Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech Shootings

I can’t stop thinking about the tragic insanity that occurred at Virginia Tech today. Without doubt, this terrible tragedy will provoke debates about the merits of gun laws and the rights of Americans to own firearms. Perhaps THIS tragedy will finally shake some sense into our leaders that the protection of our nation, along with health care, education, and environmental protection are more important than looking for WMDs that don’t exist and stirring up trouble in the already sensitive Middle East, tax policies, banning gay marriage, landing Americans on Mars, and other agenda items that don’t impact our lives every single day. Perhaps this is the tragedy that will wake up our lawmakers and encourage them to make the right decisions regarding gun ownership to protect us in our schools, workplaces, places of worship, and homes.

I, personally, am terrified of guns and additionally see no positive purpose for firearms to exist. In my Utopian world, I would love to see the extinction of such weapons, so no one could ever harm any of God’s creatures – animals or people, whether it’s hunting, homicide or self-defense. However, tragically, that’s not the case and it never will be - Pandora’s box of firearms got opened many centuries ago.

On a daily basis, I see and hear stories of murder; shots fired in the process of other crimes; accidental shootings (our illustrious Vice President of the U.S. Dick Cheney even shot a friend in the face while hunting); thugs who kill for material things; and the killing of animals, which makes me sad and angry… Where are the positive, uplifting stories where guns provide value, heal the sick, help the poor, or educate our youth? I jest when I suggest such things, but really – where’s the positive value? To me, firearms seem more like instruments of death, revenge, and hate and are only useful for protecting ourselves from other gun-toting individuals!

Our American forefathers implemented the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which included the civil liberty of Americans to keep and bear arms. The Libertarian in me wants to uphold the unalienable right to use weaponry responsibly and for its intended purpose as long as it does not harm others; but the human being in me disagrees that it should still be implemented in modern society. The Second Amendment was implemented during the time when buffaloes and bears roamed the land freely, laws were not fully established and implemented, and hunting was necessary to survive. Perhaps firearms were more necessary during that time in history; but I really don’t believe that in today’s world, they are (except like I said, to protect us from other gun carriers).

But is it realistic to abolish guns and rid our criminals, police, military, home owners, protective fathers and husbands, hunters, and psychos that enjoy such weaponry? Absolutely not. The Utopian world that I dream of doesn’t exist. Therefore, I’m sure that the abolition of guns is NOT the key. But what is the key? This is the $100000000 question! And I certainly don’t know the answer.

Could it be more severe punishment for those that break gun laws? Tighten the ability for individuals to obtain weapons? Stricter enforcement of permits and illegal possession of guns? What about gun education – should it be taught to EVERYONE in society, and not just those that want to use them legally (in the hopes that those that want to use them illegally will at least have had exposure to training and education re: gun safety and responsible use)? What about teaching conflict resolution in schools, so that people learn how to manage conflict healthfully from an early age?

I don’t know what the solution is, but what we’re doing ISN”T WORKING and banning all firearms ISN”T REALISTIC. I hope someone smarter than me, with more energy and passion than me, figures out a solution… Maybe, I don’t know… our government leaders??!! What do you guys think?


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