I grew up around guns. My dad had them in the house. My brother and father are both hunters. I've benefited from their skill at hunting with venison in my freezer and on my table. My dad was a good shot when it came to taking care of pest animals that were causing damage to our crops or or fields. Throughout my childhood, I saw guns as a way to provide for your family.
For that reason, I've always been a gun advocate. I wasn't thinking about guns as weapons used to kill people. As I reached College age it began to become more clear that the human against human gun violence that I read about and heard about on the news was something much more serious than I ever imagined. In major cities, gangs were killing each other and crime was in the rise. This was the early 1990s. My mom was scared that I would get mugged when I took a bus to NYC.
Fast forward to today where two mass shootings took place in our country. These were the 354th and 355th mass shooting this year by one person's counting. Regardless, we all know that something has got to change.
Here is what I wonder when I hear about them:
1.) Is it television violence that these people grew up with causing this? I did a speech in high school based on the book called "The Plug in Drug." That advocated that violent crime rises as violence on tv rises.
2.) Is the mental health crisis in our country out of our control and could it have been stopped before the deinstitutionalization of most of the mentally ill in this country in the 60s.
3.) Why is it easier to get a gun than it is to get a drivers license, health insurance, or a decent apartment?
4.) Would a change in price of guns change this?
5.) Would the elimination of guns all together help?
6.) Would restrictions on the type of gun one is allowed to own help? After all, you don't need an AK47 to kill a deer and feed your family?
7.) If people kill people and not guns, how can we fix the people?
8.) Is this a conspiracy in our country?
9.) Are there other things controlling these gunmen that we can figure out?
10.) Is the growing politicization of our country and the larger divide between conservatives and liberals to blame?
No matter what the cause is, we need help to fix it. I know that some in my family and some people I know are worried about "them taking away my guns." In reality, would it be so bad if every gun owner had to get gun insurance and past a test every year or every few years? Would that help?
Please, God, help our country, our government, and our gun-lovers figure out a solution before more innocent people die.
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