August 10, 2019

Of Course It’s a Cultural Problem, but How Do We Stop The Carnage?

I’ve heard numerous people of a certain generation say that clearly our gun death problem isn’t a result of gun proliferation because there were more guns in more places when they were kids and people didn’t go around killing each other. Let’s start with stating the obvious, this is true. Another obvious fact, our culture has changed such that people will pick up a gun and go storm a mall.

Why has our culture changed? That’s more complicated. Maybe it’s the disregard for human life in the form of abortion, assisted suicide, violent video games, etc. Maybe it’s the disregard for human life in the form of the evangelical right anointing, electing, and supporting a president who routinely degrades and demeans the life of “other” humans. Maybe it’s the religious right’s support of the death penalty. How about the religious right’s support of waterboarding (what any rational human being would consider torture) under Bush. Maybe it’s the fact that we don’t know our neighbors anymore, maybe that’s because we all have AC and are crazy busy so we don’t sit on our front porches. Maybe it?s rampant fatherlessness. Maybe it?s that most people don?t care about the rampant fatherlessness enough to do anything about it. The point is, culture change is incredibly complicated. Probably all these things have played a part, and left, right, or center…in a very real sense, we’re probably all to blame. Regardless of all the causes, at this point our country is not safe with tons and tons of guns in the hands of tons and tons of people, some of whom think it’s cool to go kill people.

Now, what do we do about it? We could try to turn back time, but they haven’t built that machine yet. Culture takes an extremely long time to change and generally requires concerted, relatively unified effort. If you look around our country right now, one thing we don’t have in abundance is unity.

So, what’s is our only available option if we actually WANT to DECREASE the carnage and not just talk about it. We MUST implement common sense gun control. Let’s do it all: voluntary gun buy backs, universal background checks at all points of purchase, no gun sales for people with severe psychological problems or on the No Fly list, stopping sales of guns that are designed for max carnage, mandatory buy back or disablement of guns that are designed for max carnage, mandatory buy back of guns owned by people no longer eligible to purchase, mandatory gun safety classes and refreshers for anyone who wants to buy or own a gun.

If we do this will it eliminate all deaths at the hands of crazy people or even all gun deaths?NO?OBVIOUSLY. However, what it should do is make it harder for people to carry out a mass shooting, and make these events easier to intercept. It should mean that fewer people die in these events because the shooter is working with lower capacity guns. If we begin to reduce the carnage and simultaneously work to change the culture, maybe someday we can get back to the ?good old days? when kids carried a hunting rifle in the back of their truck when they went to school, and it was only there for?you guessed it?hunting!

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