Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

10 Apr

Yesterday I wrote a satirical piece about guns and gun regulation. Some people who read it didn’t get it. No, I wasn’t suggesting that stabbing 14 people was or ever could be a good thing…and I wasn’t trying to suggest that we really outlaw people…that would be like suggesting the eating of babies to solve world hunger…My point was that guns are dangerous because people use them to hurt each other and just because guns are inanimate objects that need people to operate them doesn’t mean that people should have free and easy access to them.

But now it’s time to get serious because yesterday, in my neighborhood, a 4 year old boy shot his 6 year old next door neighbor with a 22 caliber rifle. Scout’s honor, I kid you not. And Is my neighborhood next door to Fort Apache? No. Do I live in the middle of the Middle East? Nope. It’s just a quiet residential neighborhood 2 blocks from a grammar school in the suburban New Jersey town of Toms River.

Here in Central New Jersey we mostly expect to die from old age or traffic accidents or as you might have recently  read,  the slow and deadly ingestion of toxic waste and chemicals, but certainly not from random shootings… Today that little 6 year old boy died.

So  I ask you, is there anywhere in this country where anyone should ever expect to die from gunshot wounds? If you are a gun enthusiast and opposed to any and all gun regulation and laws then your answer is probably and sadly…yes. And your solution is also probably that only more guns for more people to defend themselves with, is the answer to gun violence.

You would probably also say that the reduction of guns or the strengthening of gun laws will be of no help because people are the ones who kill and not the guns…and many of you will go even so far as to say that the guns don’t make it any easier for people to do harm. Harmful people will do harm anyway, whether they have a gun or a knife or a rock or hammer etc…or whether they are 40, 14 or…even 4! And of course there is your favorite phrase…”If we outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns.”

To which I must finally say, Will you never learn anything?

If you own a gun then you have only three possible outcomes. Either you will be an outlaw and use your weapon to rob, kill or harm others or you will wait… wait… wait…and wait some more for that imagined glorious moment in your lives when you get the drop on the outlaw and kill or harm or scare the crap out of him yourself.

The third possible outcome is that someone who you love or care about will accidently or on purpose shoot someone else who you love or care about (possibly yourself)… or they will shoot a whole bunch of others for no apparent reason other than they have lost their minds and all sense of human decency.

That’s it. 3 possible outcomes and if you don’t think that all of them are bad then really where do you see this ending? Seriously. Don’t preach to me your second amendment rights. Offer some solutions please. And please offer some solutions that don’t make you sound like a moron.

But There is however a fourth outcome and that is that your gun is never used to rob or kill anyone at all… Because here in the 21st century you really don’t need guns…not for hunting for food, not for defending your country from foreign invaders, not for fending off  savages or slaves, or wild animals who roam your domesticated suburbs and cities…and if you don’t need it for those things you certainly don’t need it for practice…unless of course you want that gun to be ready to someday kill another human being…which again is a serious reason for you to think twice about yourself and about your views on humanity.

Guns and weapons of mutual destruction only serve to keep us primitive. Only by regulating our use and need and desire for them can we ever hope to someday become completely civilized.

And if you can’t understand that, then please, please, please… don’t ever have children… Because in the long run…that probably will help us all more than you may ever know.

23 Responses to “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”

  1. Ravi Chander April 10, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    The Senate will hold a vote on gun control legislation Thursday. Let’s see what happens.
    The 2nd Amendment made sense when it was adopted, but now it needs a serious rethink. I would be happy if as a first step private ownership of assault rifles were banned.
    Keeping fingers crossed.

  2. 1tric April 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    I loved your humor yesterday and thought you made your point very well. Todays post should definitely work for those who didn’t quite get it.

  3. Allison April 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    The suicide issue is so blatantly ignored by gun advocates…and that’s exactly what they are doing, advocating guns, even if they want to disguise themselves as Constitutional defenders. The rates of suicides by guns is massive, particularly when compared with other means, and that in and of itself tells you that not having one around prevents deaths from occurring. Having access to a knife does not encourage people to kill themselves and it does not increase the likelihood of a household member dying at the blade, but a gun is another matter entirely because the difference between completed suicides and failed attempts is not even close to being merely a factor of the tool that was used. Furthermore, using that knowledge and applying it to criminality is a natural step, not a ridiculous assumption. Access to a gun encourages someone to commit a crime by making them feel powerful, or giving them a spark of an idea that access to a hammer simply does not spark.

