Friday, January 14, 2011

The Tragedy Is Nationwide

The "tragedy in Tuscon", as it has come to be called, it just a small part of a much larger tragedy; a tragedy that engulfs our nation and our society. On a regular basis, people are gunned down in cities around the country. We rarely hear about this. Why? Because the victims are "insignificant"? They are perhaps poor, drug addicts and/or dealers, gang members, etc. Yet they are someone's mother or father, or even someone's child. They are human beings, just like you and I. They may not have the "status" that some of the victims in the Tuscon shootings have, but they are still human beings, and the needless murder of any human being is a tragedy.

There will now be calls for stricter gun control laws. I reject these arguments. First of all, there are are already many illegally obtained guns out there that will still be out there once new laws are in place. The new laws would do nothing about this. Second, criminals do not obey laws. If they wish to obtain a gun and cannot do so legally, they will do so illegally, by stealing or some other means. Just look at the drug laws; they do not prevent people who really want drugs from getting them. Just look at prohibition. People could still get alcohol if they wanted it. Gun control laws will not solve the problem.

There is a culture of hate and violence in our society. We are too easily offended or angered by the words and actions of others, then too often resort to violence as an answer. We want vengeance for some wrong that has been done to us, whether the offender intended to hurt us or not. Until we all realize that everyone out there is a human being just like us, with the same basic needs and rights, the problem will continue.

1 comment:

Jeni said...

Very true, John. But, I would also add that there is the problem of mental illness, which often figures into many of these mass shootings/massacres too. All too often the people who commit these crimes are mentally ill, often also undiagnosed as such, and those issues also need to be addressed as well as the gun control -which, as you stated, has already been addressed many times. Until we get better treatment in place for those who need mental health help, I believe there will be more and more tragedies such as took place in Tucson last week.
No, we can't always help/cure everyone, and sometimes helping those who are mentally ill also involves a lot of them helping themselves too -after a diagnosis, agreeing/remembering to take medications and such. But, until that faction is given a whole lot more consideration, not much else will change then.