Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Guns and False Security

Today there was a senseless (of course they all are) shooting about an hour from my home. I happened to see the "trending" panel in my timeline on facebook about an hour after the Moneta shooting. I've also seen the back and forth bickering between the pro- and anti-gun people and doubt I will change anyone's mind on the subject but, since it's an extremely important one, I'll give my two cents worth.

I'm a Quaker. I believe in non-violence. Violence only creates more violence. And, for the most part, don't like guns. I see very few reasons for gun ownership. And even then, I think it should be mainly for hunting - if you eat the meat. The problem is most gun owners don't hunt or if they do, they consider it for "sport." Nor do most owners really know how to use a gun for self protection. They like the idea of owning a gun. It makes them feel "safe" and "tough." But, as I said, most people don't really know how to use the gun they own so in a situation where they would need it for protection, they would be useless - or dangerous. Even if they know a bit about how to properly use it, in most situations where they would feel the need to use it, they would either be taken by surprise or not have their gun with them. So it's a false illusion of safety.

The tragic situation with the reporter, the camera man, and the business woman, had any one or even all three of them been carrying, they would not have been able to react in time. I saw the live footage. They were taken by surprise and they were busy:  microphone and camera in hand and minds on the situation, not on the surroundings. How could they have stopped the shooter? And even if one of them could have reacted after the shooting, the point would have been moot as the damage would have been done and the shooter ended up killing himself anyway. How could an additional gun or guns have turned this into a positive situation?

All this posturing about this being an example of how it could have turned out differently had someone been carrying makes no sense. The three victims would have still been victims regardless of additional guns. While it's true that criminals don't respect gun laws, it's also true that many of the guns that kill are owned by those who wouldn't be considered criminals. Often guns are stolen and end up in the wrong hands. Sometimes mishandled guns result in accidents. And sometimes people who appear sane end up committing insane acts. 

We need to admit that gun ownership rarely translates into safety but often turns into tragedy. This culture of gun worship needs to end. In my area there is a gun store called "Point Blank"; it makes me ill to see the sign. What is worse is another gun shop that opened earlier this year, with a newspaper article saying the owners share "a love for guns and Jesus." Their main product:  an assault rifle. 

How does this make any sense?


Lisa said...

I totally understand your feelings and largely agree. I grew up with guns in the house when we lived in the country. They were stored safely and most of the time they were just shot off in the air to scare away animals. A few times they were used to kill venomous snakes and things like that. Or the time our dogs got ahold of a squirrel and hurt it but didn't kill it. I totally get having them for reasons like that but the gun laws in this country are terrible and how we view violence makes me so sad.

Cherie said...

Lisa, yes - I don't understand with all the violence and deaths that people can continue to support such lax gun laws. Assault rifles aren't for hunting or self protection. And the games that glorify killing make no sense - what kind of message are we sending children? Sad sad sad.