Saturday, December 15, 2012

Where Lives Might Be Saved Someday, the Answer Is Never "Do Nothing."

Just because we can't or won't solve every aspect of a problem doesn't mean we can't solve any aspect of that problem: Gun violence is what I'm referring to obviously in light of yesterday.
In this interconnected life we live, in the developed world in which even our most emotionally driven responses can been twittered, texted, or IM’ed across all of our acquaintances familiar and distant, there have been some asinine responses to yesterday’s massacre in New Town. I say asinine because that’s the only word I can think of when people put culture, politics, or personal liberty above their own personal safety and the safety of others.
I've received messages and seen responses to posts on Facebook like:

“Gun control laws don’t solve anything!!!”

Statements like this of course reach the heights of stupidity as there are already several regulations and laws regarding gun ownership that nobody would strike from the books (Violent felons released from jail barred from handgun possession, age restrictions and so on) -already governing our lives in different parts of the country. Few would argue their necessity. The one constant refrain I hear over and over again from people so in love with their guns that no massacre can make them rethink anything is this: gun control hasn’t stopped every violent attack, therefore it is useless. –Well can’t the same be said of every single law ever enacted? The answer sadly is yes, -but no sane person would say that homicide laws should be struck because they didn’t prevent a neighbor from being killed, or in the case of Friday’s assault, the mass murder of several children.

Personally as someone who has no small history with guns (I’ve had them pointed at me in aggression more than once before I even turned 18, and I’ve returned the favor more than once) and as no stranger to firing ranges, I am intimate with them as weapons and tools. In the nineties my familiarity with guns was often a skill, an ability that got me hired often as an AD on independent film sets where I’d be asked to “clear” a weapon before handing it over to an actor or stunt player, then keeping it under lock and key until the production was over. I’ve never questioned the need for regulation and laws in a city where people’s proximity to each other makes for daily conflicts that can turn lethal if the conditions are right.

My feelings about guns and especially certain accessories is this: laws governing the possession of assault rifles and high capacity magazines are inefficient when they enable any shooter to kill as many people as they want before they can be stopped. Gun control isn’t ONLY about eradicating every single gun on the street, much can be done to ensure that high capacity magazines, assault rifles, armor piercers –in short all the weapons of choice for mass murderers are not as accessible as, say aftermarket exhaust parts, because in the end, the fact that a killer can bring down as many people as he wants because his ammo will never run out, is often the deciding factor in whether Police response will be effective in saving many more lives or many less.

I’ll say it again, just because we can't or won't solve every aspect of a problem doesn't mean we can't solve any aspect of that problem:
-That problem is weak gun control and a culture that insists any legislation on arms is an affront to liberty no matter how many children get killed.
-That problem is America’s Gun Lobby.


Mycue23 said...

Very well said, SJ. Of course you and I both know that nothing will be done. Both sides of this issue will get on TV and huff and puff and then the next thing will come along and our attention will shift. There is, of course, a reasonable approach to gun control, but that approach is drowned out by the din of voices shouting on both sides. And we know which side has the money and allies in Washington. In a nation with enough firearms to arm every man, woman and child with multiple weapons, the question is still, what can be done?

SJ said...

Yeah you're right. I'm still hopeful somehow. Plenty can be done but as you say, everybody's pretty unreasonable. I just had this exchange with a gentleman in the airforce on FB:

"...You can say I'm making decades old arguments, you can say that it's all just rhetoric, but I think you know it's not, because all the mental health care in the world isn't going curtail all violence and cruelty --But enforced Gun control, tighter regulation of ammo, elimination of assault weapons might just stop many of these incidents from setting records in ever higher body counts."

I mean when I have to convince someone in the military that we need control of ammo counts and types in public life stateside, I'm just at a loss. They themselves lockdown weapons at bases en masse.

Jack Jodell said...

Good hearing from you again. These murders, just like all gun violence, was shocking and unnecessary. I will be posting on them myself on Christmas Eve.

SJ said...

Thanks Jack, just a momentary jump out of retirement.
I'll be looking forward to your post. I hope you're well!