Recently, we were all shocked and saddened by an incident at the Naval Shipyards. A very troubled young man with some sort of motive (that may have yet to be figured out), decided to take out some sort of revenge on the government by gunning down thirteen people in cold blood. Of course, we all share sympathy for the killed, the injured and their loved ones. Unfortunately, both sides of the gun debate are using this tragic situation for their own ends – the anti-gun forces are stating that, but for guns, the whole matter would never have occurred. The pro-gun crowd claims that the root cause of the incident was the gunman’s seeming mental incapacity, and guns aren’t the issue here.
How does one know what to think?
A number of years back, a distant relative was driving home from a Friday night dinner out. At the same time, a few miles up the road, there was a severely disturbed teenage girl that was determined to take her own life. The suicide method? Her car.
She took to the road determined to end her life that evening. The problem was, as far as she could see, was that the road was free of bridges, jersey walls and semis – there was nothing to run into. Until she saw the car carrying my relative. She sped toward the target, and my relative saw the headlights. He switched lanes to allow her to pass, but, inexplicably to him, she mirrored his move and sped up.
Moments later, she collided with the car carrying my relative and his wife. The carnage was incredible, and it shut down the road and tied up traffic for twelve hours. Everyone survived – my relative cracked a vertebrae, his wife broke a hip and the distressed woman messed herself up pretty badly, but she survived.
Here we have another example of someone using something we can legally obtain – a car – to cause mayhem and death in a public area. Similar episodes are played out every month on the millions of miles of highways, roads and streets in this country. Yet, we don’t have talking heads and newsmen on tv talking about how we need to outlaw cars. There is no public outcry to have a psychological and criminal background check and a 48-hour waiting period before someone purchases a vehicle.
Now this is not going to be a pro-Second Amendment or pro-gun control column. Frankly, I can see both sides of the story. But as of this moment, the United States Supreme Court has issued its interpretation of the Second Amendment through a number of different challenges and cases, and citizens are allowed to own guns.
For an example of how gun control DOES NOT WORK, just look at DC. For decades, guns were illegal in DC by law. That didn’t stop all of the killing in the district.
The nut of it is, we all have to grow up and become adults about the world around us. Our country is rife with things that can kill you, and people that may have the desire to do the same. If you take away guns (see the above-paragraph), those people that really, REALLY want to take you out will find another way to do it. Pipes, bars, drugs, bats, cars, planes – everything is fair game. If guns are indeed taken away, and we see a spate of murders by baseball bat, are we going to line up (no pun intended) and outlaw those? What will happen to baseball, to sandlot games, to family picnics? (As a side note, remember Jarts? They were lawn darts that you tried to throw into your opponent’s circle. Kind of a combination between bocce, horseshoes and MURDER. Seriously, my sisters and I always played this game, and my parents never had an issue with it. Now that I’m older, the darts that were thrown could be used for any number of malfeasant purposes. I guess that’s why they’ve been outlawed.)
In consideration of everything previously mentioned, I understand this is not a very easy issue. Our founding fathers might have been a teeny bit vague in drafting the Second Amendment. Understand the world was a very different place; the country was constantly under attack by evil forces that wanted to snuff the country; to turn off the light that attracted people from every country around the world. We also have to understand that society was split into fractions – the landowners (the 1%) and everyone else (the 99%).
But, without any logical, unemotional argument, there can be no resolution on this issue. And given the environment today, that looks about as possible as outlawing cars.
Christopher Markham writes a regular column for fredericknewspost.com.