Controlling the Trigger Finger and the Gun Hammer: Regarding the Gun Control Debate

Even beyond the issue of gun control is self-control. Why is it that in the past dozen years, or even the past two score of years we have seen a dramatic rise in gun violence in this country? What is it that is going on psychologically in our country that is causing people to feel that they have no other option than to wage these murder/suicide massacres in public arenas? Certainly there are more efforts to control guns today than in the past. Is it that guns are far more destructive? Perhaps, it has something to do with assault rifle and sub-machine gun development, but I don’t think so. I think the issue here is that people feel they are not in control of their lives, their circumstances, the government, and the world at their doorstep to such a degree that death and mayhem, suicide and cowardice are the only options to lash out, feel strength and power, and control the circumstance of their death and the death of others as a final gasp of air.

There is a deeper cultural issue at hand than gun legislation. Why do more and more Americans…and a growing number of young Americans, feel that their only options are death and destruction for a modicum of control or as recourse for “grievances” against them? The nature of the shooting and the reason for the masked massacre will become apparent as time goes on, and realistically the most we can do as individuals is lend our prayers and support to the affected families and the children who have had either their lives or their childhoods stolen by these events. But as we rush to limit the tool of death, we must also remember that on that same say as the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre there was a mass killing of children and citizens in China that was perpetrated with knives and not guns and 22 children and an elderly woman were killed.. We would do well to remember that people kill people and will find or create the tools for their murderous whims and wills if they are so posed.

As a parent, an elementary school teacher, and as a generally normal human being I find these action disgusting, detestable, and deeply tragic, but the nature of the killing and the cause of them must be carefully inspected and dissected in order for a truly viable and effective preventative measure to be instituted. We have to be equally concerned with the physical well being of our people as we are their mental well being. While we pray and mourn we would do well to consider how can we prevent human beings from feeling they have to kill, and educate them about their options (and others to recognize the signs before they act) while we concurrently consider how we can limit those that slip between the cracks (and indeed crack themselves) from committing these detestable and heinous crimes against innocent children and others. It is equally important to control the trigger finger as it is to control the gun hammer.


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