Simply asking that question will not resolve anything but facing and making adequate and lasting changes can lead to actually saving lives.
Most recently, the focus from the media, political leaders, gun rights activists and many others have not been focused on long-term needs or solutions but rather on short-term story lines, misleading voters and pushing policies as well as allowing misunderstandings which have led to surges in firearm sales.
The story of the century would be a day without a death from gun violence or even more so, violent crime.
Sound impossible? We are driven to think that way.
“These neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children.” President Obama in statement made following the recent Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre killing 20 children and 6 adults in the school.
Where do Americans stand on gun laws? Gun control?
In a pew poll taken after the assassination attempt on Congresswomen Gabriella “Gabby” Giffords, the country was divided. 49% said it was “more important to protect the rights of Americans to own guns” and 46% said it was “more important to control gun ownership.”
After the shooting in the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, 76% said, “There should be some restriction on owning guns,” according to a CNN/ORC poll.
At present time, roughly half of American states allow gun owners to carry their weapon openly into public places.
Also, making more news recently is the “Stand Your Ground” law. This law really came into the public eye during the Trayvon Martin case in Florida.
Florida, as well as others in this list do not have a “duty to retreat” clause which means if you can get away without harm or deadly force but shoot anyway, you can be prosecuted. Most of the states with the “Stand Your Ground” law do not have the “duty to retreat” clause. Many of these laws are written in a vague way leaving the law to be used as a “blanket way out” for many shootings.
These laws were often introduced as a way to help “victims” in cases such as domestic violence where victims often felt blocked and unable to flee or ended up shooting their attackers (which happened to be their domestic partner) and found it near impossible to defend themselves in court. When was it okay to kill someone under your own roof?
But, the law has left it open for arguments leading escalating, turning into assaults and then murder to be defended under the “Stand Your Ground” law. What would have been different if a person hadn’t had a firearm on them? What if they didn’t feel it was okay to cry “self-defense” in what would typically end up in an assault and battery case but instead, someone is dead. Has the law been a positive or a negative?Who has it actually helped more?
NRA does not run the US government and does not make the choices for what is good for America. That is done through the voters. We vote who we want at both the state level and the national level. Are we listening to what these politicians are standing for and against? Who is supporting them and funding their campaigns? What are their intentions?
Ask yourself why the NRA has had nothing to say since this most recent massacre? Statements have come out from all over the world. World leaders are offering condolences. Many actors and actresses are coming forward and saying things should be done with violence in movies and TV may need to be looked at. Networks rearranged TV schedules following the massacre due to programming that may have been viewed as showing things in bad taste.
Using the words “gun control” is beginning to sound UN-American. I think doing nothing as we are seeing more massacres, people crying in disbelief as their loved ones are being identified, going through autopsies and realizing their last conversation was their LAST conversation… that is UN-American.
Personally, I can’t participate in ignoring an issue that is continuously being swept under the rug by groups that argue for their freedoms while others are losing their loved ones, their lives and their future or their sense of security. What about their freedom, our freedom?
Weapons used for hunting and sporting do not call for assault weapons or weapons with large magazines that can gun down numerous people (or animals) in just seconds or minutes.
Many assault weapons are not for either of these uses and are only used to promote keeping an argument going instead of coming to an agreement.
Responsible and legitimate gun owners, politicians and people across America need to give pause to this, put politics aside and be able to really look at this very serious issue, discuss it (peacefully) and deal with it.
Yes, there should be limits, laws, background checks and training required. Yes, there should be renewed proof of this at the time of license renewals for each weapon. A responsible gun owner would understand the need for this because they would only want other responsible and trained, regularly licensed gun owners having other weapons as well.
A major argument is that responsible gun owners and legally purchased guns are not the problem.
My first response is I find it amazing that each “responsible gun owner” can speak for all the other “responsible gun owners” as though they meet all the time and know each other very well.
My second response is that is not true. Legally purchased guns end up in the wrong hands more often than these “responsible gun owners” must realize. The ability to purchase guns is far too easy in far too many places. There needs to be universal laws when it comes to background checks, waiting periods, guns and ammo purchases and an assault weapon ban.
