Thursday, 1 October 2015

Numb in the Face of Violence

It has happened again. Yet another tragic shooting at a school and young people have died.  People who had so much to live for and who might have done great things had their lives not been snuffed out by a maniac with a gun.

Unconfirmed reports are saying that the man asked students what their religion was before firing on them.  Why this would matter was only known to him, since it is apparent that he just wanted to kill until the police caught up to him.

There have been so many such shootings in recent memory that we've become numb to them.  Yes, there is an outcry afterwards, but soon enough it subsides under pressure from the NRA supporters, gun lobby groups, and Second Amendment wavers, and it gets swept under the carpet... until the next time.

Something must be done.  Something should have been done after Sandy Hook in 2012, when 20 children were killed.  But nothing was done.  There have been at least six more mass shootings in the U.S. since then.  Needless bloodshed, all because a mentally unstable person had weapons they should not have had access to in the first place.

Even the President was angry: "The notion that gun violence is somehow different and our freedom and our constitution prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon when there are law-abiding gun owners all across the country who can hunt, protect their families, under such regulations, it doesn't make sense."

Unfortunately, as long as the gun groups remain as powerful as they are, as long as there are paranoid folks who believe "the government is going to take our guns away", as long as there are people care more about their guns than their children, nothing will change.

Author David Gerrold put his solution succinctly:

"What if we applied the same regulatory attitude [as automobiles] toward gun safety: license, registration, and mandatory insurance. The insurance companies would love the business - and they would make damn sure they didn't insure someone they regarded as a liability."

We should be concerned.  We should make sure that change happens.  Especially given the spate of mentally disturbed young men who, having reached a point of nihilism, feel a compulsion to strike out wildly at the world.  If we as a society aren't willing to take on the challenge of the mental illness that leads to these acts of violence, then we're not a society of rational adults; we're not even a free society, we're a society that has resigned itself to the repetition of what amounts to domestic terrorism.

1 comment:

  1. I just turned on the TV and heard... I have no words. Well written post... I hope we never truly go numb and can make the changes necessary to stop these tragic events.