Please take a second or two to look at the picture above and then ask yourself “What was he thinking?”
When I started writing these articles my goal was to bring another view point to the table and if I knew something that I thought might be important or might move someone to consider another point of view I would share it. I want to pass onto the next generation a world where our children can be safe, can flourish and thrive, can become all they were meant to be and a place where we, all, could feel safe walking down the street day or night or leave our homes knowing that when we return we will find them as we left them. Sounds idyllic I grant you. How many other folks have wanted to do the same thing. However,that path is fraught with danger and best intentions. I understand all of that. But I want to try anyway. I get that we can’t limit other’s life choices to satisfy our own beliefs around what is best for everyone. But when does common sense make an entrance? Always the question isn’t it.
So this week we find ourselves in a familiar place when we talk about guns and gun control. A young girl was being taught how to shoot an Uzi by a qualified gun instructor in Nevada when she lost control of the weapon and shot and killed the instructor. Tragic. Absolutely. Necessary? Absolutely NOT. What were these guys thinking when they decided she should learn how to shoot an Uzi? Obviously NOT much.
If we try to look at guns dispassionately, which is difficult to do these days, guns can be seen this way:
1. Hand guns are used for close quarter use only. Folks don’t hunt with a hand gun unless the quarry is human. So basically that means the other use would be for self-protection. Who or what does a 9 year old need that kind of protection from? Perhaps her father’s ego. She should be playing with her friends and doing what 9 year old kids used to do not all that many years ago. That would not include learning how to use a killing machine.
2. Rifles and long guns can be used for longer range human hunting but mostly for putting food on the family table or sport which is becoming more difficult to accept since scopes and stuff take the element of skill out of real hunting. You want to hunt then use a bow and arrow set-up. Give the animal a chance to outsmart your sorry a–.
3. Then there is the favoured semi-automatic and full mag types where mega shots can be fired off in a few seconds. What these weapons are used for, outside of military applications, is beyond me. In urban settings they are used to instill fear and intimidation. The idea being that if I can shoot off more shots than the other guy then I stand a better chance of killing him before he kills me. Brilliant. If you’re a gang banger or a wanabe try doing it the old fashioned way–use your fists and a metal bar of some kind. The point is there really aren’t any good reasons why a 9 year old girl would need to know how to use anything outside of a pea shooter. Really not a great decision on the parent(s) part and I would have said that before this tragedy took place. What were they thinking? The instructor is dead and the little girl is messed up for life. For what?
The supposed civilized world is addicted to guns and violence. We seem to enjoy the power and control that comes with killing. Some might say it is euphoric. What is troubling to me is that our young men and women are participating in stabbings and shootings more often with less concern about the outcomes. Human life seems to be losing its value and its importance. And please lets not go waving the 2nd amendment around in everyone’s face. This whole thing is strictly about money and the enormous amounts to be made. I didn’t know until recently that some manufacturers of weapons (guns) have designed rifles that are smaller than the normal ones so that kids can handle them better. What are they thinking? Proponents of owning a gun point to the number of child related accidents involving guns having decreased. Wow! Are we supposed to be happy with this ground breaking news? There shouldn’t be ANY reported incidents or accidents involving kids and guns. Even the name of the place in Nevada where this killing took place-‘Bullets and Burgers’-smacks of the effort to ‘normalize guns and their use. It’s a blatant effort to proselytize-to gather the next generation of gun owners and nothing more. It’s like let’s all go to the Dairy Queen for a cone and pop off a few rounds while were at it. There is such a concerted effort to ‘normalize’ gun ownership. What are they thinking?
So it gets back to providing responsible parental guidance. As their mentors we need to be sending the right messages concerning individual freedoms that are tempered with self control and positive regard for others. I’d hope to see parents teaching their children how to be leaders and the importance of respecting other people for who they are. Let’s teach our kids about valuing human life. Our children become who we train them to be for the most part. They will exhibit the values, morals and behaviours that we demonstrate to them and that we emphasize as important and necessary. We do that by showing them how we choose to live our lives on a daily basis. It takes us to be less greedy and self centered and more cognizant of the others we share the planet with-that’s all.
What will we be thinking?
Anyway, that’s how I see it–Jim
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