|Arming School Kids worked so|
well in Tomorrow When
The War Began.
Clearly there is a mental health issue at stake. No rational person resorts to violence of any kind to resolve their issues. There's no real debate there other than what needs to be done to make it easier for anyone to get the help they need - before we see the next Newtown.
The gun control issue is a whole other discussion. Would disarming civilians or at least applying much stricter gun laws solve the problem?
In Australia, we have much stricter gun laws than the USA, and even had a gun amnesty where thousands of guns were handed in to police, it hasn't stopped supposedly outlaw motorcycle gangs from shooting each other (or not as the case may be - as they appear to have lousy aim). That problem appears to be escalating along with drive by shootings (often targeting the wrong house, apparently. Our criminals are just that dumb).
I don't have any precise figures on gun crimes in Australia, the above is just my general sense of the situation based on TV news reports. For all I know gun related crimes could have decreased since the amnesty - which was many years ago if memory serves me correctly.
So, back to the article's title. There is a general consensus on one side of the argument that tighter gun laws in the USA would make little or no difference. After all guns don't kill people, people kill people. Anyone wishing to get their hands on an assault rifle will find a way to make it happen legal or otherwise.
With that in mind, why not go the other way. Let's start arming our school children. Don't stop there either. Let's make gun ownership compulsory. Every individual should be packing heat!
Why? Because that's what governments and countries do. It's called an arms race. If one country has a nuclear missile then all countries potentially under the threat of being the target of such a weapon will make every attempt to arm themselves equal to or greater capacity. Thus ensuring that should a nuclear missile ever be fired at them you can be certain one or more will be fired back very quickly. This is known as Mutual Assured Destruction.
Now imagine one psychopath opens fire on a classroom of kids. A few may get hit but the rest could be shooting back. That gunman could be dead before he gets a chance to move to another room and open fire there. Knowing that the students are all guaranteed to be carrying a weapon would the gunman even try in the first place? That's how Mutual Assured Destruction works.
If you don't hunt for food, aren't a gun collector, sports shooter or work in a profession that requires you carry a gun, then isn't the only reason you buy a gun to protect yourself from other people who may be carrying weapons?
Then once you've got the gun you hide it away, just in case, when what you should be doing is putting up a great big sign in the front yard saying "I carry a gun and I will use it if necessary". Not letting people know you have a gun is like buying an attack dog then not putting up any warning signs. People need to know you have a deterrent that could get them killed. They need to be informed.
What we need is a return to the wild west where people could carry guns around openly and there was zero crime as a result... Yeah I probably don't have all the facts there but I seem to remember a lot of 'Wanted, Dead or Alive' posters from that era.
Look, I know the whole premise of arming children is absurd but the day is coming that someone somewhere is going to think it's a good idea to arm teachers and train them properly in gun use. So teachers can protect our children. Or that schools become even more like prisons with not just metal detectors at the gate but armed security staff making regular patrols.
If we go in that direction it will be a sad day indeed.
I am a supporter of tighter gun controls but I'm not stupid enough to think that's the answer. I could make that god awful statement of many bleeding heart liberals (of which I am proudly one) "If tighter gun laws saves even one life then it will be worth it". No it won't... if it only saves one life why did we even bother? The goal is to save everyone. One person isn't good enough!
As an observer and commentator I don't have the answers. People can snap for any number of reasons and no one will see it coming (but will probably be kicking themselves in hindsight). How do you even know if someone who is a 'loner' is likely to turn up at your place of business with an arsenal of weapons and a target body count? They're a loner. Who's going to see the signs?
Maybe there's just a need for building stronger more inclusive communities. A 'leave no one behind' approach where everyone looks out for everyone and all people can feel like they're making a valuable contribution to something bigger than themselves... kind of sounds like organised religion doesn't it?
Human nature is what it is. You don't have to go much further than the internet to see an endless stream of people who enjoy tearing others down with no thought to the consequences.
You can make access to mental health programs easier or more affordable. You can tighten gun laws and even improve on gun ownership education. All of which are worthwhile however, at the end of the day, you may decrease the incidents but the reality is, there's always a chance for 'shit to happen'.
You can't protect everyone from every eventuality. You'll go crazy if you try. You can only live positively and trust that others will too.