    • W E Patterson April 18, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

      You are right. This issue in the gun control battle is largely overlooked. Several people that I know have chosen to end their lives using this method. Most used handguns – one used a rifle. Would they have succeeded using another method? Perhaps, but access to such a quick and easy method of dispatch certainly made it easy.

      • Allison April 18, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

        If, sadly, their decisions were hasty they might not have even attempted another method.

  4. Ty McDuffie April 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    Very insightful…..I’m glad I took the time to read your post………….As ALWAYS!

  5. Jae April 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    Pearl High School shooting, 1997, stopped by the assistant principal who ran to his truck to get his .45 semi-auto pistol. One wonders how many more deaths he might have prevented had he been conceal carrying in the school.

    Clare Cooper owned a jewelry store and in 1995 had a group of thugs enter the store intending to rob it. Clare managed to chase them off by retrieving his rifle and firing shots.

    2007, gunman goes into the New Life Church in Colorado to shoot up the place, but is stopped by one of the members who had a CCW permit.

    2009, a shooter enters the Golden Food market in Virginia and starts shooting the place up, is stopped by a customer with a CCW permit who ended up saving the lives of 8 other people.

    I’ve got a dozen more mass shooting examples stopped by armed citizens I can post. This doesn’t include that guns are used in self-defense 2 million plus times per year. On another note, our violent crime rate is down 50% since 1992 (despite the assault rifles ban being lifted) as is our murder rate. (And just to add, since people love to compare us with the UK, their violent crime rate is 3.5 times ours).

    It’s shameful that there are people irresponsible with their guns and more importantly not teaching their kids proper gun safety. We had two rifles and a pistol in my home growing up. I knew exactly where they were and I knew where the ammo was, but because my dad had taught us the proper respect for guns none of us ever once had any sort of gun issue.

    Banning guns won’t stop shootings from happening. But we do see armed citizens can stop shootings from happening. Weapons-free zones only make it easier for thugs to kill.

    And just for clarification in case there are some still uninformed about guns, you can’t walk into the Wal-mart and buy fully automatic weapons. You can only buy a fully automatic weapon if you go through a rigorous Federal screening process and obtain a very hard to get permit to get one. The last few major shootings in the news none of the shooters had fully auto weapons.

    If you don’t like guns, that’s okay, but don’t infringe on the rights of responsible citizens who like to have the option to defend themselves against thugs.

    • gpicone April 10, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

      How many semi or fully automatic weapons are used to break up public shootings? Your solution to the problem is still “don’t infringe on my rights” and “eye for an eye” defensive killing. Do you have any New Testament solutions to offer?

      • Jae April 10, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

        The majority of the shootings I listed were broken up with semi. As I stated before, fully are extremely difficult to come by and wouldn’t be any concealed carriers weapon of choice to conceal, most often because they’re usually bulky. But I’m guessing you meant to say rifles. You should distinguish which you mean as pistols are typically semi unless they are a revolver.

        As for I’m guessing what was meant to be a slur on my Christianity, my New Testament solution would be to “cast stones” at the criminals instead of law-abiding citizens. If people get killed by cars, is it then justifiable to take away my car? Or if someone is a violent drunk, or frequently drove drunk and killed someone, is it then justifiable to ban alcohol from everyone, just in case?

        The fact is less than 1% of all guns in America are used in crime. 90% of gun crimes occur in gun-free zones—easy targets. 550 rapes are prevented—a day—because the defender had a gun. Are you really telling me to take my chances getting raped?

        Like I said, if you don’t like guns, don’t own them. But work toward solutions that punish criminals, not law-abiding citizens.