My third response is this. ”Responsible gun owners” do not come with a magic chip in them saying they are responsible, will keep their weapons locked up properly, only use their weapon in the absolute necessity that it is needed and will be in 100% tip top emotional and mental condition for the rest of their life. They also don’t have the promise no one in their family won’t get to their weapons or someone breaking into their home won’t be able to do the same. There are no guarantees.
The NRA makes it seem as though guns are the answer to protection and the government and its laws are trying to take that away from people.
For those trying to hide behind the 2nd amendment, they aren’t the ones who control this discussion. The idea however of more guns being the answer has proven to be wrong, dead wrong.
True. It isn’t just a weapon that ends a life. It is a person who believes they have a justified reason to do so.
As humans we react many times out of emotion. In many of these cases, there are feelings of anger, hate, revenge, defeat, entrapment and many times nobody knows what set a person off to commit such violent crimes.
The right thing to do, if a person is thinking rationally is to walk away, take some time to think things over, seek some advice or maybe get more details. A lot of times people are going through situations where counseling is needed and has been needed but either they didn’t know it, didn’t seek it or it wasn’t available.
Too often, a gun is too easily available to pick up, steal or purchase.
Not everyone committing these horrible murders/suicides, massacres and violent crimes were “monsters” before these acts. Many times, no one noticed any signs of behavior change, isolation, depression or signs of mental illness. Other times, it was noticed but they were unable to get help or convince the person to get help.
Does that mean people with emotional or mental illnesses are “monsters”? No. It means people with problems need to be able to seek help, get the proper diagnosis, counseling, medications and not be labeled with a stigma as being “crazy”.
If a person in need of help seeks help and receives help, this is definitely not “crazy”. That is the right thing to do and it should definitely be available to anyone in need of these services.
Many people with emotional and mental illnesses can live fulfilling lives alongside everyone else if they are able to get the medical and emotional help necessary. This important issue in our society cannot continue to be ignored. This is a huge gap in our healthcare system leading to economic and many other life issues. It is easier for Americans to access guns than mental health care. Without truly dealing with this, we can’t move forward on dealing with these murder/suicides, massacres and violent crimes.
There are two sides to be focused on immediately without involving political favors, campaigning, lobbyist and self-promotions.
1) Too many weapons without just purpose or place in our society (other than within our military)
2) Not enough available care and treatments for those with emotional and mental needs and disabilities.
For those who can’t clearly see these needs, they aren’t focusing on the real problems. They are standing in the way of what needs to lead to a drastic change.
We can’t just cover the cracks or kick the can down the road.
Our biggest war is going on here at home and our children and loved ones are the victims.
What is the difference between these recent massacres and 9/11? We are part of the blame. We vote. We have voices and if the issue isn’t being addressed, keep pursuing the issues.
These victims didn’t have a choice and now their voices have been silenced.
24 Hours Ago… So much can change in a 24 hour period.
Throughout the world, lives are lost each day due to diseases, wars, drugs, mental and eating disorders, famine, violent crimes and so much more. What makes today different is not only is this happening just after the other recent tragedies in a mall, a theater, hair salon, etc but these were children, teachers a principal and those there to help our children.
They lived in one of the top 10 places to live in America. School should be a safe zone. No hate, violence, bullying or fear of dying due to any senseless act of crime. Mental disorders or not. That is not a reason or excuse for violence.
People live with mental disorders everyday without causing harm. People have guns responsibly. The fact is, not everyone is held accountable. Not everyone is responsible with a gun or keeps it away from the wrong hands.
Not everyone has proper medical diagnosis, care and/or treatment for their mental illness. The discussions and resolutions can’t be avoided. Prayers shouldn’t have to continuously go out for lives lost and communities affected by tragedy.
Prayers and attention need to focus on one thing, SAVING LIVES.
Put the politics aside.
People deserve to live and people deserve proper medical attention.
I wanted to post this now but I was working on an article following the recent shooting in Clackamas…then this happened, the shooting at an elementary school. I will follow this up with a further article.
Please share your thoughts on this matter. Worldwide, people have been affected in different ways.
