Monday, December 17, 2012

The Time To Talk Is Now


I have mixed feelings on the 2nd Amendment.  While I would NEVER own a gun.  Never ever ever.  I do understand the right to bear arms.  Of course, I think that right was thought up in a time when folks traveled by horse and the term whole foods meant you didn't cut the corn off the cob.  In a time when Starbucks and Diet Coke and email didn't exist.  In a time when a twitter war involved tweeting of actual birds.  In a time when you hunted for food because that was the only way to put meat on a table.  But that's not what I am getting at. 

I saw this on Facebook.  So I admit right here that it is entirely possible it is not all true.  But it's probably not all false either.  And the dialog is worth discussing. 




Ironically, it seems that CT has a really progressive set of standards in place when it comes to guns.  The minimum age is 21.  And I had no idea any state made it mandatory for classes first.  CT does.  I think that's awesome.

But it didn't prevent the violence.  It was not enough to save the children.

Because mental health is just such an enormous battle that has long been ignored and misunderstood and shamed.

It's not just in the US and not just violence with guns.  This story got buried but did anyone notice that 22 children were stabbed at a school in China on Friday, too? 

Look at those numbers.  I don't understand why everyone is putting up that ridiculous Reagan quote all over Facebook to say that laws don't need to change.  If your child was killed, I promise you, this would be a no-brainer.   Or the bologna that this is not the right time to talk about this subject.  Oh honey, no time like the present!  But I guess you are right.  The day before was when it should have been discussed.  But folks fear bullies.  Like their own political parties or financial backers or big name associations.  So now is the only option.

Every time this happens and the super right wing hop on TV to say that they need cases of guns to protect themselves from the government and zombies, I always wonder the exact same thing.  What are the statistics on guns protecting people at home?  How many times do they actually save, rather than steal, lives?  And how many lives could have been saved if mental health care was easier to receive?

It is not about the way we have always done things.  It's about the ways we plan to protect the innocent in the future.  It's learning our lessons and using that knowledge to make positive changes towards safety.  Freedom to me is not the ability to own a big weapon.  Freedom is about actually being safe in my own country.

I don't have the answers.  In fact, I think the healthy attitude is to believe that the answers we come up with this week might not meet our needs a year or two down the road.  But respectful conversations need to happen and changes do need to be made in multiple areas.  When you know better, you do better.  Let's do better!

I said this on Facebook and Twitter but I will repeat here.

I have to wonder if this is what the Mayans were talking about.  The loss of 20 sweet babies sure feels a lot like the end of the world as we know it!

8 comments:

Mary De Bastos said...

I agree. I have mixed feelings with the fact that I understand the right to bear arms and protect your family. But it also isn't 1776 anymore. I think they are doing more harm than good these days. How many people have to die before we do something.

There are arguments that it isn't a gun problem but a mental illness issue. I believe that in part. But who is deemed mentally ill? This person didn't have a gun and he got it from his mother's home.

I think a lot of things need to come into play for help fix the problem. It is time for change.

AEOT said...

I agree. Completely.

Erica said...

I don't agree with you. Yes, guns are used to kill people. But, PEOPLE kill PEOPLE. The real problem, which the media is totally ignoring, is our mental health system. If we can get a handle on that, I can assure you, worries over gun control will diminish. Read this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-mental-illness-conversation_n_2311009.html

Maureen said...

Wow. New blog reader of yours and just came across this post. Extremely well said and lots to think about in this one. Thanks for posting. Very hard subject.

Flo said...

Our mental health care system is failing terribly. Big bad insurance is also allowed to rule the roost too much as well--perfect example is someone I know who was on an anti-depressant that all of a sudden was taken off the formulary, making the price jump from $20 a month to $200 a month. Who can afford that kind of increase, and drugs for mental issues aren't something you can just change all of a sudden.

Assault weapons shouldn't be available for John Q Public to purchase, had this young man had just a standard rifle, chances are they could have caught him before so many people were killed. A human doesn't stand a chance against a gun that shoots multiple rounds in a matter of seconds. Perhaps the gun manufacturers should be held responsible every time someone is killed with one of these types of weapons?

3 Peanuts said...

Well done! I have never and never will own a gun either and people with Guns kill people. We make it far to easy by letting everyone have guns in this country!!!!

Sheila said...

I am saddened to the core...there are no words...

Kathie Truitt said...

Do you know what it's like to live far out in the country and if you needed the police/sheriff it would take them at least an hour to get to your place? While I live in Washington DC now (and use a guard dog for protection now, rather than gun), when we lived on the ranch we had guns for several reasons. During calving season we had a problem with coyotes destroying our herd. During certain times we've had problems with mountain lions that not only attack cattle but humans as well. Not to mention bears. Those numbers that you mention are probably accurate. But I can tell you that at least TWO of those 'statistics' of people killed by gunshot were two men in Oklahoma who had been waiting for a man with cancer to die so they could steal his meds. The day after he died these men went to the house to pay a visit to his young widow, who I must mention, a brand new baby. She refused to let them in. They came back that night and broke in. She hid the baby in the closet, had the sheriff dispatcher on the phone and told these men twice that if they proceeded to break in she'd shoot. They didn't stop. She shot and killed one and injured the other. The injured one admitted that they were not only there to steal the medicine but they'd planned to rape, rob and kill her and the baby. Nice guys, huh?
They don't break the statistics down - but a lot of those numbers are 'bad guys' killed by police.
We are also much bigger than these other countries they're comparing us to, and per capita it all adds up to about the same.
3 Peanuts - we DON'T let everyone have guns. There is a rigorous process in this country of becoming a gun owner. This young man, Adam Lanza, had been turned down for a gun. The laws were in place. (I have no clue how he got hold of his mothers guns.)
The Newtown incident is INCREDIBLY sad. But taking away all guns is not the answer at all.

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