Posted by Kate on April 26, 1999 at 15:52:36:
In Reply to: Re: Violence and history, has anything changed? posted by Champ on April 26, 1999 at 02:08:08:
Well, the botton line is, I gotta disagree with you on this one!
I agree with many things you said. Firstly, I believe the moral standards in this modern society has, as you say, deteriorated, but I believe it's because we just don't communicate with each other anymore - between kids and parents, parent with parent, etc. We've forgotten how to share our lives. Also, the power of the mighty 'buck' (and 'Pound'!) and acquiring status symbols, ie. latest expensive brand name trainers, computers, cell phones, etc. has become a major drive - and peer pressure to be seen as 'cool' is unbelieveable!! And mass media campaigns fuel this pressure.
I agree too, with that old platitude 'Guns don't kill people, people kill people'. And, if everyone were responsible, sensible and sane, that would make sense. But the fact is - 'people *with guns* kill people'. Unfortunately, if we are being realistic here, not everyone *is* responsible, sensible or sane. Therefore, we have to consider what the irresponsible, insensible and insane people will contemplate. And however sane or insane a person is, he's much more dangerous with a gun. To quote a Scottish Sunday paper, '...the mad, the disturbed and the dangerous can be living quietly next door until something pushes them over the edge'. Surely we have a responsibility to deny these people the opportunity to wreak their havoc.
Yes, we have a 'right to defend ourselves'. But surely, with this kind of horrific tragedy becoming more common, we have a responsibility to protect the innocents? I understand that once, long ago in America, it was difficult to ascertain if the person you 'met on the trail' was friend or foe. There was a need for protective arms then. You've come a long way down that trail and you're all 'Americans', you should all be friends united under a common flag - what need for arms now? Protection from the maniacs? Well, don't make it easy for them to get hold of guns.
In the aftermath of the Dunblane tragedy (when 16 4-5year old children and their teacher were gunned down and slaughtered during school assembly), the anti-gun lobby seized the opportunity to get 'extreme' gun laws pushed through the British law system, but I do believe they went too far. Even gun clubs, Olympic competitors, etc., have been severely restricted and some clubs have had to close down. More time and thought should have gone into the placing of these laws. As you say, the innocent paying for the guilty - I agree its not fair. However, the parents of the little victims will *never* see it that way! And its not fair when innocent people's lives (especially children) are snuffed out.
Perhaps it boils down to - where do our priorites lie? Get to keep our guns - or keep our loved ones. None of us can predict whose child, mother, father, etc. will be next to die. I just wouldn't like to take the chance its (Heaven forbid!!!) yours or mine!!
Anyway, weighing up the pro's and con's, I just can't see any other way to keep guns out of the hands of murderers. So, I have to ask myself, is my 'right to keep a gun' more important than people's right to live? I'm willing to give up my right to keep a weapon, for that.
Don't get me wrong, though, I undertand that others will have different opinions and I *totally respect* their right to have them. Quite frankly, I don't think there is one true, single answer. But I think it's up to everyone to be willing to help find *some* answer. And the sooner the better.
Thinking of all those poor, shattered families - we're holding you in our hearts.
God bless all.
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