This has been an especially rough week for our country. The tragedy of what happened in Colorado has left the nation stunned. It has reminded us again that evil exists in the world. It has once again focused our thoughts and prayers on the families devastated by the loss and injury of their loved ones. It has proven to us that terrorism is not confined to acts by other people from outside our country, but exists within our borders and can be perpetrated by anyone. It has jarred us once again from our slumber and brought into clear focus the fact that we can’t take anything or anyone for granted in our lives. We have been again lulled into a sense that everything is secure, as we go about building relationships with people through our cellphones instead of being aware of those around us and relating to each other. Many of us are focused where we should be focused…on the families of the tragic victims…on the realization that we need to live in our imperfect world with eyes that are more open…the realization that there are people out there who live in a delusional world where they can even think about committing an act like this one.
The problem is that far too many of us are focused on other things. The political machines in this country are using this crime against humanity to get on their soapboxes and talk about gun control. They are blaming the parents. They are blaming violent films. Blame…Blame…Blame. Oh, how we love to point the finger. Oh how we love to talk about whose fault it all is… It is just a symptom of what I have talked about before in other blog entries…people always want to blame somebody else and never think about how they themselves act. Many never think about impressing good values on their children and teaching them right from wrong. Many never think about what they would have done if they were in the situation that the victims faced. We don’t want to think about it…we just hope it never happens to us.
The fact is, throughout history there have been evil people…misguided people…zealots…sociopaths. In older times, a family was responsible for protecting itself. That is why we have a right to bear arms in this country. Our history dictated that. Telling a frontiersman that he could not own a weapon to feed his family or protect it from harm and he would have laughed in your face and odds are, he probably would not have lasted very long without it. Granted, we would like to believe that we have become more civilized through the ages with our ‘advances’ in our laws and in technology. But somehow, I don’t think that the bad guys got the memo.
I don’t know what the right answer is, I just know that there are a few things that make logical sense to me.
1) A person should have the right to protect himself/herself and protect his/her family.
2) If this involves owning a weapon, so be it.
3) If someone enters my house and tries to hurt me or my family, they should expect to stop living.
4) Criminals or people who are set on doing horrible things are going to do them and whether weapons are readily available or not…they will find a way to get them,
5) Guns themselves don’t kill people. You don’t see people blaming the water for drowning someone.
6) We need to be more aware of the people around us and the situations we put ourselves in, get to know our fellow humans, and develop more of a sense of community.
Like I said, I don’t know what the answer is…I do know that I really don’t want to debate gun control with anyone as a result of this blog. I don’t really like guns that much. My dad taught Hunter Safety and Marksmanship when I was growing up and I am a pretty good shot, but they don’t do anything for me. Apparently, becoming more civilized over time has prompted us to invent more effective ways of killing each other. This is inevitable I suppose. What doesn’t have to be inevitable is our complacency about it.
Keep your eyes open. Live your life. Develop relationships with those around you. Be part of a community. Cherish your loved ones. Spend time with them. We only have so many trips around the sun as it is. Know that we are all imperfect people living in an imperfect world and it is what we make of it. Feel for those who have experienced loss and keep the focus where it needs to be…on taking care of yourself and those around you. Not pointing fingers and trying to figure out who to blame. Seems obvious doesn’t it?