The Non-Surprise Of Mass Shootings
Our elected representatives have not represented us in quite a while. Despite the emphasis on the rights of the minority in America, the majority still ought to rule and I cannot believe that a majority of Americans even care about having a gun and certainly don’t care about having an assault-style weapon or illicit high capacity magazines for legal handguns. The latter did the damage in San Jose last week.
I have a friend who believes we are approaching a tipping point when it comes to guns. My friend thinks that the number of mass shootings reaching close to one a day, and the many instances of fatal road rage involving guns will create a clamor for new restrictions on gun ownership, registration, and background checks.
I think my friend is dreaming.
This blog has written many times about the crisis that is gun ownership in the United States. This blog has absolutely no qualms with those hunters who use long guns to shoot birds and deer and other wild beasts. The true outdoorsman does not use an AK-47 to hunt, nor does he use high capacity ammunition clips.
This blog also has no qualms with owners of conventional handguns for protection of life and property in a somewhat lawless world although I am skeptical about how useful guns are in homes. It seems more likely that the owner of the gun will get shot by an intruder if the victim has a gun, but I get it. I went through the decision myself when I got licensed to carry a gun the old-fashioned way—training, shooting test, written test, and finger printing. This process may well end if Governor Abbott gets his way and any idiot can go out and buy a gun without a license. This is truly insane and undoubtedly will lead to more death.
America has to withdraw from its historical fascination with firearms and leave law enforcement to law enforcement. There is absolutely no reason that an average citizen needs an assault-style weapon or the ability to shoot many rounds quickly. These weapons are made for military use, not for use on the streets of America. They need to be banned—period.
Now that doesn’t mean a lot of police reform is not called for. It is.
Police personnel are being asked to mediate domestic disputes where firearms may be involved. They are asked to solve the problem of the mentally unstable that roam our streets and can occasionally pose a threat to law-abiding citizens. And then of course there are the many emergencies that may not even involve a crime that police are called upon to resolve. These police need more training than the six months they get in even the most advanced of police forces and the efforts of the police need to be augmented with dispute resolution counselors and mental health professionals.
Our entire system of getting along needs a great deal of attention. Guns do not successfully resolve most problems. There are way too many out there and they are far too easy to obtain. Our elected representatives at the state and federal levels need to formulate logical laws that limit civilian access to deadly weapons and enhance the ability of the police to deal with the many threats posed. It’s not one or the other. We need both gun reform and police reform.
I am not sure when a mass shooting a day will become enough for the American people to demand action by their elected representatives. Like universal health care, I doubt I will live to see it. I just hope my kids do.