Guns and violence, there has been some death and injury in America in the last few weeks, have you noticed?
I would get into the normal journalistic process by listing the number of dead and injured, but though it matters, it doesn't really matter. Someone died, someone was injured, someone made the choice to take a dangerous tool/weapon and turn it on to persons they did not know.
Las Vegas Shooter
You know by now, their names do not really matter at this point. Both are done and gone. Their names will not solve any hurt and pain or loss. They simply killed innocent people. People with whom these killers did not have a specific grievance (as if there could be one that would justify such conduct). The victims, that is one of the key focuses here. One group of victims, Vegas, involved concert goers. People without political, social, or religious labels attached to them, killed randomly. The other, church goers. Children, women and men. Worshiping at church. Presumably praying for peace, love, harmony among humans on this little planet. What a major threat these people represented...he said with huge sarcasm!
And to not let the herd of elephants in the room be overlooked, guns!
Yes, guns were a key means used to carry out these killings. In both cases many if not all the guns were obtained, at least to some degree, legally. There is some issue about one of the two shooters not technically eligible to purchase and possess a gun. But whatever the case, he, and they did. How do guns play in on this story? Well, they were the injuring tool. But more specific to the national issue of guns in America, they were the frequently identified tool/weapon. It is frequently said that America has a love affair with guns. Based on the loud dialogue going on virtually everyday in the media, America has a Constitutional issue with guns. America has a Constitutional disagreement about guns. And America has a social, political and, some say, psychological issue with guns. Looking at the numbers there are:
So, if correct, yes, Americans do have a large number of guns. More guns than there are people. The love part is up for discussion. This all brings up questions, among them might be, does the American love, if you will, of guns contribute to the amount of gun violence we see in America? Well, the availability of guns certainly can, certainly does, contribute to the availability of guns to those who would use them illegally and harmfully. The American affinity, my word choice, for guns certainly does not contribute, without some other element to attach the two issues together. By this I mean, just because Americans love guns does not mean that persons are going to be killed. The added element, if you believe many gun rights advocates and politicians, might be crime, and the issue of Mental Illness in America. That, along with a lack of focus on existing gun laws. The other point to be considered here is, would the absence of guns change these issues? Would there still be deaths, even mass killings if Americans did not have any guns? No one can say for sure, except to say that the ability to commit mass killings would require some other method, bombs, fires, exotic methods of sabotage, etc. So what if we did more closely adhere to existing laws as they impact guns? What does that mean? Perhaps the argument is that criminals would get incarceration terms that kept them off the streets. But the counter to that is that eventually criminals are released from jails and prisons, so what then? We cannot hold people forever without a verdict of Life in Imprisonment. _______________________________________________________________________________________
Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act
The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) is a United States federal law, enacted in 2004, that allows two classes of persons—the "qualified law enforcement officer" and the "qualified retired law enforcement officer"—to carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with certain exceptions. LEOSA is often incorrectly referred to as "H.R. 218". The act was introduced during the 108th Congress as H.R. 218 and enacted as Public Law 108-277. The law was later amended by the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act Improvements Act of 2010 (S. 1132, Public Law 111-272), and Section 1099C of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (H.R. 4310, Public Law 112-239). It is codified within the provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968 as 18USC § 926B and USC § 926C.
______________________________________________________________________________________ My bias is that I am authorized for concealed carry and thus have a different position from which I experience this issue. My opinion about this subject, that does not affect me the way it might affect you, can be viewed as biased based on my advantage. And that must certainly be true. But what I say is this, I support the U.S. Constitution as I understand it. It says there is a Right to Keep and Bear Arms for the individual in America. Until that is further clarified to mean something than what I and many gun rights advocates say, you Americans out there have that right. I just ask that you be safe, legal, ethical, logical, careful and tactical in your ownership.
I also believe that Mental Health plays a tremendous roll in the amount of mass killings, and killings in general, in America. This is not adequately being addressed to find cause, effect and solutions. I believe that criminals are feeling emboldened by the current state of social discourse and hostility. Cops are being attacked by citizens and criminals. Criminals know to make a complaint and gain access to the deep pockets of municipalities through law suits. Granted there are situations that were ruled to be violations of rights opening the door to such law suits. What is right is right. When the police do wrong, there should be consequences. But never ever is there a criminal, and this is my grand generalization, but I am sticking with it, never has there been a guilty person arrested. Today, given the sad state of social and political affairs in this country, far too many (virtually all) of those contacted by police choose to flee, fight, claim harm and injury and that their rights were violated. And it simply is not true. The result is the deterioration and decay of society into an adversarial state, us against them, right versus left (and "vise versa," of course) , good versus bad, religion versus religion and faith versus a lack of faith.
I do support police, yes, my bias, ex-cop! My rationale for my bias, I serve the good of society. I serve peace. I serve the innocent. I serve the most vulnerable. I serve the children...and small doggies! I want that our society survive, thrive and evolve into one that exists without fear of death by another, being victimized by another, and is safe to walk any street in America, in the darkest of night, holding cash in your hand, and your eyes closed! Is that too much to ask!