It won’t be long before the Democratic as well as the Republican National Parties will both be developing their party platforms for the upcoming 2020 elections. Gun Control will be an issue as it usually is for both parties. The Democrats will call for “stricter gun control” (RI Governor Gina Raimondo) and the Republicans will insist “leave our guns alone”. The Democrats will rail against the NRA and by association denounce the law abiding gun owners in America. The Republicans will embrace the NRA and the gun-owners of America. The tug of war will continue and it appears that the battle will intensify as many cities and states controlled by Democrats have already enacted stricter gun control legislation that, in their minds, will stem the tide of gun violence. The “stricter gun law” movement hasn’t worked. Cities controlled by Democratic politicians are among the cities with the highest rates of firearm homicides and firearm suicides; something else needs to occur.
I am a card-carrying NRA member. I am also a member of the Bradford Sportsman Club in Charlestown, RI with over 400 gun toting members. Much to the chagrin of many of my fellow club members, I don’t see the need for an AR-15 to go deer, bear, moose, elk or any kind of animal hunting. I don’t like to see Wayne LaPierre, head of the NRA, get on National TV and put the fear of total gun control and/or gun confiscation into the minds of gun owners. I don’t really want to see armed guards at our schools. I’m not sure if it’s okay that school administrators, teachers or janitors are armed. I think sometimes Mr. LaPierre goes overboard and I’m hesitant to believe and or listen to him.
But then again, as gun-owners we listen to the news media, watch broadcast news TV, read newspapers and magazines, and get information that the Democratic politicians are going to do anything they can to curtail guns in America. Then, as gun owners, we talk about it all. The Democratic politicians are going to tax ammo, they have already put limits on magazine capacities in some cities, they want to ban all semi-automatic guns and they have already begun to require registration for every gun in their communities just to name a few of the political strategies currently under way.
Many other strict gun control ideas are being put forth by the anti-gun crowd and their political friends. Sadly, they are hopping on the gun control band wagon fueled by the tragedies of the recent mass shootings. They are not thinking seriously and thoughtfully of what they’re proposing; they want to propose “anything” that has to do with gun control of any kind in the hope of gathering votes. Interestingly, many of their ideas are already in the law, but these laws are not always explained or enforced. The passionate pleas for gun abolishment by family members who have lost children is heart wrenching, but it is mis-guided.
Federal, state and local politicians of both parties don’t want to spotlight on the fact that they, through budgetary constraints, closed thousands of psychiatric and mental health facilities in the US. Where do you go if you have a young person, or anyone for that matter, who displays destructive behavior to others and/or to himself? The mother of the young man involved with the Newtown Elementary school tragedy was told that there was no place for her to take him to unless he did something really bad! Well he did…he killed her then many elementary school kids and teachers, and then he killed himself!
Some Hollywood movie producers and video game designers glorify violence in their movies and in the games they produce. Do politicians attack the Hollywood crew? Do you think politicians should enact legislation that curtail some of the violent movies Hollywood produces or legislate the kind and amount of violence that video gamers design? I think they should, but instead politicians are treated to huge fundraisers and enjoy large donations by these very same Hollywood movie makers and video game types. Whose actors, BTW, shoot 30 or more people in their movies then the very same actors along with their political cronies call for more gun control…hypocrites. Or, whose video game designers say it’s freedom of speech to produce a video game that emulates the school shooting of little kids. You have got to be kidding me.
Pornography is one of the most de-humanizing vices on the planet. It is an addictive blight on our people that has a profoundly negative impact on our culture. Pornography is rampant among our teenage and young adult populations and it is pervasive on all the media that young people have access to. It de-values women and in so doing it desensitizes us as human beings. It’s another nail in the coffin of a valueless culture. Is that related to gun violence? You bet it is…when you disregard the value of another human being you have no qualms of abusing or destroying them. A host of psychological and physical performance dilemmas are being found in young men who are frequent pornographic consumers. Their ability and/or their inability to act on what they view can result in frustrations that sometimes manifest themselves in violent actions. Again, the pornography industry is protected by freedom of speech and by producers of pornography cozying up to politicians.
Local schools in the USA typically have 1 social worker, 1 school phycologist and maybe 2 school counselors for hundreds of kids in their schools. Pick up a state department of education guideline for number of pupils per social worker, school psychologist or school counselor and notice what the acceptable number is…you will be shocked… 300-900 to 1 or how about 3500:1. Student support services come under budgetary items as NON-ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL. Trust me, school administrators typically will not budget for more personnel than what the state education department says they should have. I wonder if the troubled student turned killer in Florida might have benefited from a non-essential personnel intervention?
How about politicians from both parties and their celebrity types hop on the band wagons of advocating for more psychiatric and mental health facilities, or enact legislation that curtails violent movies, video games and pornography, or how about advocating for more NON-ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL in our schools. Here's a real novel idea in today's culture. How about bringing God back into our classrooms? No that won’t happen, instead they will get on national media, and with their vitriol, will indict or lay the blame of mass shootings, directly or indirectly, on the NRA and the responsible gun owning American public.
Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Gun violence is a cultural problem not a gun problem. The question that should be addressed is how we, as a culture, got to this point? What has happened to our values that we have such a low regard for human life? That we deal with conflict through violence? That we just don’t care about others? One very promising program that addresses the cultural issue is the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Program created by a mom who lost her 6-year-old son in the Newtown Elementary School shooting in 2012. This K-12 curriculum focuses on a formula that encompasses courage + gratitude + forgiveness + compassion which will equal choosing love. Politicians and school administrators might want to take a very close look at this program as a partial answer to addressing gun violence and look to fund this kind of program. Programs like this may benefit not only children and parents, but our culture as well. Politicians and school administrators might want to look at programs that would allow school personnel who voluntarily agree to get trained and who want to carry firearms. If it were a fact that schools in communities have armed and trained personnel on staff then that fact might be a deterrent to some deranged killer. Signs posted at all the entrances to schools that say: Warning: Personnel in this school are armed might also be a good deterrent.
Otherwise…. hmmm. Maybe Wayne LaPierre is right!