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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Why..

do innocents get killed by disturbed young men who have no business getting hold of guns?
do politicians pay tribute, but never take action ?
do gun lobbyists come out with "but it wasn't the guns" excuses after the nth occurrence of a mass shooting?
do people affirm 'never again' after a shooting, and yet it happens again, and again?
do we react in horror only when tragedy strikes closer to home, rather than in distant climes?


Too many whys and not enough why nots.

Why not..

provide more support to those whose mental health is in question?
make it harder to obtain guns and ammunition without questions asked?
guarantee that anyone with mental disorders is never in the vicinity of guns?
recognize that we may never be able to prevent all crimes, but that we can take concrete steps towards making it much harder for the next gun massacre to happen?




11 comments:

Balachandran V said...

Terrible tragedy, Sujatha! But the kind of regulations will never happen, will it?

Sujatha said...

I think with the current political climate, it may be possible to push through regulation on items 1 and 3 on the Why Nots. 2 will never happen, because of the strong and well-heeled opposition by groups like the NRA.

Those kids and teachers may have still been alive if Adam Lanza didn't grow up in a household with a gun culture, despite any mental issues he may have had.

Amit said...

It wasn't the gun. I mean, give a gun to MK Gandhi and one to Kasab, and tell me that guns kill.

The issue has more to do with the helplessness felt by most over a ghastly incident like this.

And stricter laws imply that those who want to procure guns will follow the law. This is when Mayor Menino in Boston used to have (and probably still has) a "turn your illegal guns in with no questions asked" event every couple of years to rid Dorchester of guns.

Also, this: http://anarchistsoccermom.blogspot.in/2012/12/thinking-unthinkable.html

Amit said...

"do we react in horror only when tragedy strikes closer to home, rather than in distant climes?"

That is (physical proximity and emotional connection) but natural. Should it be otherwise?

Sujatha said...

Sadly, your comment rings true, Amit.
Despite the 'We are the world' bonhomie that the social media are supposed to have fostered, tragedies like Newtown don't hit as closely to the heart as they might in other parts of the globe, expressions of sympathy and horror notwithstanding. The visceral reactions to these events are inversely proportional to the physical and cultural/emotional distances between the site of the tragedy and the location of the experiencer.

Sujatha said...

P.S. Are you a gun lobbyist, by any chance? Using 'Guns don't kill, people do' as an excuse ( a big favorite of the NRA) misses the point, which is that guns make it easier for people to kill, not that they won't.

Amit said...

LOL. No, Sujatha, I'm not a gun lobbyist, but I don't see the logic of "guns kill" and was responding to that. Purely a logical exercise.

Amit said...

BTW, for what it's worth,
1. CT ranks high among the states with strict gun regulations.
2. CA gun regulations are even more strict than CT, and paradoxically, it has the 4th highest rate of gun homicides, with guns contributing to 72.2% of homicides (2004, wikipedia).

More regulations seems like a good idea in theory, but they end up penalizing law-abiding citizens, rather than those they are aimed at.

Sujatha said...

Actually, not quite the answer I was looking for. The question was :
Why do gun lobbyists come out with "but it wasn't the guns" excuses after the nth occurrence of a mass shooting?

It was more rhetorical a question, so if you wanted to answer it, the answer would be something like "Gun lobbyists use the 'but it wasn't the guns' excuse as a strawman ,rather than allow the majority of people to realize that the crux of the problem is the easy access, not the person with the finger on the trigger.'
They will not come up with novel excuses, as the current one serves them very well.

If you notice, I rule out option 2 as not likely to happen. The mental health support, tracking will most certainly happen, with or without Congressional support, I think, at least in the 28 states where the federal government is going to come into set up health insurance exchanges ( which coincidentally includes a large number of states that want nothing to do with implementing Obamacare.)

Amit said...

Well, if you can answer your own question (in addition to implying me avoiding answering a question, on top of your bizarre comment about me being a gun lobbyist (???)), then you don't need me to have a conversation. :-)

As I mentioned before, it's the gun control folks who come up with the illogical 'guns kill' statements, which is what my comment was in reference to. And I've found that these people also seem to be least knowledgeable about guns and throw around hyperboles in a knee-jerk fashion after a tragedy like this.

Sujatha said...

Didn't you state in your first comment : "It wasn't the gun. I mean, give a gun to MK Gandhi and one to Kasab, and tell me that guns kill.

The issue has more to do with the helplessness felt by most over a ghastly incident like this."

When you start off with a blanket statement like that, why wouldn't I think that you were in agreement with the NRA's stance of the 'Guns don't kill, people do." ? The reference to guns in the hands of Gandhi as opposed to Kasab, is only adding weight to your starting assertion.

Your last comment terming gun control folks as being illogical, least knowledgeable about guns, hyperbolic and knee-jerk reactors is strange. Most gun control folks react as they do because they have lost loved ones to meaningless violence, just as most gun lobbyists react as they do by 'clinging to their guns'. Emotional thought exists on both sides, there is enough logic on both sides to even out the hyperbole, but the better path, to me, lies with the gun control group.
Maybe you support legal gun ownership, as a logical conclusion based on your observations.There's no shame in that, it's a valid viewpoint.
If you don't see the logic of 'guns kill', that is not my problem. I have enough real life examples near me to make the assessment that yes, they do kill, whether the person behind the trigger is totally inexperienced or maniacal murderer. What happened in Newtown merely confirms that to me.
Your experience may be different, or you may believe the sources that assure you that guns don't kill. It's not my call to convince you of the opposite.