When I heard the news of the second largest school shooting in our history, I am certain my reaction was not unique. Immediately I was shaking with fear for my loved ones, terrified for the world they will inherit from us.
As the day progressed, my core beliefs regarding gun control surfaced. I am a believer in the necessity of weapons for personal protection and as a deterrent. That being said, if I’m not allowed somewhere carrying a gun, it makes sense to ensure that no one else will be either.
I have had some friends tell me, “Mona, I love you, but we need to get rid of those guns.” They are upset. I understand. This is a perfectly logical reaction to a gun-related tragedy. Yet, I hope to offer a balanced view to keeping a weapon. I also hope to bring to light the existence of underlying problems that we are ignoring because we’re too busy discussing guns.
I agree with gun control. There is no reason for high-powered weapons to be readily available. A child in any state should never have access to a weapon, much less be able to order one. However, I disagree with the idea of disarming the general population for the following reasons:
- One is less likely to shoot up a place that they know is protected and armed. They go for malls, movie theaters, schools, etc.
- I am not convinced that guns will be harder to obtain if they’re outlawed. In NJ, one has many hoops to jump through to obtain one. In a black market, it is just about money. I fear stricter gun laws will only create the perfect lucrative storm for more criminal activity. Murder is illegal, drugs are illegal. Yet they occur freely. This is not about laws as much as it is about society.
- Stricter gun laws will not solve the problem of violent crimes. London’s crime rate has tripled since disarming its citizens. Unfortunately, there are not any proper studies on how many violent crimes are actually thwarted because the victim was armed (or perceived to be armed.)
- I fear an increase in arson, bombing, biological weapons, and other methods of mass-murder because the real problem is that a frighteningly large segment of our citizens are lost and this deranged, and that has not been properly addressed.
- Bottom line- the world is crazy and we need to be protected. Disarming citizens in such a large country will fuel and power the criminal rings, leaving only the ones who may need arms, disarmed. The idea that disarming everyone will make it harder for criminals to get guns may make sense to some degree, or it may backfire, making us all essentially sitting ducks.
Fortunately, we can look back on well-documented examples of states and countries who banned arms, and the outcome of this decision. I encourage everyone who wants to know to look at the research with open eyes. I don’t claim that I know what the answer is, but my fear is that we will be spending our time barking up the wrong tree without addressing the root causes of the problem.
There is an alarmingly large number of young people in the US with the intent to kill en masse. The question is how to identify them without further stigmatizing people who need help, because if we do that, the ones who need help will only hide it. Instead of focusing on the method used to kill (which is of course necessary), we should also ask ourselves what’s happening to our young boys? How are so many becoming desensitized to violence? Why is mass killing even viewed as an option for them?
Our history is also marred with violent wars. We can’t expose these young men to such brutality in the media and war culture, without the proper education to put it in perspective. How can we accomplish this? I wish I saw more posts on social networks about the violent virtual (as well as real) world that we’re exposing our young boys to without a thought.
I encourage a dialogue on this issue from all points of view without causing or taking offense.
Mona is a mom of two young daughters who lives and works in NJ and is passionate about all things expressive. She is a teacher, fine artist and photographer (basemandmona.com). She is also a coffee connoisseur and your can find her café online at roastingpostcafe.com.