Editor’s Note: This article was written in July 2012 but its message continues to be relevant today…..
I don’t own a gun. Never have. Don’t really care for them as they seem to cause more harm than good.
That said, I’m not against you owning a gun. I have shot them before and understand (to a degree) the lure and power that comes with one. I understand (to a degree) some of the logical reasons people own them–hunting and self defense are reasonable reasons.
What I do not understand is the belief that we cannot place any restrictions on who can buy a gun and what kind of gun they can own. Unbridled availability of any kind of gun to any person doesn’t seem to be in humanity’s best interest.
The recent tragedy in Colorado has reopened the debate….just as we expected it would. The debate arose after Congresswoman Gifford was shot a year ago….and then it died down.
Today, progressive commentator Thom Hartmann discussed this issue and highlighted comments by President Obama who is finally making the point that we should place some restrictions on gun ownership. Click here to view the video.
I am happy to see common sense being presented. No doubt it will draw the ire of those who hold dearly to their guns as well as an unreasonable and ungrounded fear that any restrictions on ownership, no matter how slight, will lead to no guns at all.
Ironically, on a recent episode of the new HBO series The Newsroom, the main character did an on air report about the lies told by certain politicians and the gun lobby that Obama was out to take away guns. He cited the Brady campaign score of “F” by Obama (referenced in the Hartmann video) on efforts to curtail guns to show that such comments were simply not true. Why did they tell these lies, he asked himself? His self answer was that they told these untruths in order to instill fear against the President, to raise money for their cause and to sell more guns.
I am still saddened by the events in Colorado a week ago. But I will be sadder if we as a people continue to simply resign ourselves to the fact that “nothing can be done about it”. Here’s a sobering report if you need more information to convince you to do something: Go here to view a 62 page report listing all of the mass shootings in the United States since 2005. 62 pages! These 62 pages represent media reported events where someone used a gun to shoot more than one person in a single event. Does that not upset you on some level?
Other countries allow guns but place greater restrictions on their sale. We can too.
Last year, Sen. Frank Lautenberg made the statement that “When we look at the number of murders in the United States (in) 2009, we had 9,500 people murdered. When we look around the world, we see … large countries, the U.K., Germany, Japan had 200 or less killed in a year.” Gun proponents hear these statements and begin to dispute such facts. Yet, the web site PolitiFact analyzed the Senator’s statment and found it to be true, saying “the senator was actually a little low in his estimate of firearm homicides in the U.S. for 2009”. Here is their report.
Like I said, I’m not trying to take away anyone’s right to own a gun. However, I do think it is time to begin considering what we think is in our best interest as a society—reasonable limits on guns or no limits?
My worldview is that we are all connected….when we live in that place of interconnectedness, we want the best for the whole, for everyone. When your worldview is that we are separate entities living in a “survival of the fittest” world, giving into an animalistic nature of survival mentality, then you live in fear of your fellow humans and such fear drives the need for guns.
I am a realist and an optimist. I know that in our current state of evolution we cannot eliminate the need to have tools such as guns to control the unreasonable actions of individuals still living in fear and separation. But we can begin to take steps to limit uncontrolled availability of guns. Other countries have placed reasonable limits on guns and have less killing of their fellow human beings. The US can do it too. What’s it going to be? Taking reasonable common sense steps to reduce the killing or allowing guns to flow freely to the hands of those who will continue to use them to cause harm?
Which course of action comes from a sense of unity and love? Which course of action comes from a sense of separation and fear?
Which course is for humanity’s highest future?
What do you choose? What are you going to do with that choice?
Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!