Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.


Okay, So, Guns

This topic, in light of recent events, has been so much cacophony lately that I haven't felt the need to articulate a strong case because I think it will just add to the clutter and because I think everyone is too emotionally wrapped up their opinions to do any real listening anyway.  But I have opinions, of course, so a few quick thoughts.

I absolutely agree that our (lacking) approach to mental health in this country is a big issue and desperately needs to be improved.  We don't help and support each other nearly enough.

But, no matter how compassionate our system, how understanding our overall treatment of each other as a society in general, how caring we are as individuals, there will always be people who are dangerously ill.  And the rest of us will always, always, always remain emotional creatures given to moments (at the least) of anger and aggression and violence.  People are always going to try to hurt each other, regardless of any other factors.  So why do we want to improve our ability to maximize the amount of damage we can do to each other when that happens?  People kill people, but guns make it far, far easier and the harm exponentially greater.  It doesn't have to be that way.

As this article points out, there were actually two school school rampages on that same day.  The one in China lead to 22 injuries by a knife.  The one in the U.S. led to 28 deaths by a gun.  Similar situations, similar "bad guys" doing the most harm they possibly could.  Incredibly different amounts of harm done.  That, to me, says it all.

Do I think saying it will change anything?  Unfortunately, not really.  Not too long ago, a Facebook friend posted:
From what I can tell from FB statuses the gun argument goes as follows. Statistics are presented to show that in similar "western" countries they have fewer gun deaths/gun related violence. OR Nazi's, fascist's, and dictator's will pull my gun from my cold dead hand. I think either gun control advocates need to start calling gun "enthusiasts" baby killers and rapists or the "enthusiasts" need to start using data to support their arguments. Because you guys are speaking two different languages.
I replied:
As this advocate wrote of enthusiasts in another thread: The cult of individualism plus xenophobia. The world is a hostile, dangerous place, it's up to me to defend myself, and I will not be caught helpless. Irrational, gut-level fear drives it, so no amount of logic or rational discourse will impact it at all. That's why their solution to guns is more guns, because they see the problem as being helpless in the face of danger and enemies. And everyone is a potential enemy, so they need to be armed at all times.
I don't think anything will change, but I can hope.

This has got to be one of the best fact-presentation pieces I've seen on the topic recently: 10 Pro-Gun Myths, Shot Down.  Seriously.  If you're at all interested in the topic or have any plans to engage in discussions about it, take a look.  It's very comprehensive.  (And it's the main reason I got around to creating this post, so I'd have the link for future use.)  Of course, I don't think I need to add that it supports my thesis, with facts, studies, and statistics, that more guns simply means more effective violence and more deaths.

One other thing.  You may have noticed that I waited quite a while before sharing these thoughts, and that in doing so I haven't mentioned any names or particulars about the "recent events" I referenced at the start.  That's because I thoroughly believe these things happen because the culprits want attention.  They have given up on life and feel the only thing left for them is to at least go out in a blaze of glory.  To feel like their existence has mattered by making themselves significant in some way, and the only way they know how is to become notorious by causing so much harm and hurt that they become infamous.  So every single time one of these people gets mentioned in the news, on blogs, in social media, in any way noticeable, we are validating the tactic for the next person who might contemplate it.  We are rewarding them with exactly what they want and encouraging others to make sure it happens again.  If we want this to stop, then we must stop glorifying it with attention.  Otherwise, we're just feeding the beast.



At 1/31/2013 9:20 PM, Blogger Hadrian said...

On a related note, the greater Kansas City metro has already had 17 homocides this year, 14 of them by firearm. (15 if you count the one man that was pistol whipped to death). That is, a mid sized city with approximately 2 million residents has already experienced more gun homocides than the entire nation of Japan will reasonable expect to sustain- all. year. long.

At 1/31/2013 9:22 PM, Blogger Hadrian said...

... oh, and that doesn't even count the children five and under that have been accidentally shot recently -- at least two, including one today.


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