11 July 2015


Like many, I am neither belt-buckle-proud NRA-member and game hunter nor all-guns-are-evil bumper-sticker vegetarian activist. But I do believe that just a little more background checking and delay before allowing citizens to take ownership of firearms might help, and probably not hurt. A Kit-Kat bar is an impulse buy; a Glock 9mm is not. True, there is a thriving black market for unregistered or stolen guns, and plenty of legally obtained and registered weapons are involved in crimes. As I write this, we are still learning of yet another breakdown of a system, this time the FBI's Background Check System, which failed to prevent the sale of a gun to Dylann Roof, accused of killing nine people at a church in South Carolina.

Where is the logic in stopping none, rather than some?

Guns involved or not, we could possibly achieve a good deal more prevention of violent crime by simply recognizing some signs and acting upon them before it's too late. While a lot of the persons who commit mass murder and other heinous crimes were indeed the "quiet, polite, never-saw-it-coming" types we see time after time in television interviews with neighbors, coworkers and family, many who eventually make it to the nightly news were clearly, undeniably, batshit crazy, leaving behind plenty of evidence to prove it long before they executed whatever sick plan they were brewing. Discovering this information would not require probing covert surveillance and loss of privacy, merely better observation and recognition of suspicious overt actions on websites and social media, and better communication between health care, education, law enforcement, etc.

We invest so much money and effort on cool and profitable things, but have a complete aversion to investing in the boring but important stuff that might help us survive ourselves and the future.

Finally, here's a thought to perhaps curb the number of children gunned down by mistake in this trigger-happy country we've created: The manufacturers/importers/retailers won't do the right thing and simply cease production/sales, and entertaining laws prohibiting the sale of certain toys would lead to a rabid, Big Brother backlash. But isn't it time consumers and parents—and kids old enough to know better—just exercised some common sense and stopped going out to play with toy guns that look so damned real?

Sometimes we have to take a little bit of responsibility for ourselves.

1 comment:

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