Guns Do Kill People
None of us have been the same since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday. I am finding it hard to concentrate, hard to find hope and impossible to think about the families whose lives have been changed forever.
Although all I really want to do right now is take my family and pull the covers over us, I know we have to turn this grief and shock into action. This is the time. If the deaths of 20 little children can’t motivate us, what will?
I certainly don’t have the answers and I realize the problem is complex, multi-layered, and includes huge issues like:
. making mental health care easily accessible and removing the stigma of getting help
. self-censoring the excessive violence the media throws at us 24/7
. providing adolescent boys with tools to deal with their anger
. teaching our children to value human life
None of these will be easy to accomplish.
The one thing that will make a difference – immediately – is to get guns out of the equation. We hear all the time that “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” The simple truth is that guns do kill people. Without guns, there wouldn’t be mass shootings. There wouldn’t be any shootings.
Yes, those who are determined to destroy lives can certainly find other means of doing so but let’s at least make it harder for them. Guns make it too easy. On the same day the tragedy at Sandy Hook took place, a man with a knife walked into a school in China and stabbed 22 children. Those children are alive. The first graders attacked at Sandy Hook are dead.
I know that guns are here to stay, but we have to find a way to control them. As we’ve seen on all the posters going around Facebook, it’s more difficult to get a driver’s license, a same-sex marriage license – even Sudafed – than to buy a gun. You can pick up an assault rifle, along with your groceries, at Walmart.
Maybe we put a heavy tax on ammunition, just like we’ve done on cigarettes. Maybe we make gun owners accountable for any crime committed with their gun. If they don’t feel comfortable with that, they shouldn’t buy the gun.
I fear that we are being desensitized to these mass shootings as they become more and more common. We shake our heads, we grieve, and we pray no one we know will be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
But someone will be because, as every expert points out, this is going to happen again.
Unless we do something. Now.
My fellow blogger, Sharon Greenthal, has compiled a detailed list of resources so you can take action. Read her post and do something.
My friend, Marci Rich, offers her perspective and provides links to the voices of other bloggers here. It is important to keep the dialogue open, listen to each other and demand change.
Feeling safe should have nothing to do with politics. It should have everything to do with being able to go shopping, go to the movies, go to school without worrying about being shot.
The weapons of mass destruction do exist – and they’re in our own neighbors’ homes.