Random Gun Observations

 The mass shooting episode in Oregon this week led to the predictable public reactions from the White House, the NRA, the pro and con gun control advocates and the various biased and unbiased news outlets.  I’d like to hear from the mental health experts.  Did they get any coverage?

I hate guns and wish they didn’t exist, I will never own one and they are not allowed in my apartment.  On the other hand, I don’t know that stricter gun control laws would prevent all the mass shootings.  The President’s emotional speech after the Oregon incident was great and I wish we’d see his angry side more often.  But he predictably called for more gun control.  Yes, I think it should be difficult to get a gun but I’ll also note that several of the mass shooting incidents during the past decade involved legally registered guns.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but ALL of them involved some level of mental illness.
Various gun rights activists claim that we need more guns, arguably to protect ourselves.  Parents, do really want your children’s teachers to be packing heat?  Where would they keep their guns?  In their desk in the classroom?  In a holster like a cop or John Wayne?  Locked in a gun safe?  Think that through and tell me any of those options would have saved lives.

I’ve said this a hundred times too … Bible quoting conservative Christians advocating gun use are, in my opinion, spewing contradictory statements.  “Thou shalt not kill” is which commandment again?  I forget.  Or maybe there was a second amendment to the Big Ten that I missed in twelve years of Catholic schooling.
Back to the mental health part for a minute … that is probably the root of these killing sprees but that issue is at least as complicated as the gun issue and neither has a clear path to being the answer.  But at the very minimum we should be studying mental health problems more and trying to figure out sensible approaches to that piece of the puzzle.  The White House should make that a priority.  The NRA should make that a priority.  The media should make that a priority.

OK, I’ll get off my soap box, for now, before someone shoots me.


elizinashe said…
I have stayed away from all the politics about gun control myself. What the masses are forgetting is that all of the shooters that were involved in these mass killings had some sort of mental illness. Gun control won't fix that, nor will it stop mass shootings. It's sad that our country has had so much violence lately. And everyone talking about gun control does nothing but add fuel to the fire. Just a thought.
Linda V. said…
Excellent post! You are correct to note that the killers in mass shootings have ALL been suffering mental illness; also note that some were under the influence of some heavy-duty pysch drugs which have been known to cause severe delusions and homicidal/suicidal thoughts.

In reply to your question about the commandment "Thou shalt not kill", the original translation was not correct. "The Jewish sages note that the word “ratsakh” applies only to illegal killing (e.g., premeditated murder or manslaughter) — and is never used in the administration of justice or for killing in war. Hence the KJV translation as “thou shalt not kill” is too broad." God did send armies to fight against others in defense of His plans, and did expect people to defend themselves against evil-doers. There IS justifiable homicide in the defense of your life or those of your family.

There are countless reports of legal gun owners saving the lives of people by defending against criminals, of kids who stopped intruders into their homes, but mainstream media fails to report them. Why?

1-3 women can expect to be sexually assaulted. How would that number change if they could defend themselves? If a potential rapist wasn't sure of whether they would survive the crime they are contemplating?

In a perfect world, no one would have to feel they needed to protect themselves, would never feel threatened, or scared to go into certain parts of town. In a perfect world, everyone would have everything they need. We don't live in a perfect world.

In Chicago, in the late 1890's, early 1900's, the city officials outlawed hatpins longer than 4". Why? Because women started using them to protect themselves from mashers (men who would grab at women and force themselves on women). Really? Women aren't allowed to use whatever weapon was at hand to defend themselves?!!

I believe everyone has the right to defend themselves. Words don't work, and waiting for the cops to show up is useless. Its easy to hand over your wallet and watch, but rape is a whole different crime. And peeing on myself is not a viable option. It is an involuntary reaction to extreme danger. Its NEVER stopped a rapist before.

Education and respect for the gun is mandatory. Criminals have never had a problem getting a gun, why should it be more difficult for the good guys? Let's enforce the laws we have, work harder to address mental illness and help its victims, and swing the pendulum back to where right is right, and wrong is wrong. No more gray areas and no more plea deals for serious crimes.