The Great Gun Debate

My heart is still broken for the families and friends of those killed in Wednesday’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida. I can’t even bring myself to watch much of the news; it’s just too disturbing.

“Something needs to be done!” That is an obvious, and true statement and it is one which has been echoed many, many times in recent days. The question is: what?

If you look at social media, you have a strong contingent of fine folks who believe that the United States needs tougher gun laws. Some are even calling for outright gun bans. But, is banning or restricting guns really the answer? I’m serious about this question.

Guns have been a big part of American life since before this country was founded. Yet, these horrible mass shootings are relatively new event, at least with this regularity. What changed? Are guns easier to legally acquire than in times past? I don’t think so.

It’s too easy to just blame mental illness as well. Other nations have mentally ill people without this level of trauma.

I remember being a child in a household where there were many guns kept in an unlocked bedroom closet, yet, neither I nor my siblings, ever even thought about taking one of those weapons and shooting up the school. In our little rural, hunting community, you were likely to find firearms in the vehicles in the school parking lot, yet no one gave it a second thought.

Again I ask, what has changed?

Could it be that we, as a society, have changed in regards to the value we put on life? Have we become so self-important that we no longer can see the value in others?

I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that knee-jerk reactions, like those clouding Facebook and Twitter, aren’t the answer. We need to get to the root cause so that we can solve this terrible problem.

Do I support radical gun control? No. That’s contrary to the Constitution and the very principles our country was founded upon. One thing I do support is paying higher taxes if it means putting trained and vetted, armed guards in our schools to protect our little ones.

No child should have to fear for his or her life just to go to school.

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