Friday, April 20, 2007

Gun Control

A blog I follow posted a rather moving argument for more gun control today, here. On this topic, I have three things to say that summarize my feelings:

  1. I'm not sure where I stand on using the current VT situation to further political agendas. On one hand, it feels irreverent. On the other, it makes sense to use the public outcry to get reforms that have needed to happen for a while.
  2. Rather than making an argument for more gun control based on statistics, I will merely say that the scariest moment in my life thus far was when I was in 5th grade, and a shooting occurred at a high school near my house. I went to grade school 30+ minutes away from home, so I was in no danger, but thanks to the widespread policy of educational institutions to not tell their kids what's going on, I lived in complete terror all day, not knowing if the shooter had been caught. My parents' office was very close by the school, as was my house where my beloved babysitter/adopted 3rd grandmother and baby brother were. When my mom came to pick me up from school at the end of the day, I sobbed and sobbed out of relief. I'll never forget that feeling of desperate fear. Better gun control could have kept a gun out of that kid's hands.
  3. Joey, and other boyfriends I might have in the future, have been/will be strictly informed that should they marry me, they will not, under any circumstances, be allowed to keep a gun in my house. I made this decision the day after the shooting when I was in 5th grade.


  1. Something to think about just to make sure you see all avenues. Stricter gun control laws will only keep YOU (and your future husband) from purchasing a gun. It will not keep sociopaths and other criminally minded people from purchasing guns. Had Cho not been able to purchase a gun, he could have used far more destructive measures: homemade bombs, mass poisoning, homemade guns (yes, amazingly that is possible). The problem was not the gun, but the shooter and whatever sociopathic condition plagued him. Had someone had a gun, legally, perhaps some of the carnage could have been averted. I'm not suggesting vigilanteeism, I'm suggesting that gun control is not the solution to a much deeper societal problem. I often feel that many pacifists (let me tread carefully here--I definitely hold the same religious convictions that you do) are naive to think that society's ills can be rectified through legislation. Laws are only effective for the moral majority--the people outside that moral code will continue to act immorally and outside the law. We do not live in a perfect world, and wanting others to behave themselves in a socially responsible way, because we believe that kind of enlightenment is possible, is crazy. A law isn't going to do it, but it will impinge upon my right to have a handgun in case I find myself in a position to stop a criminal from hurting me or my family. Should I ever find myself in that situation, I would act to protect those I love. And incidentally, the act will definitely not be without its emotional consequences for me later.

    We live in violent times, but every period of time has been violent. Perhaps that's the human condition. I think that our time and energy is better spent looking for a cure for the anger and violence in society, rather than putting a bandaid on the accessibility of one (of many avenues) way to have executed his destructive plan. He could have chosen to drive a pick up truck through a line of students waiting to get tickets for an event, and possibly killed many more people, and yet, no one would suggest that getting a driver's license or having a vehicle should have stricter guidelines.

    I just think that our energy is perhaps better spent elsewhere. I find it far more distresing that parents allow their children to play Grand Theft Auto. What is wrong with the designers of that game? What is wrong with the company that decided to pay for its design and marketing. What is wrong with the store that carries it? What is wrong with the parent that allows it? What is wrong with the child that plays? What is wrong with a society that won't condemn it under the guise of freedom of expression? I guess cho expressed himself rather freely. I won't even touch NBC's role in perpeturating this behavior.

    My point is access to a gun isn't the problem. It runs much deeper than that.

    a mother who is exhausting a battalion of angels with her prayers to keep you all safe in this uncertain world.

  2. I totally, completely, 100% agree. There's a lot more to the reasoning behind why I don't want a gun in my house, which I'm not really comfortable posting. Also, I agree that legislation won't fix society, but it is one piece of a better world that I would like to work for somehow.

  3. meh.

    in other news, i find Liviu Librescu's story compelling, and much closer to what I'd like to think humanity is capable of.

    i'd certainly aspire to it.

    cheers and happy thoughts.