Monday, January 13, 2014

Sometimes, People Need Help


Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.  We’ve all heard it a thousand times.  And to a certain extent, I might even agree.  But that agreement stops long before a guy is shot dead in a theater for texting.  I mean, yeah, I get it; when the whole story comes out, we’ll probably learn that the shooter has some sort of mental or emotional issue that caused him to become so enraged over something so trivial.  I think we’d all agree that no one deserves to die for using his phone, so the killing itself seems to imply that the killer was not rational.  But that’s the actual problem.

Because, you see, even if it really is people who kill people, those people shouldn’t have such ready access to guns to make the killing so easy.  But as long as the gun lobby continues to succeed in whipping America into a 2nd Amendment frenzy, we will never be able to reduce the number of weapons readily available to a whole host of unsuitable gun owners.  Far too many people die as a result of gun violence, and we must find a way to not only keep that number from increasing, but reduce it until no one again buries a loved one just for being at the wrong place at the wrong time.  We have to find a way to protect ourselves from ourselves.

Does that put us on a path to a nanny state, as so many complain?  I don’t know; maybe.  But laws exist to make us insure our automobiles, wear seatbelts, get blood tests before we marry, file flight plans if we pilot an aircraft, etc.  There are already all sorts of things we are instructed to do simply because they help protect us—all of us, society as a whole—from the dangers that might be inflicted as a result of less than rational people; they protect us from ourselves.  Limiting the number of guns available to any Tom, Dick, or Harry, as well as restricting the Toms, Dicks, and Harrys who might be able to purchase them, is just another step that we must take to ensure a safer society. 

Because, yeah, maybe people kill people, but sometimes they have help to make it happen.  And sometimes they need help to stop it.