Politicians are talking about gun control with the idea that there are too many dangerous guns walking around that need to be locked up. Long ago when I went to high school students would come to school with gun racks having just finished with a morning duck hunt. Not one of those guns walked around the school halls shooting people. Guns then were abundant and easy to acquire; what has changed?
A gun must be picked up, aimed and the trigger pulled in order to shoot someone. So why are we so much more interested in that tool (i.e. the gun) rather than the person committing the heinous act? Wouldn’t a better solution be to identify what has driven the person to commit the act and stop it before it has occurred?
I wonder how many shootings, gunfights, murderers, and dead bodies a person might see on TV and movies before they are 16 years old? Could that cause desensitization — no longer shocked at that behavior — or maybe normalization?
What about video games where you chase an opponent around to shoot and kill them, or blow them up? Most people can tell the difference between a game and reality, or can the — witness the Columbine shooters. Pilots spend a substantial amount of time in a simulator, which is nothing more than a video game. If you think a video game is unrealistic you might want to think of your pilot next time you jump in a plane.
A recent letter to the editor mentioned, “the breakdown of the American family or the weakening of the moral values or general sense of right and wrong.”
Something in our culture has changed. Different tools can be used in the heinous acts and if it is not a gun, then it is a knife, a car, a pressure cooker, or some other tool. The violent act is only the symptom of the problem. To outlaw the tool might make people feel good, but does nothing to solve the underlying problem. It is time to deal with the actual underlying problem.
Ken Campbell, Lincoln