One of my friends posted what is basically the NRA argument about gun control on Facebook today.
Why are we all so divided on this issue? While we are bickering, more people are senselessly killed each day. We look on in fear, and consider how to respond. Platitudes about “thoughts and prayers” have become a hashtag as we all grow tired of hearing the phrase that has become the cross and garlic we use to try to ward off a huge beast.
Here was my response:
1. You are right. It takes people to pull the trigger, and if someone doesn’t have a gun but wants to take out a bunch of people all at once, they will find a way. I don’t want to put ideas into people’s heads, but look at what has been done with fertilizer.
2. That said, there are guns, and there are guns. Where we draw the line can be important. What happens physically when the trigger IS pulled? A handgun can take out one specified target at a time with good accuracy. Nobody needs their own missile shooter. Find that fine line and draw it, then ENFORCE it. But you have to be willing to acknowledge that there are many different types of guns and that they have different purposes and effects when deployed.
3. Concealed carry is FANTASTIC. Open carry? Not so much. Because now you either have widespread panic by people who freak out seeing “Bubba” or “Deshaun” walking around looking like Rambo, or you have a population that eventually doesn’t think twice about seeing people carrying assault rifles UNTIL that assault rifle is USED. Do we really want open carry? Doesn’t it make it easier for a crazy person with a gun to “blend in” right up until the moment they go on a rampage? At least with concealed carry, your brain has a couple of seconds to process when someone is retrieving their concealed weapon.
4. We need to start treating mental illness in this country instead of judging and punishing. And guess what? Terrorists ARE mentally ill. They have a form of schizophrenia. Guess what? Most fundamentalist Christians share that same underlying madness caused by brainwashing. Think of it as the flu. The flu makes most people sick, but under the right circumstances it kills. Effects vary based on the immune system of the individual, the particular strain, and how healthy someone was before they caught it. You can say fundamentalist Christianity is less deadly than fundamentalist Islam, and you would probably be right, BUT both can “kill.” And religion is largely a product of where and how one is raised.
Most people who are mentally ill never hurt anyone. But we, as a society, need to figure out how to spot the person who might “snap” and find positive ways to intervene so they don’t reach that point. Easier said than done, but effort should be made.
If we had known more of the warning signs and learned a positive way to intervene, there might be a chance that my brother would be at home with the kids he loves, managing his mental illness under the care of psychiatrists rather than in prison receiving NO treatment for the illness that caused him to go from being a professional engineer to a guy who kidnapped his own kids and took them to Cuba on a sailboat because he was convinced the gubbermint was trying to kill us all.