Now don’t get me wrong and start throwing death threats at this 76 year old cancer/heart disease survivor, I’m not dead set against guns. Cops should have them. So should soldiers in war zones. And hunters and/or recreational shooters, fine. Even your average citizen, sure, for protection as long as they’ve been run through a background check for any reasons they should not own one. Once owned, of course, they should be required to keep them locked up so their five or 15 year old son can’t get at them to bring to show and tell or for a mass killing the next day in school. So guns are OK. They’re part of our culture, our heritage, bloody as it may be. But like cars and boats and planes, they should be tightly regulated and licensed. A car needs to be inspected every year. Drivers need to renew their licenses and registrations and get smog tests periodically and given tests to prove they can still tell a stop sign from a yield sign. Boat owners need to be licensed. And airplane pilots needed to be extensively tested before issued a license for each level of expertise. Planes need to be inspected rigorously to make sure they are flight worthy. Makes sense. And guns, being the potentially lethal machines they are, should also be highly regulated– not banned, but regulated. The NRA used to believe this, and I suspect most gun owners would also agree with this, as long as they knew it was not a ploy to take their guns away from them.
So today we hear a 15 year old grabbed an automatic handgun that his father just bought, brought it to school in Michigan in his backpack, and killed three classmates and wounded 8 before being arrested and locked up. He is not cooperating with police as his parents told him not to talk to police. Perhaps his parents should be arrested and locked up as well as accessories before and after the act of murder. That might send a clear message to other parents around the country that they’d better lock up their guns securely, lest their kids steal them and fulfill fantasies that they, the parents, knew nothing of since they knew nothing of the thoughts of their children since they never thought to ask or keep track of them. “How were we to know?” indeed.
So in the absence of parental gun controls or private industry voluntary controls or NRA or Republican congressional gun safety or control initiatives, the present Democratic-controlled congress and executive branch need to step up and enact sane gun controls so at least kids can’t easily get to unlocked up guns lying around the house to satisfy their psychotic thoughts and urges–as kids are often won’t to have–that might otherwise pass by like clouds if guns were hard to come by.
Or do we just continue like the Wild West country that we are–the richest and most uncivilized in the developed world. We can’t even enact legislation that would mandate safety latches on guns so kids couldn’t so easily shoot these lethal weapons. Nor can we bring back a ban on assault weapons, enacted in the 90s. Nor ban multi-bullet magazines that allow mass assassins, yes, even children, to kill many people, yes, often children, in seconds. Sane, simple, effective measures that still allow law abiding citizens the right to own guns and ammunition.
Many cite the Second Amendment but we are in violation of the “life, liberty, and happiness” promise clause of the Constitution. Guns are not toys. Guns allow human beings to kill other human beings, thus denying them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Why are the federal courts or the Department of Justice not prosecuting mass murderers and their accomplices under those common law statutes?
Why are we one of the only developed countries to lack adequate gun control and regulation. The Second Amendment even calls for “a well-regulated militia.” Is that not a clear enough instruction for the “originalists” on the Supreme Court or the Republicans in Congress or the NRA? Are we still of a Wild West, vigilante mentality? More and more, it seems we are. And that is not among the moral blocks this country was built upon.
I considered buying a gun during the depths of the white supremacist-infused Trump regime, something I’d never considered before. My wife shamed me out of it and thankfully she did. Having a weapon around that can kill instantly is harmful on all levels of existence. It opens the deep karmic doors for retribution for past misdeeds. It opens up doors of regret, of impulse, of synaptic conditioning. A gun in the home is always, always, on one’s mind. It is like the sound of a rat in the walls. It is like a bad ad jingle that you can’t stop thinking about. It’s like a dry heaving when all the vomit is gone. It’s best not to have a gun at home. My wife was right…as usual, as we often joke.
Anyway, let’s get some control over these loose cannons, as a number of other countries have done after mass shootings, including Norway, New Zealand, and Australia. It will redefine us as a rational, reasonable, reflective society that acts on its original mission statements and actually cares about the life, liberty, and happiness of its people.
Two books of mine worthy of your attention during this season of mirth, merriment, reflection and gift giving: Into the Woods…and Beyond, my memoir of a time I spent four years living alone in the northern woods, healing from past wounds and wrapping my arms around nature; and The Valley Spirit: Living a Tao-inspired Life, an inspirational guidebook for living mindfully, living in tune with nature, living lovingly. They are both available at Amazon.