I am so sorry for all those poor souls who died at the hands of a very disturbed young man in Newtown, Connecticut. The killer used two handguns and an assault rifle, all of which apparently belonged to his mother. What possible good can come from owning these weapons? And what is it about the US that seems to breed so many of these of these killers?
I wrote about this in another post back in the summer but every week or two there seems to be another mass US murder story. How many times does this need to happen before we wake up and do something about it? That people agree to live this way is the real insanity.
And that this could happen in one of the so-called safest places in America is very disturbing. It’s an atrocious wherever it happens, but what this really tells us is that there are troubled souls everywhere that need help.
Some would say the problem is not the guns themselves, but the people using them. Fair enough. But as long as there so many tortured impulsive souls out there, does it make sense to give easy access to weapons?
I ask again, as many others have, if guns were not as readily available would so many people be being murdered?
Thank you Jonathan for this honest and courageous post. I do wish we could reach the tortured souls before they reach a gun…..
I agree, thanks for posting this. It would seem that guns have long been part of the history of the United States. Why on Earth did this mother need to own an assault rifle? Why did she have it accessible to her son? I believe there are many homes, mine included, that do not contain any guns or weapons. I know there are just as many that stand strongly behind the belief that it is their right to own a gun. Meanwhile, senseless human tragedy continues…
Thanks Cissyblue. I hope President Obama does as he says, and uses this tragedy to take on the gun culture.
simply put you can’t knife that many people to death, let alone do it in less than ten minutes. These sick souls have the ability to act on their twisted fantasies with guns.The guns got to go!!!!
Absolutely right. President Obama made some very interesting comments tonight. Let’s hop this sparks a Chnage away from the gun culture.
Thank you Jonathan for this post — so raw and so real. I was never a supporter of the use of guns for any reason. Fear is its only motivating factor. Both of my parents carried a gun, supposedly for “protection.” As a little girl, I resented it and simply didn’t feel right about it. I believe it’s only when we’re able to move away from fear-based consciousness that guns and other similar weapons will disappear from our reality. Meantime, I am offering a prayer that President Obama be divinely guided on the appropriate measures to take.
The image at the beginning of your post makes me incredibly sad. So many unnecessary deaths in the good ‘ole USA. I should be proud to be an American, yet right now I am not. My household is split, with my husband being an avid NRA supporter. I am becoming more and more against how easy it is to access a gun. I also agree 100% that we need to put more priority on helping those with mental illness. And if weapons aren’t readily available, those who aren’t mentally stable won’t be able to hurt perfectly innocent people. My heart aches, especially for the lost children and the families of those sweet children.
Just found your site and have enjoyed reading several of your posts. I think for those who aren’t in the “gun culture” it’s hard to understand why someone would want a gun. If you have never shot a gun or have no knowledge of how to use one safely then they can seem scary just like anything else that is unusual to you and out of your comfort zone. The vast majority of gun owners are good people who aren’t out there hurting anyone, they are used for protection for sport not to kill people for no good reason. The vast majority of people who use guns to kill have them illegally and if you try and remove guns from our country the only ones who will have them will be criminals. Crimes that have been prevented by gun owners is far greater then you may realize, how many lives have been saved by guns who have used them to keep themselves safe from a criminal trying to harm them? It’s not pleasant but better then being dead or raped. I have the right to protect my family if someone comes into my home with the intent to kill or rape or whatever why can’t I protect myself? If I can call the cops they will be here in 15 minutes, if I’m lucky and by that time I could be dead or worse. Our mental health system needs some work obviously if that were in better shape how many shootings could have been prevented. There needs to be better ways to see if someone is mentally ill before they buy a gun absolutely. There are things that need fixing just like so many things in this country but taking away guns from good citizens is not the answer.
I am just representing the other side of the debate, not trying to be contentious. If you all are really open minded then really take some time to look into both sides of the debate from an unbiased position, then make up your mind about what you think.
I hear you and understand that it is not a simple issue. The issue for me is the culture….how the US came to embrace a gun culture, and why it must continue to do so. I understand that about 50% of US households have guns, and I find this to be a very sad statistic. As a Canadian, i am not sure what the number would be here, but I am sure it would be very, very low in comparison. I also understand the right to protect oneself, but the fact that there is such a strong need to protect oneself in the first place is in itself a very disturbing indicator on our society. I read about a US Congressman from Texas, Louie Gohmbert, saying just after Newtown that the problem is that gun laws are too strict, implying perhaps that if the school had been armed that this might not have happened. Seriously? Do people really think that MORE guns is the answer?
Anyway…I do appreciate your thoughtful comment. I just wish there was a better way.
“as long as there so many tortured impulsive souls out there, does it make sense to give easy access to weapons?”
If we were talking about cars and traffic accidents and drunk driving and the statistics were similar to the ones in your post, the solution would be obvious–weed out the people with poor impulse control and who are prone to violence, or raise the minimum driving age.
Raise the minimum age for gun-ownership. Require gun owners to be licensed and to have to renew their license every 2 or 4 years, just like a driver’s license.
Problem is that driving isn’t a right, like gun ownership; driving is a privilege, and as a privilege it’s much easier to restrict and raise the standards on.
Not so for Gun ownership.
And then there’s the whole argument about what defines bearing “arms.” Bearing arm in the 1700’s is something much different than bearing arms today. I wonder how (or even if) the founding fathers would have written (rewritten, reworded) the 2nd Amendment — “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” — had they known about escalation and if they were to see just how many people go postal each year in this country.
It’s something to ponder.
I get that “the right to bear arms” is a check and balance so that this country isn’t subject to a military coup and a dictatorship.
But is there another way to provide this necessary check and balance yet not at the cost of assault rifles and semi-automatic guns?
And I’m assuming that the low gun-murder rates in those other countries (in the ad in your post) are due to severe firearms restrictions or even prohibitions. And the citizens of those countries don’t really need an internal check and balance to their government so long as the US is around, because that’s what we essentially provide.
But if we disarm our citizenry then what other country or force would provide a check and balance if our current form of government were to be overthrown by a dictatorship?
So it’s a interesting balance, And throwing the baby out with the bathwater–letting the few bad apples spoil it for all of those who are responsible gun owners seems unwise.
There needs to be some way of weeding out those who are irresponsible or who have impulse control issues, et cetera.
It will be interesting to see how the debate goes.
Merry Christmas to you and yours Jonathan!
Excellent points John.a very complicated issue, but one whose time had come to be untangled.