Some might expect a column from me on resolutions for 2019, but I’ll pass on that subject. My habits are deeply ingrained and chances of changing are nil. I prefer to write about gun violence in America.
Believe me, it will get closer and closer to you and will no longer be the problem for other schools, other neighborhoods, other countries. When Nikolas Cruz murdered 17 students and employees at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, a student athlete in my communication class at Edison State Community College, a recent graduate of that school, knew many of the deceased.
Do I have a solution to these killings? No. And even if I thought I did, I’m powerless to enact legislation. That is the responsibility of those in Washington, D.C. Can they look to Japan and Australia for solutions? In part, maybe, although the United States is very different from those two countries and requires an approach that considers our history, our norms, our diverse cultures.
As our institutions and businesses have active shooter training, automatic lock downs on exterior and interior doors, and the introduction of armed guards, we need to be thinking about possible solutions, solutions which may only be partial. The issue of “whole hog or none” was dismissed by intelligent citizens a very long time ago. So what do some of my Facebook friends think about the issue of gun control?
• Tom Gallagher writes, “I personally think limiting all auto and semi-auto weapons would be a good place to start. This would allow revolvers for home protection and most actual hunting weapons. Not as rigid as most other countries but a start.”
• Bill Purk advocates, “Armed snipers at all 4 corners @ Vegas wudda helped. Call me morbid. Some people have such demons and no regard for life.”
• Amanda Bylczynski believes, “I honest think gun control should be like a driver’s license. To get a gun, you need to be educated and screened. …We no longer have respect for the weapon.”
•Ann Hogue Midkiff admits, “I honestly don’t know that gun control will help. Bad people will always get the guns somehow.”
• Jess Besecker says, “I don’t have the answers, but I have a firm belief that mass murders/gun violence is closely related to the many mental health issues we face in this country. It’s not a gun problem: it’s a mental health problem.”
• Susanmelindamathildamarie knows, “It’s an anger problem, anger so rageful that the mass killer believes he is entitled to kill to make others suffer as he believes he has been made to suffer.”
• Don Stackhouse writes, “… More gun laws will not put a dent in the problem. At some point, we will have to reduce the number of guns in this country and reduce it dramatically. That’s something no one even wants to admit, much less address, but if you look at the numbers, it’s unmistakable.”
Associated Press reporter Michael Balsamo recently reported that the White House moved on Dec. 18, 2018, to “officially ban bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like automatic firearms, and has made them illegal to possess beginning in late March.”
With the focus on the wall, the withdrawal of troops from Syria, the Mueller investigation, the ongoing resignations from the White House staff, the government shutdown and the change in January to Democrat control of the House of Representatives, it seems as if the American public has little time to consider the mass murders of Americans — until the next one comes along, at which time some Americans will offer prayers of support for a day or so and move on with their lives.
Dr. Blevins has taught undergraduate and graduate students as well as prison inmates, and now teachescommunication and American literature classes at Edison State Community College. Reach her at (937)778-3815 or firstname.lastname@example.org.