Monday, June 22, 2015

Half of us are crazy, and the rest are just nuts!

It's been a few days now since the senseless killing of 9 worshipers at a church in Charleston, SC.  Tragic....racist....simply beyond comprehension.  But it happened, and it has started the conversation anew about gun control.  And IMHO we have again taken the wrong fork in the road.  We're headed towards a dead end where nothing will happen except get everyone even more polarized and pissed off.

We have lost our sense of reality.  As in most instances, we know what we would LIKE to see happen, without seriously acknowledging what actually CAN happen.  There is quite a difference between the two.

My liberal friends think Congress should pass a law restricting certain types of guns, or even outlaw them all together, similar to what has been done in the past in the UK, Australia, etc.  End of problem, and we all live happily ever after.  La-tee-dah!

My conservative friends think Gubment agents will soon be knocking on their THEIR DOOR order to confiscate all their firearms.

The first scenario is a pipe dream, and the second is silly.

No law can change people's thinking.  A law is a signed piece of paper, nothing more.  People have to be willing to accept it before it can have any long-term practical affect on our society (think Prohibition), and a huge portion of our population will NEVER give up their firearms.  ("....when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.")  It simply won't happen.  And no one, no amount of force, can go door-to-door and confiscate people's guns.  There would be blood in the streets. 

And for that same reason, no Gubment agents are going to come into our houses and confiscate our firearms.  There aren't enough police or soldiers to do it, and besides, a good many would probably mutiny if they were ordered to do so.

Nor can they prohibit / buy up all the ammunition, making our guns little more than paperweights.  There are already BILLIONS of rounds of every caliber ammunition you can imagine in private hands.  That goal is even more pie-in-the-sky than confiscating our guns!

Instead of chasing those windmills, why don't we pursue something more realistic, something we can all (?) agree on, like keeping firearms out of the hands of known criminals and the mentally unstable?  How difficult would that be to do?  Damn difficult....but much easier than turning the country upside down looking for several hundred MILLION guns and BILLIONS of round of ammo, and creating a civil war in the process.

Known criminals are just that, known.  They should regularly be subject to random searches of their residences, cars, their persons, etc, to insure they are not in possession of guns they are prohibited having due to their status as felons.  A daunting task for sure, but even if marginally successful, likely to yield immediate, noticeable results.

The mentally disturbed....Oooo....that will be tougher.  Who gets to decide who is mentally disturbed?  Their former spouse?  Their next door neighbor with an ax to grind?  Will counselors and therapists rat out their patients who they suspect might be dangerous, without having any real proof?  Will that doctor / patient confidentially thing come into play?  I dunno.  Still, I think this, more than anything else, will make our country safer.  

We must somehow identify those among us who are disturbed enough, desperate enough, hate-filled enough, to resort to violence.  Making this a national priority should start NOW.  We can talk this subject to death and accomplish nothing, or we can get real and maybe see something good come of this tragedy.



  1. BINGO!

    Nut jobs can be identified through testing and background checks, and if you fail the test...too bad!

  2. You’ve pretty well covered the problem there. I don’t think anything will change, at least not substantially. I suppose the answer is to be phlegmatic about it. After all, around 30–40 thousand people are killed in road accidents every year in the US, a huge number of which could be prevented by far more stringent controls on who should be allowed to drive; greatly reducing (and enforcing) speed limits, imposing lengthy bans for any driving offence that endangers life… yet very few people would actually support such changes. After all, what’s a few tens of thousands of lives a year? It’s a similar philosophy.

  3. Well, as to criminals and guns, I'll use the argument that that the right wing uses: "there are already laws, we don't need more." As to the mentally unsound, our Mr. Roof does not seem to be in that category; he seems racist and evil, but not insane (by our legal definitions).
    As to any, repeat any, further limitations as to who can own guns, what kind of guns can be owned, and what checks can be done before purchase, the nra does not want the ones we have, owns congress, and acts with impunity.
    So, we'll have this same conversation in another month or so, then again and again. Up until it's a broad enough feeling that we can somehow change our fascination and worship of guns, and the wretched 2nd amendment. Yeah, I want to repeal it. I know, pipe dream.
    We'll just let this one fade from our memory, like we did Sandy Hook, like we did with so many others. Each time there are a few more people, this time the families and friends of 9 people, who don't find it so easy to just move on.

    1. True, we do already have laws that prohibit felons from having guns, but they are seldom ENFORCED. Does anyone go back and regularly check to make sure released felons stay gun free? Not that I know of.

      To my mind, when Mr Roof told a friend he wanted to go shoot up the College of Charleston(?), that is reason enough to prevent him from owning/possessing a gun. Maybe we need a new classification short of outright insanity: "Too unstable to own a firearm". This should surely qualify under that definition.

      Yes, you're right again, the NRA is obstructionist. But this is where we can throw their logic right back at 'em. Their mantra forever has been, "WE aren't the problem. It's the criminals and crazies. THEY are the ones we should be going after, not the law abiding citizens." OK, fine, that's what I'm proposing. I'd like to see them campaign AGAINST going after criminals and crazies with guns.

      You seem to be resigned to just "let this fade from our memory" because we can't find common ground on what we might could do. Isn't this first step better than nothing?

  4. You're writing in such a logical way, but people aren't logical or rational when it comes to guns. America is a dangerous society and always has been.

  5. 100% agree with you. The thing is, even someone as left leaning as Rosie O'Donnell once said that she did not want to pry Charlton Heston's gun from his cold dead hands. Only from the criminal's hands. I guess I'm one of those liberals who think certain kinds of guns should be banned. Wasn't it done before, under Reagan? I think he was afraid blacks would start buying those semi-automatic military grade weapons...

  6. You're making sense here (for a change - ha!!). Too bad sense isn't contagious...

  7. You've said this beautifully and I couldn't agree more. I've watched a few of the debates on television lately and been so frustrated by the fact that we're just saying the same thing over and over again every time this happens but nothing ever changes.