I’m going to say a little about last week’s school shooting in Connecticut. First, I was absolutely shocked that, after I heard the news, I was close to tears and felt knots in my stomach. I say this shocked me because, up until recently, I didn’t think I could really feel empathy or sympathy. I’m not a fan of children in general, and probably wouldn’t have felt affected in any way by this until the past month or so. I was astonished to find that I had to limit my exposure to the media coverage of this tragedy. I didn’t think I could be affected like this by something that didn’t actually happen to me. I was sickened to hear that the shooter targeted these young children, and shot all of them between three and eleven times each. I still cannot even believe that someone would go after a school in this way. I have not yet heard if the shooter was mentally ill, on or off medication, or something else along those lines. I know that his mother was the teacher of the class he eradicated. I guess it all boils down to some issue or problem he had with his mother. Now, I can 100% understand wanting to go after your mother with a gun (or a knife, or throwing stars, or a brick, or a bazooka), but what I just cannot fathom is why he would feel the need to take out an entire kindergarten class with her. When I had fantasies of “getting rid” of my mother, I thought it was likely that my father and sister would be necessary casualties, but I just cannot imagine going someplace where there are so many innocent people who have nothing to do with her and killing all of them, too.
I think it’s time that I revised my view on gun control. I used to think that the 2nd amendment right to bear arms meant that anyone and everyone should be allowed to have guns, and any kind of gun they wanted. I disagreed with the ban on assault weapons. I disagreed with some states having a waiting period to purchase guns. I guess it really wasn’t something I thought about much. I THOUGHT that I thought about it. I thought that my stance on gun control was formed based on intelligent thoughts and the fact that owning guns was a constitutionally protected right.
The fact is, though, that I never gave it too much thought, and I didn’t really have a need to. At this point, I guess it’s time to refine my views, and I’m going to do it right here on my blog.
After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, I no longer think owning guns is such a great thing. Now, I know that “anything can be used as a weapon”. I know that a skilled person can take an envelope and make it a weapon. I know that a fork can be a weapon. I know that a bottle of shampoo can be a weapon. A bottle of shampoo cannot kill almost 30 people in as many minutes. An envelope isn’t going to wipe out a class of kindergartners before help can arrive. No one is going to get angry, lose their temper, and attack a school with a fork.
We need to be aware that we are living in a different time than when the Constitution was written. Society has been steadily devolving since it was written. There is more mental illness. There is more anger towards people. There is much more hate. People are far more desensitized to violence. People no longer put the greater good ahead of themselves. People think that they are number one, and don’t care about society as a whole. Not to mention, if a person was angry at their neighbor in 1787, they could pick up their musket and walk the five miles to their neighbor’s house for revenge, but chances are by the time they got there, they would have realized whatever they were angry about wasn’t worth killing someone over. In this day and age, if someone is angry and wants to do some damage, it would take no time at all to drive to that person’s house or work or school. It would take no time at all to load up their automatic hand gun and fire off six shots into their neighbor’s head.
I don’t know that I would go so far as to say that all guns should be outlawed, but there should definitely be some tighter restrictions put into place. There have been too many tragedies like this lately. Too many to ignore the fact that the society we live in today is vastly different from the society that put the Constitution into place.