I know next to nothing of gun violence. Nothing of that seering pain of loss. I was not aware enough to remember Columbine or plugged in enough to understand the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007. This is, in effect, the disclaimer for what I’m going to talk about here; my opinions, not on school shootings, but on gun control and culture.
Because even little old me, living under my rock, has seen the news of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting. Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook have been flooded with condolences for the families affected. It is small change to say that I am sorry for their loss. From a stranger on the internet it may mean nothing. Or everything. But that is not my goal in writing today.
Today’s post is what would be easily filed under an editorial opinion. I am in no way claiming to have expertise in any of the above mentioned topics, but everyone has an opinion, even if it is based on fictional television politics. Yes, I’ll admit, my knowledge of gun control policies comes from The West Wing. My limited knowledge of gun culture comes from a few years as a camper taking riflery, and articles I’ve read.
In the United States gun ownership is thought to be a right. Its at the beginning of our constitution. That right — weather real or imagining — is never going to go away. There will always be a debate in this country about how best to handle guns, and if there’s one thing I am very certain of it’s this: there is no right answer. There just isn’t.
If we are to continue as we are more things like this will happen. The key is not solely in changing the rules (while that should happen), but lies also in changing the way the rules are being taught. This is something that only exists on a individual, human level. If people are taught — no matter at what level — to treat guns as what they are, then and only then will our positive statistics rise.
Guns can be dangerous. They can be terrible, deadly things. They can also be a tradition shared between a father and son. Or a sense of pride when the targets are hit and a new level is reached. There is no shame in weaponry itself, only in what ends it achieves.
My thoughts and prayers to the families of Newton, Connecticut. Prayers for the future as we move toward positive change, however that change will manifest.