The above is a Bushmaster .223 Assault Rifle.
One of my most respected sources of wisdom is from right here in our LBC, Padmini Natarajan. To take one snippet from an article she referenced on Facebook that is very relevant to the American tragedy in our New England school this week:
“We need to address how we as a society are implicated in producing such appalling levels of violence …”
As much as I would love to see guns like the above off the street, many guns with the capacity to kill – albeit perhaps kill in smaller numbers – are available in many other nations, like Canada, that do not share our problem. What is it in the American psyche that is leading to over 10,000 lives lost per year to gun violence? In that sense and that sense only do I agree with the gun lobbies that it is not the guns we should focus on, but the people.
Here is the problem with the argument that “it is not guns that kill people, it is people that kill people”: those who push that argument do not want to pursue what the problem with a society and its people who commit so much violence really is. They are really wanting to just not have guns restricted.
I have many questions in this regard, but very few answers. What I am in favor of right now is constructive, intelligent dialogue backed by reason and facts about why we have this problem and what we can do about it. It is my feeling that we have never actually had that discussion nationally and I am concerned that it will devolve into an emotionally charged mess of charge and counter charge leading nowhere.
Why? I think it is because both sides of the issue are compensating for fear. This will take honesty and courage and understanding across the great divide this issue presents. One side finds only safety and comfort in the idea of no guns, especially guns of this type. The other side finds only safety and comfort in the idea of superior fire power in the belief that human nature is human nature and that you must be more powerful than the next guy to be safe. There are people in the middle who are quite responsible, but they tend to not carry the argument, because their position carries much less emotional charge than the extremes. Hopefully, the power of the Presidency can provide the charge to reason that is going to be required.
Unless we can realize where the other side’s fear comes from, we can never develop understanding. If we don’t develop understanding, then there will never be a solution.