Sunday, April 22, 2007

Gun control.....

Lately, I've been hearing a lot of talk about gun control. I can't say I have a strong position on the subject. In fact, to a degree I am indifferent. I own one for protection but have never had the "pry it out of my cold-dead fingers" attitude. It's just a tool.

My ex-husband taught me how to use one and insisted that I take the NRA class to make sure I knew how to clean one, the proper etiquette and operation. He insisted that we go to the range regularly and practice. If nothing else, he insisted on responsible gun ownership. It's a good thing really. He was far more involved with the political movements that believe taking guns away from citizens in this country would subject them to tyranny by the government.

I never bought that argument. If the government ever decides to take the velvet glove off the iron fist, they have far more effective means at their disposal that they will not be threatened by a few .22 caliber handguns. The government is the bear in the livingroom.

Gun control will not stop crime. Removing the tool will not stop people from committing crimes. They will use another instrument of intimidation.

I've been hearing arguments that events such as the Virginia Tech shootings and Columbine would never have occurred if guns had been unavailable.

Baloney! Both Columbine and Virginia Tech were not random acts of violence. They were plotted and planned. And all of the perpetrators had enough control over themselves to come up with a plan and implement it.

Perhaps they would have built a bomb instead. The instructions on how to build an IED is available on the Internet.

Perhaps they would have chosen a chemical attack. Chemicals are also available on the Internet.

Gun control will not stop suicides. Even though the recent suicide in my family was committed with a gun, I know he would have done it another way if he was determined to do it.

I simply don't believe gun control will work. Here's why:

This is one of the most violent cultures in the industrialized world. I doubt anyone would argue with me about that which is why I am not bothering to get statistics.

Violence, power and might are staples of the culture. Violence is glorified in all media. The tools used to exercise it will never be as important as the mindset that creates it.

If someone has a dark enough heart, he or she will find a way to commit an act of violence. Whether it is a knife, an improvised explosive device or some other lethal means. The ones coming to mind are ones I would prefer to not even mention.

So maybe we need to figure out what causes and why there are so many dark hearts.

The problem will never be solved until it is addressed as the systemic problem it is. Those who drive culture need to change hearts and change minds. It needs to focus on more positive things than power and might. It needs to emphasize higher social values. Social engineering? Yes. It happens all the time.

Stop all the movies and TV shows that emphasize so much violence ~ or that violence is a solution to problems.

Stop glorifying military action. Show it as being only a last resort action. War is a horrible thing ~ and glorifying it makes absolutely no sense and offers no redeeming social value.

Teach children the value of honor, respect, kindness, social responsibility and compassion.

Authoritarian solutions rarely work. They only scratch the surface of a much larger problem.




slouching mom said...

Though I don't agree with you about the importance of gun control (I'd say it would have a rather larger effect than you anticipate), I absolutely agree with this:

Teach children the value of honor, respect, kindness, social responsibility and compassion.

meno said...

I agree with slouching mom. I would like to see many kinds of guns outlawed.

But i am not frothing at the mouth, you are evil if you don't agree with me, about it.

ellie bee said...

Amen, Chani, Amen.

Hel said...

I enjoyed catching up on your posts. And I loved the pictures of your garden.

Mary said...

Chani, I agree with you. Gun control will never happen and if it did, it wouldn't make a bit of difference.

Your last four paragraphs are right on!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I sadly agree that making guns illegal will not prevent tragedies. The wrong people will always find ways to get what they want.

I don't own a gun. Since I also don't know how to shoot one, it would be easy for an intruder to use my own gun against me if I brandished it. You have to be committed to using it if you produce it, and I am not sure that I'm capable of that. (Not sure I'm not. I really mean that I'm not sure.)

All societal changes must begin with education. It always goes back to that. People who feel hopeless and uninvolved in their culture have nothing to lose that they value, so we need to find ways to make every child growing up feel valued and connected to his world.

It's a very tall order, but the consequences of not doing so, as we have seen repeatedly, are too awful not to try harder.

jen said...

ah. i just don't see why anyone needs guns. i just don't. alcohol, tobacco, and firearms.

all three make a lot of money for a select few and have a harmful impact on a lot of others.

flutter said...

