GUN CONTROL, GUN VIOLENCE, GANGS AND DRUGS, MASS KILLINGS… A LOOK AT THE SITUATION
The more we talk, the more the situations and violence, gang rule and drug issues will continue; talk is not action in the best sense of the word. Actual effort and getting to the job and doing the work is what matters once the talk is done. Talk up a storm; the gangs and criminals will keep working right on through those storms. Legislate, get together and “look into” the situations, send people out to “take a look at” the “neighborhoods” and then “make a report on their findings”. Keep right on doing the “studies”, and all you do is just as helpful as trying to find cures for cancer when the solution is to get rid of the chemicals that cause the diseases in the first place.
You can get rid of at least some of the guns and you can be rid of stock in gun makers and any support of gun manufacturers and those who put on the shows where background checks are not necessary. That means, as many officials have observed, that anyone can go to those shows and get any sort of gun they want.
Guns do not kill people; people kill people – that is the saying. It is true. But on to the rest of the topic………
Now the main issues is about “guns”… well, there are all kinds of what we can class as “firearms”. There is the .22, there is the Bushmaster, there is the cannon one of our neighbors used to fire off every July 4 from his front lawn. He would dress in period costume and shoot that cannon off right on schedule. Guns have been around for centuries, and they have basically one use and purpose. These weapons are, as any weapons are, meant to inflict harm, injury, damage and death, quickly and with pain. Death is never “instantaneous” and video games can in this respect be misleading to those who play them.
The idea that death comes to a human being as it does on a video game screen is ridiculous. Even using the most potent drugs, death comes in seconds or minutes, and the person so in harm and inflicted will feel something before the final moments arrive and vital functions cease. In the same idea, using a weapon loaded with dozens or hundreds of rounds is not going to bring death any faster; it will just make the plight of the dying more painful and just plain awful.
So we talk about the gun, and just think of how many varieties there are. As mentioned above there is the simple hand gun many people purchase for home or business defense, the service weapon law enforcement officials carry to their jobs every day as they defend our cities and borders, and the machine guns or “assault” weapons our miliary and SWAT teams use in their daily work. The latter have those high potency magazines these personnel need to discharge their jobs as they can be in hazardous territories where their opponents are armed with such things.
Lately in these gun turn -in events and gun buy -back events, someone turned in a missile launcher and at another event a rocket launcher. I wonder why someone would even want these anywhere near them or their families or neighbors, even as collectors items. I know people who have rid their homes of all weapons, no matter their value, and they feel better for being rid of these implements of destruction.
In an episode of EMERGENCY, a real nail -biter, the paramedics and fire department respond to a man injured when a weapon malfunctions and the round ends up inside of him. Dr. Brackett has to come out and perform emergency surgery on the man in the man’s own back yard as it is too dangerous for him to be moved. The bomb squad has to be called, and the responders note that the man has enough guns in his collection to start a war. Thus the man’s negligence ends up putting many more people in danger – the responders, his wife, his neighbors and friends. Now many people do not have collections that elaborate or potent, but I do know people who have home collections of firearms. I never felt safe around those homes; if people do not know how to properly maintain their weapons they either need to learn or get rid of them. The popular television show EMERGENCY! is about forty years old now but many of the episodes are relevant to issues going on today, and they are worth watching.
The NRA claims that the proposed bans on assault weapons will ruin our Second Amendment rights, but it will do no such thing at all. The ban is on one particular class of firearm, those meant to discharge dozens of rounds a second or a minute and inflict mass serious harm in schools, crowds, malls and the like. These guns end up in the wrong hand much of the time; I can see no need for such guns as a method of recreation.
There are better ways to have recreation, or if you would rather term it, RE -CREATION. Thinking of taking leisure in the view of the latter pronunciation might give you a different view of using high – powered machine -style guns at all, specially for hunting or for some other purpose of causing harm or pain on a living thing.
There is also the issue of mental illness and debating how it should be judged on that basis who should or should not have guns. Who has the right to judge in the first place, considering that everyone is to some degree mentally unstable. No one is what could be called “normal”, and at any rate who can judge or say what “normal” is. Everyone is so different, “diverse”, and individual that nothing is “normal”. There are those who are educated to discern “mental illness” and the degrees thereof, and volumes have been written on the varieties of mental disorders for centuries. We diagnose, treat, observe, maintain, and educate on mental disorders; but when it comes to referencing mental illness with the right to own a firearm, those who are legislating and asking for views from others must be careful. As far as we are able, we must be as a good judge should be: impartial, a good listener, not biased to one or another side or view or opinion, and patient enough to note the views of everyone who is participating in any organized debate on the issue.
The issues revolving (pardon the use of that word) around gun violence, gun control, law enforcement and FOIA cards and gun possession are complex, difficult, and hard to deal with. But deal with them we must as has been pointed out hundreds of times since the Sandy Hook massacre.
And now this week we hear of a bus driver in Alabama that was shot and killed by a man who then abducted a child from that bus. That idiot, that angry, that awful man terrorized others and refuses now to give up the child despite that he is sick and has called for his parents. I hope that the situation can be ended by non -violence but if it cannot then the assailant brought it down on himself; let us all hope the child will emerge safely from his prison and be happily reunited with his family.
Guns? Do we need them at all? Does anyone need them? To what degree do we need them around our homes and businesses?
Deep questions, and we must ask, ponder, think on and solve each one of them.
Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, 2013.