Why Can’t We Realize SH*T Happens?

English: This is the semi-automatic civilian v...

20 people, 16 kids, are shot and killed in Connecticut. A horrible crime perpetrated by a mentally challenged young man who got hold of his mother’s legally bought and owned guns. Prior to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School the killer (we won’t mention his name here, ever) killed his mother at their home. And around the country voices are heard screaming, “We must do something! We can’t let this happen again”.  My question is, why? Why do we have to do something?

Sandy Hook Elementary Memorial

Sandy Hook Elementary Memorial

This country is a reactionary country and no politician has ever met a tragedy they wouldn’t or couldn’t exploit. But just like the bumper sticker I’m going say, “Shit Happens“.  I’m sorry if that sounds insensitive. I’m just as hurt and was emotionally troubled by the killing last December 14, 2012 as most people. It sickened me. I prayed and asked others to pray. The idea of all those young children being senselessly shot caused me tears and frustration. But ultimately as a country why scream, “Something must be done!” Why?

Why can’t we accept the fact that this killer had a mother who devoted her life to her son, tried the best she could but ultimately this 20-year-old kid was too much for her and was crazy and finally went off; and he did this horrible crime? Why can’t we accept the fact that we can’t stop every crazed killer from killing? If they want to kill and die they’re going to do so and we are not going to be able to stop them. Shit Happens.

The Connecticut killer stole legally purchased weapons from his mother. The Colorado movie theater killer bought his weapons after passing the legally required background check allowing him to do so. The Portland Mall shooter (from the same week as Sandy Hook) used a stolen weapon. No Assault Weapons Ban or criminal background check stopped these killers, nor would any new legislation along similar lines.

One of the photographs of Seung-Hui Cho that h...

One of the photographs of Seung-Hui Cho that he sent to NBC News on the day of the massacre

The Virginia Tech massacre of 2007 also involved a crazy man. Seung-Hui Cho (age 23) shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others. And he did it using hand guns which would never have been banned under the previous or currently proposed assault weapons ban. The Federal Assault Weapons Ban signed by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994 lasted ten years before expiring. We’re not talking about a few months or a couple of years. The ban was in effect for ten years. And yet, nearly every study of it found it ineffective in deterring or diminishing gun violence.

FBI mugshot of Timothy McVeigh.

FBI mugshot of Timothy McVeigh.

Timothy McVeigh didn’t even need a gun to commit his horrible crime. He just needed a U-Haul truck and some fertilizer. McVeigh’s 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City killed 168 people and injured 800 more. No gun was used. Until he detonated his improvised bomb no law had been broken. And no law should exist that prohibits the purchase of fertilizer and the renting of a U-Haul truck. We all just have to accept, Shit Happens.

One week after the Sandy Hook shooting the NRA responded by proposing that every school in this country should be staffed by an armed, trained, security guard. They were roundly criticized by the anti-gun crowd and do you know why? Those lobbying for a greater number of 2nd Amendment infringements said of the National Rifle Associations proposal that it would “cost too much”. Really? Cost too much? How’s that for hypocrisy? President Obama has said repeatedly, including this week during his Press Conference on Monday, that “If there is one step we can take to save one child’s life then we should do it”. I guess he should have added, “unless we’re talking about spending real money”.

The City of Chicago was sighted by the President as the model for gun laws throughout the United State‘s. Chicago led the nation last year with over 500 murders, most of them by guns. Democrats don’t really want to do anything about problems with guns. They just want to appear to a naive public that they are doing something, while they can wink and nod at the gun lobby who helps them pass useless and toothless legislation to placate that ignorant public.

The fact is tragedies like the Sandy Hook massacre will happen and short of repealing the 2nd Amendment and taking away all our guns they’ll happen again. Shit Happens. But the 2nd Amendment won’t be repealed any time in my lifetime because too many Americans have guns, over 310 million guns are known to be owned in the U.S. by law-abiding citizens. It’s a practical impossibility to somehow think you’re going to get them all, or anything close to them all.

We need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. Period. End of discussion. Find out how to do that and most Americans will shout “Hallelujah”.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

 

Another Kid is Shot and our 2nd Amendment Cringes

handgun

In the Seattle area three kids have been shot by handguns in the past three weeks. According to The Seattle Times the third happened at a gas station near the Tacoma Mall. A man with a license for carrying a concealed weapon placed the gun underneath the driver’s seat as he exited the car to fill the gas tank. A three-year old in the car got the gun and fatally shot himself in the head.

This kind of tragedy is avoidable if only people exercise a little more common sense when it comes to the ownership of handguns. Don’t. Don’t own them. Far more people are shot with guns they or their family members own than by the strangers with guns. If you want to dramatically increase the likelihood that you or a member of your family is shot, own a handgun.

Where I put my foot down is on government getting involved and telling us we may not own guns. The government is not needed in this discussion. Just common sense. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” 

The Founding Fathers thought so much of this Right that they placed it second on their list of the first ten amendments, commonly known as The Bill of Rights. But a key aspect of the amendment is frequently ignored by 2nd Amendment advocates, “A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state…”.  Remove that phrase and the amendment takes on more meaning. It does not say “We shall have the right to keep and bear arms in order to kill our fellow man”

World Peace

. So some regulation of firearms can and should be exercised. To say there should be none is to argue that anybody can own, build, and possess a nuclear weapon; for what is that if not a more extreme form of “arms”.

Still I oppose government banning or severely restricting handguns. But there are lots of things we as people have a right to do that common sense dictates we avoid. I always tell my kids to look both ways  and make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street, even at a cross walk. Entering an unregulated cross walk in heavy traffic may be your right. But you’ll be dead.

I’m a gun owner. Rifles and shotguns, for hunting. I have been since I was twelve years old and my Grandpa gave me a .22 rifle as a Christmas present. He had made an annual gesture of giving guns to the boys in my family for a couple of years. So in a very real sense guns are a tradition in my family.

The author with his shotgun

But for reasons I’ve already explained I have never and would never own a handgun. The only time I would ever own a handgun is if I lived on my own. Then I can be sure to never angrily use it or accidentally use it against a person in my family; and I would be sure to not have it used against me either angrily or accidentally. It’s all well and good to claim I would never use my gun in anger. But I’m sure there are many, many murders behind bars who said or thought the same thing.

Three children shot and severely injured, or killed in only three weeks in the Seattle area is too much. It’s too painful. How much do you really need your gun. Does it really protect you? Or does it just excite you? Perhaps the more important question should be, does having it increase your chance of being shot or of someone you care about being shot, or does it increase your chance of you or someone else you love ending up dead? I’ll answer the obvious question: own a handgun and dramatically increase your chances of a quick, tragic death.

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