What in the hell is wrong with the world today? How can you look into a child's face.....a baby, for Christs sake, and fire multiple rounds into them? And then do it over and over and over. That is what happened in Newtown recently. Then you have the attack in China with a knife. Recent incidents across the country involving violence against children are popping up like mushrooms after a good rain, and it does not seem to be slowing down, much less stopping.
I am a military veteran, and I have fired multiple rounds into people on many different occasions, and I will tell you this-it is hard. No matter how "gung-ho" you are, there exists a split second in time that you know-you know-that you are getting ready to take someones life. Everything they are, everything they have ever done, everything that they might someday do.....YOU just put an end to that with 6 pounds of pressure in your right finger. Ever wonder why it is universally called the trigger finger? And even those of us who have the type of personality which will allow these actions to happen, to be a "good soldier", we do not escape unscathed. We pay, and continue to pay, far after our useful service life has expired.
Some of us, we see shit like this recent action in Newtown, and we lose it. It brings back bad memories, and we react in odd ways. I got a call from a good friend who said that he has been preforming military-style surveillance on his kids school during the day, just to make sure that they are safe. Another good friend has taken his kids out of the public schools altogether and is homeschooling them. My son has recently done the same thing with his girl. I have to admit that I have been taking more opportunities to drive past my kids school during the day, and my daughter has recently (like just 3 or 4 days ago) if I would take her out of public school and home-school her for her last year in high school. All military vets, and all have seen (and done) bad things to other human beings. In Arizona, there are serious discussions taking place about arming the teachers. The Liberal democrats are screaming about gun control, while the Conservative Republicans are asking that everyone stop and take a breath, and lets do things calmly and rationally. The NRA has said that they have no comment until such time as the entire investigation has been completed, and recent polls are showing that Americans are beginning to favor some sort of restrictions on guns.
But kids-our children-are still dying while all of the talking is going on. What can we do? Many people have said that the obvious answer is gun control-"Lets ban all of the assault weapons!". However, none of the weapons used in the recent tragedy were assault weapons. In fact, some recent studies have shown that less than three percent of all acts of violence involving weapons are assault weapons, and most of the weapons that the Liberals are screaming about are NOT assault weapons. They are semi-automatics which merely look like military versions. Which means that one bullet is fired each time you pull the trigger. No, all of these were legal weapons that were properly registered and owned.
I can tell you from personal experience that it only takes one bullet. And yet, even with all of the knowledge that I have, even with the nightmares that never go away, I own guns. I have trained my wife and my children in the safe and effective use of firearms. Every member of my family owns guns, with both my father and my son holding ATF permits for fully automatic weapons. We all support the NRA. Am I in favor of gun control?
Yes, I am. While I do NOT agree with the current fear-mongering going on, I DO agree that there is only one reason for a high capacity magazine, and that is to rip off as many rounds in as short a time as possible. Saying that you need a 30 round banana clip to hunt deer is not even ridiculous, it is an out and out lie. My weapon of choice in the military was the old M-60 machine-gun. It fires about 750 rounds a minute, and I have melted barrels on them by firing so many sustained rounds. Burning off rounds like that is almost orgasmic, similar to hitting 160 MPH on a motorcycle. sky-diving, and other macho events, so I fully understand the fascination behind the desire for such an item. But they are not for everyone, and they should be tightly regulated and controlled. Joe Six-Pack does NOT need one!
But even if such restrictions were in place, would it have helped? No, in this case, it would not have. There are over 88 guns per 100 people in this country. If you want a gun, the odds are good that you can find one, regardless of the legality of your possession. Nor would it have helped in China, where the attacker used a knife. I have actually recently saw an article in which it was saying that the event in China was a direct result of that country having a tightly-regulated gun control policy and that the US would be well advised to follow their lead. Well, China is famous for a lot of things-communism, repression, torture, etc. being just a few of them. I guess you can put gun control up there with them. Not to mention that, while it is certainly true that none of those children died, they were attacked and cut up with a knife. In China! What kind of life do you think that they will be able to have in a country that desires physical perfection in its citizenry? Remember, this is a society that kills its maimed and deformed at birth. They take organs from prisoners. Do you think that those kids will get the mental and emotional counseling, not to mention the physical surgical repair, that they will need in order to live out the rest of their lives? We can only hope so.
Some say we need greater security in our schools. In our society. In our public lives. Others say that there is already too much intrusion and that our Constitutional rights are on the verge of being violated as it is. Both points are moot, because in Newtown the kid blasted open a locked door to gain entrance. In Columbine, they disabled the security systems and stalked people from room to room.
Others will say that the answer is to keep the wackos from getting guns in the first place. Well, define wacko. In Newtown, Columbine, and Aurora, there were clear signs of mental imbalance or some sort of negative mental state. And nothing was done. Even though the information was there-it was right in front of you-no action was taken. I am a combat veteran who has severe PTSD, so I am sure that I fit the definition. And yet I own guns. The point is that, even with the intel right there in front of you, nothing gets done. Why would you think that passing a law would do anything? The wackos don't care about laws anyway! Or they are smart enough to get around them, which is even more scary.
I have even heard a political figure saying that the problem is that we have turned away from god. Seriously? God? Which one? I mean, after all-you have the christian god, the muslim god, the Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh versions of deity, as well as all of the various pagan and new-age gods that have been resurrected in the past century or so. Should we just pick one at random and assign blame? You know, he did not say that he was a vengeful and jealous god for nothing. Then of course you have those who bewail their god for allowing this to happen-"How could GOD ever let such a thing happen. Oh, the poor, poor children!" Well, that one is easy too. God don't give a fuck about you, and he doesn't give a fuck about those kids either. It's all part of "The Plan", remember? Personally, I don't much give a fuck about a god that would allow that to happen to one of his own, but gods are blood-thirsty bastards at best, so maybe we should just leave the religious component out of things.
It has been said that it is because of video games, because we don't "raise our kids right", because we are sensitized to violence, and any number of other reasons. None of them are right, and they are all right. There is no one easy, simple answer.
Maybe the problem does not lie with "them". You know, the mentally ill, the gun owners, the criminals, the liberals, the conservatives, the religious, and all those who seem to have suddenly found their voice.
Maybe the problem lies with "us".
I'll have more on this as my thoughts continue to develop.