Thoughts on Gun Control and School Shootings

I understand that this is a touchy subject right now. What will follow might make you upset. I hope it doesn’t, but this is a very emotionally charged controversy so I understand.

This is one of the most tragic trends I see, but there are of course others without number. Shootings like the most recent one are no longer isolated events, but a recurring pattern with heart breaking costs that are estranged from a fair and loving world. I would also say that it’s safe to assume that no American is “pro school shooting”. Unfortunately, we are once again in political grid lock. The internet has enabled us to be enraged with a buffer zone. It’s not really acceptable to mention politics in a public setting (at least I avoid it), but now I don’t have to listen to my friend in person. I can inform my thoughts on a topic completely independent from legitimate social interaction, and as a natural consequence to this, I think it is easier to become intensely one sided in my opinions. I would say that being willing to part with your political opinion is the first step in effectively solving this problem that deeply affects us all.

Accepting that is happening is step one. Keep in mind that acceptance is not resignation. Tragedy is not new. I have a dear friend who lost her very close friend in an accidental shooting by the mafia in a country where guns are definitely illegal. I heard stories this week of Mark Hoffman, who in an effort to conceal a large amount of forgeries he made, robbed the world of two innocent and beautiful people with nail bombs. One does not need to think for very long to find acts of violence that seem all but human. This is scary, but it is our world. Though it would be nice if policy could keep us safe from evil, it is simply unreasonable to think so. Do drunk driving laws stop innocent people from being killed by drunk drivers?.. I see the side of those argue against gun control in arguing that people can use all other sorts of tools besides automatic rifles.

That being said, there is a lot of logic and beauty in regulation! If you think that regulation is evil, than I would also consider that unreasonable. Regulation is great. From what I understand the body is a master regulator. Too much or too little of something is generally bad for you right? Our roads are regulated and this is life saving. In Lima, I was told by a local that upwards of 10 people can die a day from traffic incidents in the city. During my 14 months in the city I would say I heard about some mass casualty accident about once every 3 months. I had a very dear friend who was killed by a dump truck after I left. If the Peruvians were tighter on regulation, less people would be killed, and my friend could still be very much alive. The contrast is easy for me to see, so do not underestimate the power of bureaucracy and rules. You guys, some reasonable rules around guns would not be a bad thing. Or infringe on your rights to own a weapon. It might infringe on how you own it, but would it really be that bad? If those regulations saved a life or a school would it not be worth it? If you argue people will find a way around it, you’re right, but “why try?” logic is pretty silly. I bet you’re not about to repeal drunk driving laws… To be simply articulate, I think Americans should have the right to own a weapon, but there should be some reasonable and effective regulation put in place, informed by those who know.

For those of you who are criticizing the media about the number of school shootings they say have happened, do yourself a favor and look up the statistic they are citing for yourself. This is the highest casualty shooting of the year. But dudes, you don’t want a gun going off in schools, whether it’s an accident, a suicide, or a fight, this is not good. Schools are supposed to be a safe place right?

Conspiracy theories? Seriously guys? Politicians want votes. That’s it. What are they gonna do? WE HAVE EVERYONE’S GUNS… ATTACK!!! YOU ARE NOW OUR SLAVES BECAUSE WE HAVE THE GUNS. Owning a gun can be practical for several reasons, but my dudes, if whoever is gonna coordinate a tyrannical government take over probably isn’t gonna care if you have a machine gun or not. I think whoever has the resource to effect such a massive shift (the scary media oooo) probably could acquire bigger toys than whatever is in your gun locker. Maybe my common sense is misplaced, because I don’t actually know anything about guns or armies or war.

I also must call out my friends who are making fun of the guy who sawed the front of his AR-15 off. Especially those who share my faith. You are better than that. Imagine if everyone laid down their weapons of war. Do not forget that weapons are for war, and that there was not a more blessed people than the ones who willingly opted for peace in the face of war. You might think I misunderstand the video, but I know what I saw. I’m not asking you to do the same thing, but I do think it is wrong for you to make fun of this guy. Prove me wrong.

Lastly, there are so many other things we need to be doing along with changing policy to better fit our needs as a country. Don’t get caught up in this absurd political battle field — both sides, conservative and liberal should consider themselves responsible for this recurring “day you never want to come” (words of the superintendent in Florida). In the words of a friend and mentor, “Don’t wait for the government to step in.” When was the last time you sought to understand the pain of a friend? Have you tried to put yourself in the place of those kids before they were shot? In the place of their families? The ones who watched it all happen and were lucky enough to stay breathing? When was the last time you volunteered in any capacity? Are you engaged in giving to your community or taking from it? Quite frankly, does the entertainment you consume glorify violence? To blame violent video games and movies for school shootings would be a little far-fetched in my opinion, but to think that they play no part in a violent mindset would also be ignorant. Can you think of the names of suffering children and teenagers? Have you reached out to them? Have you reached out to a friend who isn’t suffering just because you like them? Have you tried to connect with God recently? To quote the Seven Paths, “we live in the age of I, and it is taking its toll.” We should not be ignorant to the distance between us. The closer we are, the better. Discipline yourself beyond the wall of your digital connection to the world and move closer to all those around you. It starts with your family, roomates, friends, etc. Super heroes are fictional for a reason. The real work is done step by step, one person at a time. Don’t try and win the lottery of saving the world… it ain’t practical.

I know a number of things, but I don’t know as much as I think I do. Thinker, Latter Day Saint, Musician, Trailwalker, Aspiring to aid in changing hearts.

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Nic Quilter

Nic Quilter

I know a number of things, but I don’t know as much as I think I do. Thinker, Latter Day Saint, Musician, Trailwalker, Aspiring to aid in changing hearts.

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