I've spent a lot of time going over this latest bout of insanity in my head. I wish I could just let it go, but I can't. Friday morning a man who wasn't much older than a kid himself slaughtered 20 little children and 6 of the adults tasked with protecting them. And not long after, people started pointing fingers - mostly at the whole gun control thing.
Let me say this right off: The availability of guns is not the problem.
So, evil dude got himself a semi-automatic assault rifle somewhere somehow. I haven't heard whether he got it legally, and I don't care because it doesn't really matter. If the damn thing had been outlawed by the government, he would've gotten it elsewhere. And if somehow the entire world had banished assault rifles, he would've taken revolvers into the school. That shithead had a plan and a little thing like the legality of his weapons or the rate at which they fire weren't exactly going to stop him. And if somehow all guns were abolished, he would've built himself a bomb. I've heard you can find the directions on how to build one somewhere out here on the internet. The shits who did the Oklahoma City bombing certainly proved that bombs are just as effective as guns at killing people. No, this guy wanted a lot of bodies, and he made them.
Still, it seems like there are a whole lot of people out there focused on the guns being the bane of society. Like after the football player killed his girlfriend and then himself not long ago, and a certain sports announcer felt the need to jump on the gun control bandwagon on national TV. Sorry, Bob, but you were so wrong. The gun wasn't the problem there either.
It seems to me that the real problem - and one that hits pretty much across the board with the problems we're facing today - is this idea that we can have and do whatever we want, whenever we want, without effort or consequences. And if we don't get what we want? Well, then somebody's gonna pay.
The gunman who went into that school... We may never know exactly what he wanted. Most likely, he was pissed at his mother about something, blamed the school she worked at (or used to work at, since I read just now she was unemployed*), and decided he wanted to kill a bunch of people. Maybe he heard that schools don't pay their employees enough and therefore his mom couldn't get him the GI Joe with the kung-fu grip that he wanted for Christmas when he was 10. Could be he was jealous of all the little kids who got the toys they wanted. Maybe any of the above was just an excuse he might have used to give himself permission to commit the most heinous act a human can commit. Don't know. Don't really care about the exact whys.
He wanted to do it. So he did it. And then he killed himself because he wanted to escape the consequences of his actions.
From the smallest of things - shoplifting, for instance - to this horrible act. The underlying cause is the same. I have a whim and I'm going to fulfill it. And other human beings be damned. (If the people committing these acts ever stop to consider that there are others involved.)
I don't know how to stop it. I just know it has to be stopped at some point or we're screwed. Maybe if every single parent in the world taught their kids the simple things like 'if it doesn't belong to you, don't touch it' and 'life has value'. Maybe if we taught our kids about individual rights and property rights and said it like we meant it, it would trickle down.
I don't know. All I know is that shrieking about the availability of weapons doesn't do a damn thing to address the underlying issue. All it does is cloud everything up so the real work never gets done. And it will be work. We've already slipped too far down the slope to make it an easy climb back.
I'm afraid at this point, it's too late to stop the current trend. I think the best we can do now is change the future by teaching the children of today they can't always have what they want when they want it. That they might have to work to earn what they want and they can't just take things that don't belong to them. And at its most basic form, murder is taking something: someone else's life.
Like I said, I don't know what the answer is. Chances are you don't either. But I think we might be able to agree that guns are not the real problem here. So let's all just shut up about them, shall we? All the time we're spending pointing at the symptom is taking time away from addressing the real issue - and while we're attacking the symptom, the disease is continuing to kill.
*with anything like this, the details are sketchy - but the details here aren't pertinent anyway.
:Administrative Note: The thoughts expressed here are my opinions alone because this is my blog. As always, comments of a nasty, derogatory nature will not be allowed to post here. (That's the joy of comment moderation.) If you can't see the truth of what I've said here, I can't really help you and I won't let you spew on my blog. And if, by some chance, what I've said here this morning has pissed you off to the point where you feel the need to un-follow me, let us part ways as amicably as possible.
Also, any facts in the above post are leftovers from what we knew on Friday (with the exception of his mother being unemployed). I've really tried to stay the hell away from the news since all this came to light on Friday. So if you've got a new fact that refutes the few facts I left here, feel free to leave a nice suggestion in the comments. Chances are it won't be pertinent either, but facts are facts.