Although I am happy to have a topic of conversation dropped into my lap, since it means I don't have to think as hard, I'm a little sad at what has been put in front of me. So I want to first say: I am not an expert on weaponry, politics or this type of massacre. I have an internet connection, and I am highly opinionated. But remember, I am not here to dictate, I'm here to narrate. And this is how I see things.
[Oh, and although I chose that title because I thought it was clever, I reckon you shouldn't read on if you were at all, in any way, affected by any of the spree shootings of our recent or past history.]
The word of the Day is 'FIREARM'.
Firearm /'fuyərahm/ n. any type of gun, rifle, etcetera.
And, to be clear, he feels the need to add:
Gun /gun/ n. 1. a metallic tube, with it's stock or carriage attachments, from which heavy missiles are thrown by the force of an explosive; a piece of ordnance. 2. any similar device for projecting something.
At time of writing, recent events in Utah have, again, brought to light the horrors that firearms can orchestrate. From the old to the young. The guilty to the innocent. None are immune to it's destruction. Lives are ended, or ruined.
And it has started a political dialogue. People have started looking at what happened and have started to say:
"Could we have done something?"
And so there are talks about stronger gun legislation in America, and people are bringing up all these statistics and facts about how easily you can get a gun into your hands.
And I tend to agree on certain points. For instance, I think that some of the laws in America are just wrong, when it comes to guns. The most incongruous of which (I believe) being the Second Amendment, Or: "The Right to bear Arms". For one very simple reason. Americans are not allowed to shoot people. And if you can't shoot your gun, then why own it?
But I'm getting off topic . . .
YES, I think that gun laws need to be changed. But I'm afraid, when people say:
"Could we have done something?"
Well . . . I don't think so. Not exactly.
I DO believe that if you changed gun laws, then some lives could be spared. A lot of school shootings are committed by students. And all this talk of 'psyche tests' and 'greater restrictions' would perhaps have stopped these horrid people from owning guns, or at least slowed them down and maybe even brought them to the attention of the authorities. Just look to Japan if you want proof. Compare their, average, two shootings a year to . . . well, America.
But, I don't think that this will stop spree killers. Although school shootings are sometimes seen as 'An American Thing', spree killers most certainly are not. Port Arthur, Australia; Aramoana, New Zealand, Yulara, Australia . . . these are but a few of the sites where people (or should I say, monsters) have taken many innocent lives, for no reason. Australia and her cousin have much stricter gun laws than in America. You cannot own a gun unless you have a sound mind, and a firm reason [you are a licensed hunter, or a policeman or a farmer who has trouble with foxes or the like]
But these people still managed to acquire weapons, some even high ordnance like machine guns. Perhaps laws need to be changed, but my point is, the people haven't. There are maniacs out there, unfortunately.
So that's why, although I like the idea of stricter laws, I'm not really as interested in this talk of gun laws as a way to save lives. I think, what we need, is to try to prevent these monsters from growing.
If you start to look into these people's lives and what lead up to these murders. These people weren't living the same regular lives as you and me. Most of these people were frustrated, oppressed or in some way depressed. A lot of these people feel impotent and ignored. They feel trapped, or lost.
My point is, not only do I believe that these people feel pushed to an illogical extreme. I believe that this story plays out the same way. Just look to serial killers. Childhood trauma or poor parenting leads to deviant behaviour; this leads to poor social skills and eventually anti-social behaviour and a lack of attachment to persons and society. This makes the child seek forms of control, often through harming and killing small animals. As they grow older they'll seek greater forms of control, including criminal behaviour and eventually homicide, crimes which will escalate as they seek more power.
All known serial killers in history have played this out in some form or another, like some sick monomyth. And I wonder . . . what if spree killers are the same?
Perhaps if we can find out the key pieces of this puzzle. Find out what leads to these horrific acts, maybe we can stop it before they get to the gun shop counter.
I dunno, just a thought. Just a hopeful thought . . .
I feel I should stop here know, since all this research has probably already got me a on a few FBI watch-lists But in closing, a firearm is just a tool. A very dangerous tool, yes, one designed to destroy. But a tool none the less. Let's be sure we put it in
the right hands.
I send my condolences to all those lost, and those left in pain.
If you want to help out victims from this recent tragedy, or just those that help out in general through donations or what-have you, you might want to seek out:
Newtown Youth and Family Services, who offer counselling and health services.
Newtown Parent Connection, who I believe also offer counselling services.
Project Linus, who provide care for young trauma victims.
American Red Cross, who are always there to help, &
Danbury Hospital, who offer Crisis Intervention.