Prayers for Virginia Tech and Some Thoughts on Gun Control

First of all, my prayers and sympathy for everyone who has suffered pain or loss at Virginia Tech.

As parents, we send our children to school with the belief that they will be safe there, but time and time again incidents such as these remind us that those expectations may not be accurate.

I watched the coverage all last night and listened to the pundits analyzing who was responsible and how things could have happened. Why did it take the university so long to notify everyone, etc. Everyone was looking not just for answers, but for someone to blame. They were talking about a new era in America, although it’s been at least a generation since Charles Whitman opened fire from a tower at the University of Texas in Austin. It’s not a new era, it’s the same old problem we have yet to address and the blame lies with the gunman who committed this horrible deed.

Here’s the reality of it, IMHO.

A gun in the hands of the right person can mean the difference between life and death.

A gun in the hands of the wrong person can only bring pain and death.

Unfortunately, too many wrong people have guns. Guns are too readily available in our society. I’m sure you’ve heard the slogans some use to defend this availability:

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.
If you outlaw guns, only criminals will have guns.

Then there’s the whole Second Amendment argument about the right to bear arms. For more details on the Second Amendment as well as comments on both sides of this argument, you can click here.

I don’t mean to downplay the Second Amendment. Like all the other amendments, it’s played a vital role in the development of our country and some will say that this amendment is one of the most important. Today, after what happened at Virginia Tech, or at Columbine, or at the University of Texas, you have to wonder if the Founding Fathers wouldn’t consider that this amendment needs some change.

Back to the reality of things — We can’t get rid of all the guns, but we also can’t allow all kinds of guns everywhere.

The answer is somewhere down the middle, namely, responsible regulation of who can get a gun and what kinds of guns they can get. That means a nationwide policy enforced across state lines, much like the drinking age.

Why nationwide? Because lack of a nationwide policy will continue to mean that guns from a state with less stringent standards will invariably end up in other states with stricter standards.

What are your thoughts today? How do you feel about guns and their availability?

6 thoughts on “Prayers for Virginia Tech and Some Thoughts on Gun Control”

  1. I’m with you on gun control. Like everything else the bottom line is money and ultimately control. It’s a big business and the gun lobby is the largest in our country, next to oil and look where that got us.

  2. There’s a Rueters report that has more details and also a quote from someone who believes more guns would have stopped this since the students could have defended themselves.

    I guess he thinks it’s okay to turn our classrooms into the OK Corral.

  3. You’re right that if someone is determined enough, they will find a way. Look at how easy it was for Timothy McVeigh to build a bomb, but from what I understand, that resulted in increased vigilance of certain fertilizer products.

    I haven’t seen the news yet or heard anything about the shooter, but you are right that somewhere along the line, he had exhibited behavior that either hadn’t been noticed or treated. My heart is also sad about his loss and the pain which his family will feel.

  4. I just don’t know if controlling guns is the answer. I’ve gone back and forth on this issue all my life. Sure if we could get rid of all the guns we could in theory eliminate the problem but I’m not sure we could ever get rid of all the guns. Guns are legal in this country and we still have a problem with people having illegal guns.

    Not long ago there were several news stories about young women who had been attacked in parking lots and were later found dead. At the time I remember thinking that all 16 year old women should be issued firearms and given commando style self defense training with their drivers licenses. Now this really was a nice fantasy more than anything. That the bas—-‘s would be surprised and eliminated just when they thought they were going to get their thrills really appealed to me. But like the notion of getting rid of all assault weapons it isn’t realistic at this point in time. I don’t own weapons but they do exist in my house locked up and I never see them. I’m not particularly comfortable with them but honestly I don’t think about them much.

    My first thought when I saw this story on the news yesterday was “mental health” and how we have failed to provide care for so many people over the years. We as a nation aren’t any more willing to spend the money to keep people in treatment that really need it than we are willing to take the guns away from those same people if it means taking away the guns from NRA members as well. It’s a very hard question. If they put it on the ballot I’d vote to restrict guns but I don’t really have any hope that that will eliminate this kind of situation. If they’re determined enough to plan such an attack I think they’d just find another way. gj

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