life on the funny farm

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I-Need-Therapy-Thursday: Who's to Blame?

I hate to bring it up right after Christmas, but I've been thinking and talking and reading and writing a lot lately about "who's to blame" for the tragedy in Sandy Hook.

And though there has been much discussion about gun control and mental illness and video game violence, I think we all know, in our hearts, that the only one to blame is the shooter himself.

That being said, I don't think that means there is nothing to "fix".  The fact that there will always be bad people who will find ways of doing bad things is not enough, in my book, to simply do nothing to fix what we can. 

There is much work to be done in all of the above areas.  I love my country fiercely, and wouldn't want to live anywhere else, but in many ways, I think our country has turned into an over-indulged child.  We cry out for our rights and we demand what we want, without considering whether it's "good for us."   As any parent worth his salt knows, just because we want it doesn't mean we should have it.

Over the next few weeks, I'd like to touch on some of the issues that have been bandied about.

Today I'll take gun control.

But because it is such a complicated issue, I'll keep my take on it as simple as I can.  As a parent, I work in analogies all the time, and I'll use one here.  It's just a repost of something I posted on Facebook last week.

Alcohol, Narcotics, and Firearms

Think of guns - regular old pistols- as alcohol, and assault weapons as narcotics. 
If we want to get "intoxicated", we can legally have a drink as long as we are of age and we don't operate motor vehicles or heavy machinery.  
Does alcohol cause problems? Yes. Illness, addiction, death of self and others, and a host of others. 
But we’ve determined that it’s reasonable, and no one wants that right taken away. Even if we did, we tried that with Prohibition, and it didn’t work.
One could argue that teens can and do still get access to alcohol, so why even bother with an age limit?  Because although many teens still drink, there are countless more that do not, because of the law.
What if we want something stronger than alcohol?  If we want to get high on narcotics, we can’t. It’s illegal. 
Do people still get ahold of them? Yes.  Are there countless drug addicts?  Yes. 
Does that mean we should just go ahead and legalize them? No, for the same reason we have restrictions and laws for alcohol. 
Now, narcotics under a doctor’s prescription, that’s OK. And in this analogy, that would be like assault weapons being OK in military/law enforcement.

My point is, just as with alcohol and drugs, there needs to be a line, and we can’t just say that because people will cross the line, there shouldn’t be one at all.  So to say, why ban assault weapons if the criminals can still get them?  That's not a good enough reason, for me.  For every person that gets ahold of an assault weapon (just as with teens getting alcohol), there will still be many more who cannot get them.

In my humble opinion, there should be no assault weapons in the private sector.  An assault weapons ban would not infringe on any one's second ammendment rights.  Folks could still own guns for sport or home protection.   It would simply keep people from owning a weapon that is designed to kill a lot of people very quickly.  No one needs that.

And I'm not ignorant enough to think that an assault weapons ban will keep people from doing harm.  If Timothy McVeigh can build a bomb, others can, too.  But it is a step in the right direction. 

It will help.

Bottom line.

If anyone is thinking they would like to do something for the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy, Huffington Post has this article with many ideas of how to help. Check it out.

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  1. A perfect analogy and a very thoughtful and reasoned argument. I've been thinking the same thing myself. The NRA is out of control. It needs a muzzle.

  2. A good analogy, yes. However, the term assault weapon is used just te ellicit the very response that it does. An assault weapon is not like a machine gun. An assault weapon does not fire multiple shots with one pull of the trigger like most people think. The trigger has to be pulled for each bullet shot. Assault weapons are also much more accurate than something like a shotgun. Now, if you're using one as protection in your own home, which would you really prefer...a gun that's going to scatter shot in a wide radius (possibly injuring those very people you're trying to protect) or one that's very accurate? Please know that I'm not trying to talk anyone into owning a weapon or changing their mind on a weapon, I just don't think the media does a good job of being honest in this respect. I will also tell you that I own several weapons and as a woman who has been stalked I'm not willing to give up my right to protect myself ever. I promised myself after I made it through that ordeal that I would never live in fear of another person again.

  3. Thanks for chiming in, Taryn. You make some good points, but it looks like we have very differing opinions. And to me, comparing an assault weapom to a shotgun is comparing apples to oranges. I still believe the point remains that there needs to be a line drawn, and that line should be at "assault" (and let's remember what that word means) weapons.



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