"The problem here is a totalitarian uniformity, a cult-like mentality such that even allies are enemies if they fail to follow the Exact Party Line. " - Phyllis Chesler

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Gun Violence

A voicer in the New York Daily News wrote this in today's paper:

"When I was about 9 and living in Detroit, my brother's 15-year-old best friend was shot and killed by another teenager. By the time I graduated from high school in 1986, I couldn't count the number of friends and acquaintances who had been shot and killed. Every day, I read of another person - more often than not, a child - being shot and killed. Today, I read of 13-year-old Scotty Scott (photo) being killed in Harlem this past Friday. A life lost, along with many, many others across this country (and beyond) by that almighty gun. Where are all these guns coming from? It seems to me that there is an invisible original source that has no accountability to the people, for lost lives and to families in misery. Something's gotta give - other than more lives."

Heart wrenching, yes! But it got me thinking about this topic from a different perspective than I used to think about guns.

I don't like them! It's very simple for me. BUT the consitution allows us to bear arms.

I don't own a gun. I never held a gun. I might someday at a gun range but probably that would be it. I've walked around rough neighborhoods at sometimes odd hours. I still don't want a gun.

Granted I don't have to live in those places. But it's still a choice. I choose not to exercise my right to own a gun.

Illegal gun or legal gun I think is the wrong way to look at this problem. Why do you have the gun? What's your intent? What choices do you have that brought you to owning that gun? What choices brought you to using that gun?

OK it's a tough neighborhood but that doesn't mean you don't have other choices besides the "friends" you choose to associate with and the places you choose to hang out. Yes, it may suck to high heaven to be in your apt. all the time when you're not in school or work but if it means you are safe so be it.

Think about it, isn't it the hard things that we have to live through that teach us the most and empower us?

It's no wonder so many young folks feel so disempowered these days. We have done so much to make them never feel pain or have to learn a hard lesson that they have no idea what they can achieve and overcome and accomplish.

It's hard to watch someone you love in pain, but sometimes you just have to step out of the way and let it be their lesson, stand by them, hold their hand and support them through the muck so that they can stand on their own two feet.

That little boy didn't choose to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and he didn't get a choice in where he was living. But the one who shot the gun did have a choice.

The communities have a clear choice to make things better. Note: I didn't say easy choice.

They can discuss honestly that there is a problem with the way they think and live in their communities and make changes about what they teach their children or things can stay the status quo. Because we can legislate all we want and yet over my lifetime I have not seen this problem with guns get any better, just as the voicer mentions in the paper today.


lot 2 learn said...

Many cities, and other highly populated areas do have a gun problem. But the guns, in my opinion, are only the result of a much bigger problem. Crime in these areas grow at a steady rate and the violence gets worse, but with overcrowded jails, and a court system that is overwhelmed, punishment for these crimes often do not fit the acts commited. I think that a person should be able to defend themselves and I also think that guns are not always the answer. The answer lies in the person that witnessed the shooting, the people who know that someone has a gun, the group that looks the other way when they see someone breaking the law. People need to speak out and put an end to the crime and violence, the police can't be everywhere

Da Old Man said...

I am in complete agreement with lot2learn. Between neighbors protecting hoodlums, and not neighborhoods, and a justice system that is often anything but, the problem just continues to escalate.
Just about a month ago, a man attacked elderly women and robbed them. He was brutal, punching them, and trying to hurt them. What punishment is enough for him? We need to get more creative than simply warehousing these thugs.
By the way, possibly the safest country in the world is Switzerland. Every home has a gun, and the crime rate is low. Bad guys pick on the weak.

Aleta said...

We have guns in our home. I believe in the individual who owns them - if they are responsible, are the ones who should own them. If that makes sense? For my fiance, it's a matter of skill, as he has many times won awards at competition shooting. He wouldn't ever want to harm a person, I know that with all my heart. But I also know that he could and would protect us in a heartbeat. And THAT, I believe in.

Aleta said...

Had to come back an add this... don't know if you'll want to share in it the comments though. I read this on a different blog. I don't like to generalize and thing that all Europeans think this way, it's only one point of view. This is what someone wrote:

"It's far too easy in the UK to write all Americans off as, frankly, selfish idiots who erroneously quote the bible while driving cars the size of France and toting guns!"

I shared it with a friend and her response (gun toting like myself) sent back the following response:

"Tell them in the next European War to bail them selves out as us selfish, gun toting Americans will stay in our own backyard instead of policing theirs!!!"

Aleta said...

Yikes, just read all my typo's. Sorry about that.

Lauren said...

Since I already wrote my opinion I am just thanking you for adding yours today.

Aleta, Girl you make me laugh so hard!

Chat Blanc said...

There are so many factors that impact the number of violent crimes and illegal and deadly gun use. Communities need to take a holistic approach to the problems.