It has been a year since the massacre that took the lives of 26 at Sandy Hook Elementary School. What has changed? Short answer: nothing. Yes, there has been legislation introduced in some states that tighten gun purchasing laws; but, if we’re honest with ourselves, nothing’s really changed.
It reminds me of the cat and mouse game the United States and Russia acted out after the Second World War. The Cold War represented two opposing ideological beliefs fueled by an innate mistrust of each other. They refused to talk; instead they dug in and bolstered their nuclear arsenals to such an extent that, if a war had broken out, there would have been total annihilation. It was a road to guaranteed destruction until Reagan and Gorbachev managed to put their mutual mistrust aside long enough to talk to each other, which ultimately led to the tearing down of The Berlin Wall.
I find it interesting that, for the sake of all humankind, world leaders were prepared to back down their arms race, but for our own citizens our arms race continues unfettered. On the one side, we have those that want to abolish guns, on the other we have those that maintain it’s their right to own them and, in between, we have manufacturers that continue to build a wall of weapons. So, what do we have? We have a Mexican standoff; we’ve created our very own Cold War. Where will it end?
At times, I have a hard time understanding the logic of allowing an ordinary citizen the right to walk in off the street and buy a weapon. We’re not talking alcohol or tobacco here; we’re talking about a product that, if put to a person’s head, can end their existence before they have time to blink. And, that’s the very same point a gun lobbyist will tout; guns give the power to defend oneself. But, to defend oneself from what? Yes, there are lunatics out there, and criminal elements, and those that have quite simply gone off the rails. They could be our neighbors, someone we cross paths with at the liquor store; in fact, they could be anyone we encounter on a daily basis. Should we mistrust them all, should we anticipate the worst, should we keep the safety off just in case they go all Pulp Fiction on us?
I don’t carry a gun. The last time I touched one was in the military – and I refuse to go out and buy one – but, what worries me, what really scares me, are those that have guns buried in their glove boxes, under their seats or in the back of their pants. Why should a normal citizen have the option to pull a gun out and start waving it in my face? We’re abolishing smoking in public areas because of second hand smoke and health concerns; yet, a total stranger can pull out a weapon and pop me in the head if he’s having a bad day. It’s insane. But, that’s the law; and, as long as we have guns for sale, we’ll breed mistrust within our own populace and the wall of guns will grow ever higher.
In the words of a great American, we need to “tear down the wall.”
Editorial By Scott Wilson