Monday, October 2, 2017

Guns, Vegas, and the future

I don't usually make these kinds of posts.  I think about them, but mostly they stay in my head.  But we attended a large country music festival earlier this year, so the events in Vegas hit a little close to home.

I'm not totally anti-gun.  I don't think all guns need to be banned. If you enjoy target shooting or hunting, or want a gun for home and self defense I'm ok with that.  I can even envision scenarios where if I lived alone in the middle of nowhere or in a big city I would consider having a gun.  But I am absolutely in favor of more gun control. I don't think anyone and everyone should be able to purchase an unlimited amount of weapons, and then tote them around all over in public.  I don't think people need semi-automatic weapons or assault rifles.  And I certainly don't think people need enough weapons and ammunition to take out 500 people in the span of 15 minutes.

That said, I'm not going to tell you that what happened in Vegas, or anywhere else for that manner, is only about guns.  Mental illness, disregard for the law, grudges against society, and general lack of respect for human life all play a part.  But it is partly about guns, and saying it isn't makes you look just as foolish as those who blame it entirely on guns.

But here's the thing, what I think, or you think, or what anyone thinks doesn't matter.  Nothing changes based on what we think.  People are still dead.  Families still mourn.  Hundreds try to cope with the mental and physical injuries inflicted during this event.  Gun control advocates use it as a political platform, and I don't blame them.  Gun proponents spew their tired arguments about why guns are not the problem and post ridiculous memes that don't help victims heal anymore than changing profiles pictures to say Pray For Vegas.  Both sides spout statistics in their favor. Local news stations will run stories on security at local venues for upcoming events.  People will think twice about buying that concert ticket, taking their kids to a public park, or booking a vacation for a popular tourist attraction.  But eventually, most of us will go back to living a normal life and this will become just another sad day in American history.  The price you pay for the "right to bear arms."

I hope it's not always this way.  I hope someday people feel safe doing normal things, that today's children grow up to a better world, that we don't continue to wake up to these kinds of headlines.  But in a country that clearly prioritizes universal gun ownership over universal health care, that hope is fading.


Anonymous said...


You could not have said this better. Retirement gives me a lot of time to think so I would like to add some observations as well. I've been watching news coverage today of the tragedy in Las Vegas. It's sad that it takes an event like this to unify the country. However, by the end of the week divisiveness will again become the rule of day. Republicans will blame Democrats and Democrats will blame Republicans. The right will blame the left and the left will blame the right. Trump will blame Clinton and Obama and Obama and Clinton will blame Trump. Gun control Advocates will blame the NRA and the NRA will likewise blame gun control advocates. Then by the end of next week we will hear about victims and families of victims who will begin to blame and file lawsuits against the concert promoters, the concert venue, firearm manufacturers, the Las Vegas PD, the City of Las Vegas, and yes even the emergency medical responders, hospitals and doctors that worked to save lives and patch wounds. Americans have a hard time accepting misfortune without looking for the most complicated and conspiratorial answers when seeking cause and accountability while the simplest answer is normally right in front of us. In this case the cause was a nut who gained access to a lot of high powered automatic or semi-automatic weapons. He is the one that pulled the trigger. He is the one to blame; not anyone else. However, trial attorneys will be standing in line to convince us otherwise; mainly because there is not much profit in suing dead guys and criminals. Blaming (suing) anyone else serves no purpose but to create more divisiveness and newer, impractical, and cumbersome security processes that are only put in place to forego future litigation. In other words CYA. Lastly, it is long overdue for our leaders who represent us in so many political bodies to finally have a serious discussion on common sense gun control. We will never get rid of every gun, nor should we, but on the other hand we should not have carte blanche access to weaponry and ammunition that enables a tragedy as this. It is a sad day when those that we rely on to protect us are outgunned by the nuts and bad guys. Our leaders must have this discussion void of any input from the radicals and special interest groups on both sides of the issue. Like Daughter like Father we think alike.


Anonymous said...

I especially like your comment that we, as a country, prize gun rights over universal health care. Ouch!