It is hard for me this morning to think about anything other than what happened yesterday in Newtown, Connecticut. I've lived in the U.S. for 17 years now, and as proud as I am of the many beautiful ideas that this country is built on, e.g. "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness", it seems to me that yesterday is a good example of where we the people are being stripped of exactly those unalienable rights. In this case, due to lack of gun control.
My friend Blake Morgan just posted this statistic on his Facebook-wall:
"Last year Handguns Killed: 48 People in Japan, 8 Great Britain, 34 Switzerland, 52 Canada, 58 Israel, 21 Sweden, 10,728 in The United States"
Immediately, he got the classic reply from someone mindlessly regurgitating this over-simplification she must have heard somewhere, a slogan admittedly rampant in the American media: "Guns don't kill people, people do." And in not having bothered to think it through for herself, actually believes it. I got as aggressive as I ever have been, and it took some serious self-restraint not to attack her in a very personal way, despite the fact that I don't even know who this person is. My friend did a great job in replying to her via fact instead of personal attack and I wish to share it here:
"People don't kill people with spoons, which is why we don't need Spoon Control. They kill people with guns, which is why we need some fucking gun control. This lunatic yesterday wouldn't be able to kill 20 children in a classroom with a spoon. Your argument is like saying, 'bats don't hit home-runs, players do.' Well, how many home runs do you think Babe Ruth would have hit without the bat?"
Today, I think about my little niece and nephew, who I was just buying Christmas-presents to yesterday... I think about a family of my own, that I might want to have one day. How would I feel sending my children to school in this country, at any age, if the laws regarding guns are as lax as they are today? I need not remind anyone, that this is far from the first attack of this kind in schools in the US.
Like it or not, mental illness is very common in this world. A lot of the time it is impossible to tell who of us may be afflicted with it. Truth be told, driven to dire circumstances, all of us are capable of heinous deeds. Whatever laws they are enforcing in Japan, Great Britain, Switzerland, Canada and Sweden, seem to be working better than the laws we aren't enforcing here in the States. As in the case of global warming, when oh when is the evidence enough, that we can't continue on
in the same trajectory??