In Case You Weren’t Watching

As you all are aware by now, there was a tragic shooting that took place in Connecticut, last Friday, December 14th.  The tragedy took the lives of 26 victims (not including the shooter), 20 of which were kindergarten students.  The shooter had enough ammunition and weaponry to take out everyone in the school if it were to have gone on.

Students, parents, friends and families are still suffering and will continue suffering due to these events.  Right now, we need to dedicate our thoughts, prayers, and actions to the families and friends of the victims of the shooting.  Some students in the classroom were able to survive this cowardly attack.  Parents of some of these children have stated that they have not been able to address their children yet about who of their classmates had been killed.  The subject is so fragile and delicate, and what these children have gone through is so difficult, that now having to explain that their best friends were killed is nearly impossible for these parents to do.  It all is just beyond belief sickening and simply cannot go on.

In case you weren’t watching, last night, on most major television networks, President Obama addressed the nation, and specifically the victims and the victims’ families.  In this address, the president pointed out that our prayers must go to these people and that changes need to be made.  The speech was rather emotional.  As a closing, the President listed each of the 20 students names, very slowly.  He read the list to inform the nation to remember these helpless children.  It was obvious that Obama was emotional when reading the names and it most likely made everyone watching feel similar emotions.  Here is the President’s speech from last night:

I don’t usually get political because it always leads to arguments, but a situation like this calls for it.  The President addressed last night that changes were going to be made.  He mad no specific indications on what new laws could possibly entitle, but he emphasized that gun restrictions and mental health supervision were at the top of the list.  I am fully on board.  I will leave the psychological analyzing to the professionals, but in regards to the gun laws, things need to change.  Pardon me if I sound offensive right now, but we are beginning to look like a country that does not have their shit together.  Remember watching the news and seeing car bombings, train bombings, and many other terrorist attacks that seemed to consistently take place in countries that we are in battle with?  Remember being thankful that our country does not have to deal with shit like that?  Well now look at us.  Granted, it sucks that a few individuals have tainted the well-being of our nation and its people, but the fact is, that they have; and as the President addressed last night, if their are changes that can be made to limit the possibilities of these events taking place in the future, then we must make them!

I don’t know the written laws that restrict, or seem to not restrict, gun ownership, but they do not seem strong.  There is a clip from a Family Guy episode that shows one of its characters, Brian, walking into a corner store and simply purchasing a gun over the counter like you would with buying a smoothie.  To me, it seems that easy for anyone in our country to obtain a fire arm, and that simply can’t happen!

I have been educated by the words of others, that there are nations that simply do not allow gun possession.  Even the police officers in these nations or areas, do not carry guns.  My research and understanding of the subject is slim, but I recall being informed that the crime rate is significantly lower than that of our country’s.

It makes me uncomfortable to think that people feel the need to protect themselves with a gun.  What’s wrong with keeping a baseball bat by your bed side?  I have heard some horrendous stories about gun accidents and other tragedies that would simply not have happened if guns were not at their access.  You don’t need a gun, you don’t need to hunt, you don’t need to feel protected by being able to kill someone.  connecticut-school-shooting-547d695bed8c22ac

I understand that there will absolutely be people who agree and disagree with the opinions and beliefs that I have stated.  As I said, I do not like to engage in political debates because of the arguments that can lead from them, but it seemed appropriate.  It sounds like our nation will attempt to take the appropriate steps at keeping us all a little bit safer.

Keep your thoughts and prayers with the families associated with the tragic events that took place last Friday.

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9 thoughts on “In Case You Weren’t Watching

  1. Before you write such an article where you admit you have done no research, why not do the research so you can be better informed and offer real facts to points, not just feelings. Otherwise, what good is the article? or your opinion really since you have no factual foundation for your views. I am not writing this in anger, I would just prefer you provide some real basis for your ideas and views so that real discussion can occur. Otherwise it is not possible to hold a real conversation about the issues you bring up.

    By the way, the mall shooter in Oregon was stopped by a citizen with a concealed weapon, not by police. You can look up the interview at KGW, the local news station in Portland that interviewed the man. It has gone unreported by the national media.

    In countries where guns are banned, such as UK, while use of guns in violent crime is lower (but still present) violent crime as a whole is greater based on percentage of population. I would recommend reading More Guns, Less Crime. You do not have to agree with the books conclusion but the research that went into it is kept current and very detailed so it is a good place to start with some research for you. Here in the states, the most used weapon in violent crime is the baseball bat (according to FBI statistics).

  2. Do you think the constitution took into account that someday there would be weapons that could kill beyond comprehension being sold to anyone with a clean record and a drivers license? Do you really need an assault rifles or automatic weapons for hunting or sport? Seriously?

    Reasonable restrictions- not a complete ban-would provide a line of defense against mass killings like the one in Newtown without infringing on what most people consider reasonable uses for guns.

