Note: Normally, I don’t use my blog to share political opinions and to comment on controversy. However, there will be a few times that I won’t be able to avoid it and a comment or an article will be written. After all, blogs are for sharing your experiences and points of view.
I grew up with guns. My father worked for the Sheriff’s Department and he was a prison guard (at the same time). He was required to have a gun. He didn’t have just one.
My grandfather also owned guns and sometimes gifted them to my father. Sometimes, the whole family would go out to the shooting range at the Carson City dump and shoot trash or clay pigeons. It was usually pretty boring for us, but on occasion we would get to shoot. One of the first guns I ever held was an old pistol. I don’t know what kind it was, just that it was silver and heavy.
The last time I went shooting was several years ago with my father, my brother and a few friends. I took my husband with and it was one of the first times he had ever shot a gun. I believe that a person can’t truly respect the power of a gun until they hold one in their hands and shoot it. It’s a very humbling experience.
Today I’m 32 years old. To my knowledge a gun has never made my father, my brother, or any of my grandparents walk out into the world with the intent to kill. I have never picked up a gun and wondered what it would be like to shoot another human being. Guns don’t make people kill. People kill people and they will use whatever means necessary, not just a gun.
The tragedy that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary school is not an issue of gun control. Adam Lanza had every intent of waking up on Friday morning, shooting his mother in the face, stealing her weapons, and gunning down an elementary school and then committing suicide. The only thing that could have stopped Adam Lanza was the discovery of his plot before he could carry it out.
The tragedy that happened at the theater in Aurora, Colorado is not an issue of gun control. James Holmes meticulously planned out his massacre. Right down to the bomb he planted in his apartment to destroy evidence. James Holmes had every intent of gunning down a theater full of people. The only thing that could have stopped James Holmes from killing innocent people was the discovery of his plot before he could carry it out.
People like Adam Lanza and James Holmes don’t wake up one morning in their right mind and say “Hey, I’m going to kill people today.” They are clearly trouble human beings. Headlines always follow these tragedies describing the gunmen as troubled, unwell, or depressed. Um, isn’t that obvious?
When mass shootings occur in schools, shopping malls or movie theaters, people and politicians are quick to jump to the gun control issue. If we can make gun laws stricter or if we can ban specific types of weapons, then maybe this won’t happen again. But that’s really not the case is it? Yes, in the mass shootings that occurred this past year many of the gunman purchased their guns. But, in the case of Adam Lanza, his guns were stolen. Killers will always find a way to get what they need.
I agree that it should be a lot harder than it currently is to purchase a gun, but there is so much more to this issue than gun control. So, I ask you and our politicians to look more into of the psychology of these killers. Right now, there are two mass killers sitting behind bars in Arizona and Colorado. Two people who can shed some light on the issue. What can we learn from them? What makes mass killings so appealing? How is this an answer to their problems?
The hearts and prayers of an entire nation reside right now in Newtown, Connecticut. We mourn the loss of twenty children and six adults. We grieve with the families. We turn to our leaders to find some kind of solution to help protect us from the monsters that walk among us. These tragedies will not always be stopped, but something can be done to ensure that more of them are prevented.
Yesterday I came upon an article written by Liza Long a single mother of four, one whom has special needs. Take a minute and read her article “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother.” Think about what she’s saying about how our mentally ill children and adults are treated in this country and what is done to prevent them from harming others.