      • gpicone April 10, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

        Punish criminals? Good lord! We have over 2 million now. We definitely are good at punishing. I was not slurring your Christianity. I meant, do you have any solutions to offer that don’t involve violence? And NO ONE is ever going to take your guns of which there are already 300 million in the USA. Do you see the government confiscating any cars???? And we have all sorts of MV regulations. Why can’t guns be regulated too and require testing, both written and practical, and insurance and registration and inspections to raise taxes to help pay for all of the shootings. Is it because Cars aren’t mentioned in the Constitution? I wonder why they didn’t mention cars in the Constitution? 550 rapes are prevented every day by women with guns? Really? Can you show me that statistic? If it is real I would be happy to write about it in my blog…Where are the gun free zones of which you speak? I have never heard of one of those in the US before (excepting jails) and I would like to research that also. I DO NOT want to see you or anyone else raped or murdered so please get off that rhetoric. It does not help the discussion. Guns are here and they are here to stay. I will give you that but since you love them so much then you should be able to offer some solutions to help keep young children safer and out of the adult crossfire and adult carelessness that many lawful gun owners demonstrate. Thanks.

    • Anne April 11, 2013 at 11:26 am #

      You might be interested to read this article which provides research data to show that “good guys with guns” don’t stop public shooting rampages. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/04/mass-shootings-rampages-rising-data

      • Jae April 11, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

        Since a lot of these shootings took place in weapons-free zones and since good guys tend to follow the law, they wouldn’t have a weapon to use to stop the shooter because they were observing the law. The ones I listed above were stopped by good guys with guns.

        Although I always appreciate links, I’m a bit skeptical your article comes from left-wing organization. Wouldn’t that be akin to me posting links to Rush Limbaugh’s website or the NRA to prove my point?

  6. mollytopia April 10, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

    Thanks for this post. I totally agree with you, and I’m very sorry for your neighbor’s loss. I can’t even imagine…I’ve also enjoyed reading the pro-gun comments. It’s always good to hear both sides. It doesn’t change my mind, but I can respect her point of view. Great post : )

  7. mybeautfulthings April 10, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    Brilliant post full of common sense which is not always heard here in Britain when US gun laws are spoken about. I am so sorry about your little neighbour. Let’s hope the vote will go the way of some legislation.

    All the best to you 🙂

  8. appletonavenue April 10, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    Sorry I didn’t get your message yesterday clearly. My apologies.

  9. camparigirl April 10, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

    I grew up in Europe where it’s next to impossible for common people to purchase guns so I realize my view is entirely skewed. I live in a fairly remote area of LA (as remote as it can be in LA) where, if a robber came in and I was able to call 911, it would take at least 45 minutes for a police car to get here. Still, I feel no need to arm myself. And I am totally amazed at some of my liberal friends’ attachment to the second amendment and how many of them own guns. I am watching the debates in amazement because I just can’t wrap my head around this “just in case” need – just in case of what?

  10. momshieb April 11, 2013 at 12:12 am #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have summed up, far more gently than I could have managed, all of the reasons why good people in a civilized country should be demanding that guns be banned.
    As for the argument above, where “a gun stopped more killing”, the answer to me is obvious: If we had stopped making/selling/owning guns in the first place, then gun #2 would not have been necessary, because gun #1 would not have been in the hands of the killer.
    Honestly, how hard is that to grasp?!

  11. Ophelia's Dreaming April 11, 2013 at 4:29 am #

    A thoughtful, articulate post. As someone from north of the 49th parallel, I have trouble understanding that whole second amendment thing. And, also, do no feel convinced that having guns around makes a society safer. Also, what other purpose to assault weapons is there than to kill people? That said, I echo the sentiment of momshieb’s comment.

  12. jhubner73 April 11, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    Common sense??? My God, it’s been so long since I’ve read it within the confines of this NRA circle jerk issue. Thanks for writing something insightful regarding gun legislation.

  13. Barbara Backer-Gray April 11, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    Good post. Poor kids! To be honest, if after everything that has happened, pro-gun folks still haven’t changed their attitude, then they’re never going to. What I would like to see in the constitution is the right to a reasonably safe existence. And then see what trumps what. Because I feel that my right to be safe, and for my child to be safe in school trumps others’ rights to bear arms. And that’s the case in most of the world.

  14. ontyrepassages April 12, 2013 at 3:46 am #

    It should be kept in mind that humans are emotional creatures. Minutemen and their muskets are the patriotic and idealistic view many cite when talking about guns. The dark side includes suicide, domestic disputes, and decisions made while intoxicated.

  15. chemocurls April 18, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I was very saddened by the vote on gun legislation yesterday. I live in OK and there is so much hate and misinformation here. Scary. Keep up the good work. I enjoyed reading your post.

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