Littleton: People Not Guns!

It’s not Guns ….It’s People. Get it? Just like cars don’t magically run over people and kill them – It takes a lame-brain or drunk driver to do that – guns don’t magically go off and blow people away. People do that. It’s a very simple concept. But this is an age where the concept of moral responsibility for individual actions is lost because it’s easier to shed blame elsewhere. And sadly, it’s been lost for some time.

When the justice system fails and criminals don’t get punished for their actions or victims can’t get satisfaction (retribution?) where do they turn? Against the gun, of course. Gotta have someone/something to blame. If you can’t understand that, then let me make it even simpler. Ban sex. Rapists injure and kill and they use their own personal ‘tools’ in the process. The ‘tool’ is now against the law and anyone found using it will be imprisoned for life. Now do you get it?

Why should the 95% of law-abiding gun owners be punished for the actions of a small number of sick individuals? These are aberrations in society. And they would be precisely that even if this were still the wild, wild west when everyone had access to a gun.

So the Europeans think gun ownership in the United States is nuts. So what. I think ax and machete ownership in Sierra Leone and Rwanda (where crazies and political activists chop people into bits and pieces) is obscene; sword ownership in Japan (where loonies go on Samurai binges) is hideous; dagger ownership in Middle Eastern countries (the weapon of choice) is simply vile. It’s people!

There have always been aberrations in society since the beginning of time. And until we have a society of mentally stable/physically perfect clones we can expect things like this to happen again and again.

I keep reading reports about all these school shooting incidents that say the “signs were there”. these kids “were ticking time bombs”, if only someone had “taken the time to listen”. It all comes back to social responsibility, guys; where were the parents, where were the schools, the first line of defense? It’s people.

What happened in Littleton and at schools elsewhere is truly sad. But these were extreme actions perpetrated by some very particularly troubled boys. Place the blame where it is due, on the doers of the deeds. And then, if you must look elsewhere, look for the disease, physical or mental, that instigated this mode of behavior in these kids.

As doctors and psychologists look for explanations as to their behavior, has anyone thought to look a little closer to home: nutrition, pesticides, electrical waves, etc.? If pesticides and such can deform animal and plant life, could it not just as easily deform the human brain cell? We have more and varied types of cancers, don’t we? Why this seemingly sudden rash of aberrant behavior in modern society? Technology may move forward but at what expense?

As I advocate moral responsibility, I wonder if kids today even have a concept of what morality is. It seems the very parents who might complain incessantly about guns, wouldn’t spend the same amount of time discussing morality with their children.

Guns are not the source of all our evils. There are other forces at work and it’s time we recognized this.

The L.A. Times printed an editorial – the primary point of which can be summed up with this single sentence: “A knife, a rock, a speeding vehicle cannot produce the kind of wide-spread devastation one angry 16-year old can with a loaded semiautomatic weapon.”

Here was my response: I notice that Karen Grigsby Bates (Fri. April 23 Re Littleton) did not propose a ban against propane – imagine the number dead had the tanks gone off. Also, may I suggest that if sheer numbers of dead are her main concern in calling for the ban of guns, she’s got more to worry about elsewhere if she would just take the blinders off.

Let’s ban school buses. If one of those crashes by accident or from the actions of some crazed bus driver, 30-50 students could be gone in a blink of an eye. Let’s ban airplanes in general – 200-400 gone in crashes caused by accident or terrorism (you know what kind of people terrorists are: angry, unstable, with an ax to grind ­ just like the two teens in Littleton) Let’s ban Amtrak ­ those things seem to crash once a week and they’re not a pretty sight ‘ bodies galore there too.

And now, let’s get really real. Ban smoking altogether. It kills far more people than all of those incidents put together. That is, if you’re still talking numbers, Karen.

Ms. Bates and her ilk still want to place the blame for such events everywhere but where it belongs and that is on the doers of the deeds.

Actually, I think she might have made a stronger case if she had blamed the media for its incessant portrayal of violence in everything from films to video games. But if she did go that route, I’d have to tell her to make sure she blamed the right people in media – the marketing geniuses – who insist that violence is what “sells”; it’s “what the people want” and that the largest market for such films/videos, etc. is males 14-30. Gee, aren’t they the ones doing all the shooting?

The NRA didn’t kill those kids; Charlton Heston didn’t do it; legal, responsible gun owners didn’t do it; the gun manufacturers and retailers didn’t do it.

You can portray those two murderers in Littleton as just swell guys, a little confused perhaps or the sick, mentally unstable, vicious little cowardly terrorists that they were. Normal people do not do these things. Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of gun owners do not do these things. Put the blame where it is due and when you can figure out the problems of the human mind, fix them because that is what truly needs fixing.

Here is some further information to support the theme of this editorial that it is people and not guns causing the problem:

Australia & Guns: A dramatic increase in criminal activity has been experienced just one year after Australian gun-owners were forced to surrender 640,881 personal firearms, including semi-automatic .22 rifles and shotguns. This surrender-program cost the Australian government over $600-million.

Australia-wide, homicides up 3.2%
Australia-wide, assaults up 8.6%
Australia-wide, armed-robberies up 44%Figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in homicides with firearms and armed robberies. In the past year, there has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly.

At the time of the ban, the Prime Minister said “self-defense is not a reason for owning a firearm.” The ban has destroyed Australia’s standings in international sport shooting competitions. Australian politicians have no explanation as to the increase in crime after ridding their society of guns. Source: Keith Tidwell of Australia’s Sporting Shooters Association and Australia Government.

Emergency Room visits (U.S.): Here are the most common activities that lead to emergency room visits each year. Take note that there is is no mention of guns or shooting activities. Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Baseball/softball – 404,000
Dog bites – 334,000
Playground – 267,000
ATVs/mopeds – 125,000
Volleyball – 98,000
Inline skating – 76,000
Horseback riding – 71,000
Baby Walkers – 28,000
Skateboards – 25,000

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