Caution up front because I’m going to talk about guns and murder.
Like most of the world I am devastated today by the knowledge that a classroom of ten-year-old kids was gunned down by a lone gunman yesterday in America.
Sadly, not surprised though.
And, as always in America when something like this happens, there’s a certain portion of the population who says that the answer to this is more guns. You know, the everyone should have a gun so they can protect themselves brigade. Arm teachers. Put police officers in every classroom. Give good guys guns.
Which is fucking bullshit. Making a device that can so readily kill so many people more widely available is the exact opposite of a solution to this issue.
Sadly, I have a perfect example to illustrate why that “I need a gun to protect myself” perspective is so wrong.
Here are three posts that someone made on an internet forum I occasionally frequent within the last month talking about how he had guns to protect his family:
This was a man worried about his family’s safety who’d even waited to have guns in his house until his daughters were old enough they wouldn’t accidentally get ahold of them and shoot themselves. But also a man who sincerely believed that he needed to have guns to protect himself from the bad people who might break into his house.
So, what actually happened? Did someone break into his house? Did he save his family?
He killed his family.
He shot both of his daughters and his wife, then he wrote a suicide note, called the cops, and when they arrived he shot himself.
Just another day in America. The murder-suicide made the local news, but that’s about it.
We can debate mental health and warning signs and all the rest of it all we want. But the fact is if he hadn’t had those guns right there in his house, readily available to use, maybe his daughters and wife would be alive today. Maybe he’d be alive today.
I don’t expect this example or any other to change anyone’s mind. Because in America “we need to protect the babies” and “we need to protect our rights to bear arms” are the trigger words that make people immediately ignore anything and everything else about a situation or a politician.
There is no rational thought when those phrases are invoked. You can’t take away my guns, the men say. You can’t let those unborn babies die, the women say.
And then they blindly lead us straight to hell so focused on that one thing that no one was trying to do that they miss everything else they let happen.
[Comments are turned off. I have no interest in hosting a debate on a subject like this one. Just couldn’t hold what I’d seen in my head and needed a place to put it. I didn’t know the guy well but I would’ve never thought he’d do what he did. And then to have the TX school shooting happen mere hours after I saw this…Sigh.]