First I’d like to say that my heart goes out to the families that lost loved ones in the senseless massacre that occurred in Newtown on Friday Dec 14th. May The Most High bless the remainder of your days and comfort you when those days become dark and you don’t feel like being here anymore. Know that there will be brighter days!
Now with that out of the way! Guns don’t kill people, people kill people is the going right wingnut statement of attrition when acts like what happened in Newtown occur. They always say it’s really not the guns, it’s the people. The truth of the matter is they are right to some degree, because I’ve never seen a gun walk up to someone and kill them, but I have seen a person with a gun walk up to someone and kill them. Maybe we need to tweak that statement just a little bit to; Guns don’t kill people, people with Guns kill people! That would be a lot more accurate!
We can stop the BS talking point in its tracks right there and move on to more pressing issues. The problem in America is twofold, well actually threefold, but one of them has to do with gangs. The other two are what we need to debate. We already know gangs are a menace to society and what causes gang violence, but it’s the other two things that need to be focused on here.
1) Over abundance and the ease of acquirement of weapons with only one purpose, death. And 2) The rampant mental illness that is way too common in the US. These two factors are the reason so many gun deaths occur in our nation outside of gang related shootings.
The NRA and gun lobby uses fear tactics to get everyday citizens to appeal to their legislative body and get them to vote down any meaningful gun regulations, or prod them into voting for more relaxed gun laws. Over the years this has lead to convicted felons, the mentally ill, and just all out bad guys being able to purchase semi automatics and assault weapons without having firearms cards or valid identification at gun shows.
In order to preserve these already relaxed laws and hoist newer even more relaxed laws on the people, they claim that Liberals want to take away the people’s right to bear arms, when that’s far from the truth. Liberals want tougher laws on the books to stop people from being able to purchase 20 assault rifles at gun shows without ever giving the seller a valid form of ID. They want to boost the waiting period between purchases and pick up of firearms, which is very reasonable. Besides, who needs 20 assault rifles, and if you need a gun right now and can’t wait a few weeks, you’re probably about to do something that you will regret for the rest of your life. Other countries have much stricter gun laws than we have and their gun related deaths are tremendously lower than ours; so stricter gun laws work, we have the data to prove it.
The second part of this equation is the hard part. In 2010 it was reported that anti-psychotic drugs were the top selling class of pharmaceuticals in the US, generating $14.6 billion in revenue annually and upwards of $22 billion globally. More than 10 million Americans are using them, and an alarming amount of these users are children, for various disorders. What this means is that millions of adults and millions of children are only functioning correctly within our society because of medication. Take away the medication and what do we have. Millions of mentally insane people walking our streets day in and day out.
How do you defend against this?
There is no way to do it! Who knows when one of them will forget to take their meds and go on a shooting spree or something? As we can see with this latest incident, parents of mentally ill children still have guns in the home. Although Aspergers syndrome, the disorder the Newtown shooter suffered from, isn’t considered a form of psychosis, some doctors prescribe anti-psychotic medication for it as an off label remedy. They are sometimes used as anti-depressants, for anti-anxiety drugs, as mood stabilizers, cognitive enhancers, anti-aggressive, anti-impulsive, anti-suicidal, and hypnotic sleep medications.
We don’t know yet if the shooter was being treated with off label medicines but it has been said that he lacked empathy and couldn’t feel pain. So the question here is why did his mother take him to shooting ranges, and keep assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons in reach of a young man who clearly had issues?
These are the questions that need to be answered in the coming months in order to get a better understanding of what occurred on that Friday morning that sent the nation reeling. Is it possible to protect our children, and ourselves, from deranged psychopaths when we don’t know who these people are? They work with us, live next door and most of the people on these types of medications will never do anyone any harm to anyone!
Will enabling teachers or school staff to be able to carry weapons help? I don’t know. But what I do know is that it will happen again, where it will happen is the question! What do you think?