Amen, Chani.

Anonymous said...

You own a gun "for protection???!!!???" Here starts the vicious circle. This argument, plus the blessed asserted "freedom" make no sense.
Actually, gun is part of American culture since its beginning.

Gun control will not prevent from crimes? Perhaps. But guns easily purchased facilitate crimes. Just as if you would give candies to a child and tell him:" Don't eat them, only in case."

American lobbies of weapons are at the origin of Iraq war, as much as oil.

Susanne said...

While I agree with you on many terms I have to say that I have the impression that incidents involving weapons are much less likely to happen here in Germany than in the US because it is much harder to get them.

But they are increasing nonetheless and I too blame the violent culture that we share.

KGMom said...

Thanks for airing an important issue. It is so convoluted by now in our culture. I oppose most if not all handguns, BUT I am not sure that gun control of them at this point in our history would make a big impact.
The US has by far the most gun deaths--homicide and suicide--in the world. And it is clear that gun ownership links to that fact.
But we are also a violent nation for the reasons you enumerate.
Could we turn back the clock? Rewrite our own history? We know we can't.
I think the big difference between guns & the other means of inflicting violence that you mention are that guns allow one to be at a distance from the victim. And in an instant a grievance turns to tragedy if a gun is at hand.

QT said...

Chani - I agree with you 100%. I don't think "banning" guns will have any effect whatsoever. That would be like putting a band aid on a gaping hole in the head.

Imagine if instead of a handgun in Virginia, multiple bombs would have gone off. A lot more people would be dead, buildings would have been destroyed.

Our culture glorifies violence and until that is addressed, there is no end to the number of "dark hearts" we will produce.

MsLittlePea said...

I COMPLETELY agree with you for many reasons. I'm not about to join the NRA nor do I think automatic weapons should be avaliable. But my husband used to travel a lot for work and so I was alone 80% of the time. Home invasion and violent carjacking in my city was on the rise. I, too, responsibly kept a gun for my protection. We had a five day background approval before we could purchase. That was 10 years ago, has the law changed? One doesn't have to be a genius to know that we live in a society where women(and men too) are beaten, raped, murdered regardless of what kind of neighborhood. In my teens my best friend and I were victims of violence ourselves. Just last week a 75 year old woman had her home broken into and was badly beaten and raped less than a mile from my home. I always don't understand when someone has the nerve to imply that I shouldn't have one because that makes me part of the problem. My response is what am I supposed to do then? I'm 4'11 and 100lbs, I'm sorry but years of self defense classes are not going to change that if someone decided to break into my house. I wish we did live in a culture where honor, respect, kindess and social responsibility were taught and maybe someday things will change. Unfortunately right now we don't and I have the right to defend myself and my family.
When people stop getting outraged over stupid things like Janet Jackson's boob, then sit down with their kids and watch violent shows and movies/listen to cds or buy video games that glorify drugs, theft and violence-not to mention the misogyny, and start getting outraged about the real problems we have, maybe we can make some positive changes.....

The Atavist said...

Slouching mom's solution: "Teach children the value of honor, respect, kindness, social responsibility and compassion." would be wonderful. Unfortunately, many parents don't do that and the culture today is awash with all kinds of 'in your face' attitude and the resultant violence. Several decades ago, I would think nothing of walking alone with my camera through ghetto areas of cities in the United States. I wouldn't do that today.

Julie Pippert said...

"Teach children the value of honor, respect, kindness, social responsibility and compassion."

This I agree with 100%.

Gun control won't stop crime, I also agree with.

However, I advocate for gun control.


It will slow impulsive violence. It might even bring it almost to a halt.

If Bill hadn't had a gun on Friday, David would probably be alive and my community wouldn't be reeling.

I don't think gun control is the answer but it's certainly part of the solution.

More than anything, I want gun control to mean, "guns aren't the answer to any problem."

But that involves somethign much more difficult than any legislation, and is the thing I actually work for more than any legislation.