on is that they did not have a high ranking government official visit their family.
The NRA has said they would make meaningful contributions to insure that a massacre does not happen again. I am sure they will, because such a massacre is a PR headache for them. What I am afraid of is they will do nothing to minimize the body count of children that are murdered with firearms across the country every year. What I am really afraid is that no one else will either.