    In every other industrialized country in the world, other than the United States, they have reasonable gun control laws. They have 100 people a year, not 9,000 or 10,000 a year, killed by guns.

    Gun Deaths – 2011:
    Japan 48
    Great Britain 8
    Switzerland 34
    Canada 52
    Israel 58
    Sweden 21
    Germany 42
    UNITED STATES 10,728
    Fuck yea, ‘Merica.

    Research from Harvard University shows that more guns= more homicide:
    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/research/hicrc/firearms-research/guns-and-death/index.html

    As for the “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Yes, but people kill much more effectively with guns. Limiting the sale of assault weapons wouldn’t eliminate mass attacks. But it would make it harder for those contemplating these kinds of killing sprees to succeed.

    A man went crazy in China earlier this month and slashed 22 students with a knife. Nobody died. What does that attack look like if the same man has an assault rifle? A lot like Newtown.

    • Great comment! Gun restricting laws should be enforced. If there is a way (ways) to reduce the percentage of possibilities of shootings like this, it just seems blatantly obvious that they should come into play (law changes/reinforcements).

    • There are already many reasonable restrictions, the problem is they are not being enforced and kept up to date. Both of the past 2 shooters used stolen weapons. Most if not all of the mass shooters of the past several years have had psychiatric issues and were seen before and deemed dangerous. These cases are supposed to be referred to local police and then passed on to the FBI to go into the database that is used for the background checks. This is not being done as it is supposed to. More to the point, there is little the police can do about someone deemed dangerously psychotic til after they hurt someone. As far as the guns go, the VT killing involved only pistols, same for the Giffords shooting. these would not have been prevented by the current ban. Also, even if this new weapons ban is able to pass, there are already plenty of these proposed items in circulation and cannot be accounted for if you try to ban and destroy them. Putting a new “assault weapons” ban would be rather pointless. The criteria they use to define “assault weapons” are cosmetic in nature, not actually concerned with how the weapon functions. and mag bans simply mean the shooter has to carry a few extra. Its simply an inconvenience rather than a real solution. How about instead of attempting to do a reactionary ban that will in truth be ineffective at any real prevention, we start examining preventive measures such as better reporting of Mental issues, requiring armed police/guards at public locations if you wish to ban guns (i.e. schools, malls), requiring drill at these locations to train employees how to react (just like fire drills). These measures would have much more impact in preventing and reducing the effects of shootings than any attempted gun ban and are actually possible to enforce. All these mass shooting occur at places perceived to be gun free and therefore easy targets.

      • There’s also the personal responsibility people need to take in protecting themselves from these types of events. Even if you don’t believe in carrying a personal weapon, you should still take measures to protect yourself. know your exits and the fastest route to them. Pepper spray is a possibility to use if you are close to the shooter. I most recommend a good tactical light. They are designed to disorient the person you direct them out and give you the extra seconds you need to get away safely. Only in the Aurora shooting was the shooter stopped by police, so do not count on them as your only means of protection.

  3. Joe, I agree with you. I do not believe our forefathers considered the evolution of guns, do we really need semi-automatic weapons? Personally, I will never own a gun, I feel bad for those who use them responsibly that are threatened by the thought of not having them.

    The debate about guns vs. mental health will continue. The gun lobby is so powerful that most politicians will not challenge the NRA publicly.

    One of my concerns, and this will not be a popular statement, is about violent video games. I know some will argue that they play such games and that doesn’t make them kill people. Perhaps they are not good for those who struggle with mental health. The games desensitize some people and can distort their sense of reality. I grew up in the pre-video game era, we played outside, had friends in the neighborhood and had limited use of technology.

    We grew up on post 60’s and 70’s “peace” music. Our tv shows always had a moral to the story. We respected our elders and would never dream that our parents would take our word over that of a teacher. As a teacher I am dumbfounded how this dynamic has shifted over the past 20 years.

    The United States, as a country, needs to do some soul searching. Our values revolve around celebrity, appearance and money. We were founded by those seeking religious freedom and now we are just about free from God. We have lost our sense of humility. It seems to me that our priorities have been compromised.

    My prayer for this great country is that we will get back to our roots. We need to bring God back into family life, we must give our children what they need not what they want. Love is the most important gift we can give our kids. They don’t need stuff. They need two parents that teach them to work hard, be honest, to respect life and to always do their best. So many of our kids are isolated because their parents are working hard to give them iphones, ipads etc. Kids spend more time on social media than interacting with their Mom and Dad.

    Slow down America, let kids be kids…stop bombarding them with material goods. All kids really want is to be loved. Love doesn’t have a price tag. May God Bless America and help us return to the basics that made our country great! Merry Christmas, I hope it is holy for your family.

    • Thank you very much Andy! I wish the same to you and your family and thank you for your input. There are so many controversial topics out there that can be related to things like this and I could go on for hours. In the end, however it needs to happen, I just pray that horrid acts like this will stop altogether.

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