This post is more of a rant/reflection on yesterday and my thoughts about the current status of our government and nation. You are free to disagree with me, but if you want to respond, do it in a civil, respectful manner. I won’t take you seriously otherwise. Thanks!
Yesterday’s shooting resulted in the deaths of 26 individuals (20 children) at an elementary school in Connecticut. This another shooting to the line of recent shootings that have been rocking our nation in the past few years. It’s a tragedy and it’s something that I think could have been prevented in one way or another.
The issue surrounding guns is a very polarizing one and this recent shooting has brought out a lot of bitter feelings coming both ends of the spectrum (those who oppose gun regulation and those who are for it). I think gun regulation is definitely something that needs to be looked at again.
My view on gun regulation is that it is definitely a necessity. I don’t believe in easy, widespread access for people to firearms in any shape or form. I believe the need for screening processes and stricter requirements clearly present themselves everytime one of these shootings occurs. What I DO NOT believe is in a widespread revoking of said right to own firearms. The second amendment, as outdate as many people point it out to be, has been interpreted, time and again, that it gives the right to bear arms to any citizen of the US. With that said, I think additional layers of requirements are needed to prevent firearms from falling into the hands of an individual who might be capable of carrying out another shooting.
First, I think there needs to be a evening of the playing field among states. These shootings often occur in the midwest, south or very north states. You rarely, if ever, hear about mass shootings that occur in the northeastern region that includes NY, NJ, PA, MD etc…This is because the requirements to own/purchase firearms are vastly more strict when compared to states like OH or CO. There needs to be more than just a simple background check. Depending on the history of an individual, their mental health should be evaluated. Somehow there needs to be a way to determine who might be more at risk to do something to endanger others. What that is, I’m not sure. I’m simply stating what needs to be done. The needs to be a serious reconsideration about the polarity of this issue. A compromise between regulation and ownership needs to be found that maximizes the safety of the nation while still retaining the freedom that is often lost with increased regulation. Until we, as a people, are able to come to agreement about what has to be done, there will never be a “sweet” spot.
I also believe there needs to be a requirement for education and safety training of some sort. Too many people disrespect what it means to own a firearm. Shooting has been a large part of my life, and it has taught me a lot safety, respect for others, respect for firearms, and help me develop a lot of my personality qualities in leadership, self-respect/confidence, discipline etc…Shooting is just like any other sport, if taught and practiced in the right manner, it can teach you a lot. With that said, there is a major disconnect between how people perceive firearms and how they should be perceived. Today’s culture has desensitized us to violence. It’s made us forget that life is precious and fleeting. And it’s only when someone dies, does this issue come back to the forefront. Firearms take away lives and that trigger, once pulled, can’t be undone. People need to be reminded of that through safety education and training. I think if we can somehow change the way our culture views firearms as more than a killing tool, but something that can lead to much more positive outcomes, many of these problems will solve themselves.
Additionally, firearm regulation brings up another point about access and why people might resort to violence for their problems. I think most people can agree that there was some mental instability in some respect with all the shooters who were involved in any shooting in the past. Some of you might not agree, but I think this problem is connected to the problem with our healthcare system. Costs are so high for access to help (in the form of counseling, psychiatrists etc…) that we can’t address underlying emotional or mental issues that an individual might have. With firearms being so much cheaper and easier to access, sometimes pent up problems can lead to undesirable outcomes. This sort of reinforces the fact that so many problems in this country are a result of a multi-factorial set of causes. Solving one issue won’t fix any single problem. We have to address multiple things to fix just a single issue. Sadly, this is a lot harder to do in practice, simply because there are so many overlying and underlying obstacles to accomplishing that goal.
When will it be time to finally act? Everyone need to show a willingness to work with everyone else to help address gun regulation, healthcare etc…This polarization on all levels is poison to this nation. Compromise is the only way this country can survive and eventually get back to the great country that we once were. Our government has since lost its meaning as serving its constituents and been corrupted to politicians who only care about their own agendas. This country could have a bright future, but right now, that horizon looks mighty dark.