I appreciate people’s views, opinions and concerns. I think those are what have driven America’s progress the most. Without those voices of the past, we would not have the freedoms to have our voices heard today.
However we share our voices, whether it be through writing, TV, radio or to those around us. The fact is, we have the desire within us to be heard and in this country, we have the right.
In many countries, that is not the case. Those rights did not come to us without fight and by others giving up their freedoms and their lives. How we use those rights and our freedoms should never be taken lightly.
I have always been one to see things through the eyes of many, not just myself. I believe that one’s freedom can not be enjoyed with another person enslaved. Justice is not won if an injustice is being done and ignored. I see that and I do not take that lightly. That is why I do what I do.
Choice is a freedom. Choice is the ability to make a decision. For someone to take that away is to take a freedom away and we have fought too long to earn those rights.
In today’s politics, it seems like there are sides. People are choosing or picking who will win this election. It is much more than sides or winners and losers. When people vote without knowing what they have to gain or lose, they have already lost. And, when people vote for a candidate knowing their win will mean freedoms are lost, what does that say about America’s freedoms? How easy is it for us to give up the freedoms of others when we feel it does not agree with our beliefs?
What if that were the way America started to work? No more separation of church and state? Church telling government how to make the laws and government telling churches to pay up taxes and what they can and cannot preach. Church and state getting into conflicts over schools. Haven’t we crossed that path?
It is called progress. It has enabled us to allow people to make choices, to find the way to move forward equally, allowing freedom of religions and freedom of speech in a nation that is more diverse than any other nation in the world.
Who would want to back up progress that has already been made? Who would want to repeat history when those times of turmoil have been fought and lives have been lost so that we can be where we are today?
We have chosen to move forward and live in a nation of progress that believes our diversity is a value and with freedom, we have more opportunity. Our country has shown how valuable freedom is and in turn, it cannot truly feel free until it is shared by everyone. Humanity is one.
In response (warning: my responses go long) about abortion leaving many “women with an ache in their soul they will carry for a lifetime” and the issue about, “it has also killed millions of little girl babies”, (speaking of the UNFPA programs which includes funds to China)…
I can see how there are women who have decided to have an abortion who have regretted the decision later in life or those that have been led to have an abortion by their parents or a boyfriend because they felt it wasn’t time or it was a bad idea to have a baby at the given time. I can see this argument.
I can most definitely see how the idea of aborting an unborn fetus, baby (however any one believes) at any stage because of its gender or believed status in any culture is just not right. I see that point, very clearly. I think the laws of China need to address this overall issue and I don’t think the US should play a part in this at all.
I have my views, lots of them. However, on many issues, I don’t impose my views and I don’t feel they should rule the lives of others.
I do believe there are instances for abortions. I will always stand for the right of a women’s choice. There are not going to be women walking in and out of a clinic for an abortion with smiles on the faces proud of what they do.
It is not PRO-ABORTION. It is PRO-Choice and PRO-Life. I am for both. We do not live everyone’s life and do not know everyone’s circumstance but I do know enough to know if someone is raped, they do not deserve to have that decision made for them nor should they have to fight to have the right to make that decision while they are suffering through the rape they just went through.
I do not believe a women, or her family, should have to fight for the right of a woman who could die due to the baby she is carrying. Again, this is a choice for a woman, her family and her doctor.
This is not a parade of abortions or killing spree, this is about being able to choose what is best with the help of the mother, family support and doctor.
It is the same thing as having to make a life or death call of a child who is facing end of life and whether or not more chemo could maybe give them 6 months of breath or no chemo give them 2 months of being able to enjoy those 2 months playing. These are tough calls that people suddenly have to make but they should be up to the people involved, not the courts, not the federal or state government.
Those women who have to carry that ache in their heart because of the abortions they had, they did have the ability to make those choices. The pain afterward is something they didn’t know how it would affect them just like one can’t know how it would have affected them had they decided not to go through with the abortion. That is the thing with making a decision.
You know what it feels like to not have a choice? Ask people in countries that are ruled by dictators or use the same example at the top. China.
This is not about Romney or Obama, this is about choice.