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Guns are Not the Problem, Society Is

Since the beginning of mankind evil existed and one of the first documented murders is found in the Book of Genesis; it involves the two sons of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel. Although no motive was given, many believe the murder was driven by jealousy. Cain actually lured his brother Abel into a field and attacked him. There was no mention as to how or with what Cain slew his brother but one thing is evident and that is he did not murder him with a gun.

From the very moment our ancestors first set foot in this new world bloodshed was rampant. We brought disease to the Americas when Christopher Columbus arrived in 1490 thus having a devastating effect on the Native American population and some historians theorize that it was the first documented act of biological warfare via intentionally spreading smallpox and measles; to many it was the most massive act of genocide in the history of mankind.

Before the Stone age it is believed that some of the oldest weapons were made by man 500,000 BC; the most popular weapon made was wooden spears which were used not only for hunting purposes but also to kill man. Spearheads were later made from chiseled stone. Around 3300 BC was the Copper Age and shortly thereafter was the Bronze Age; during these times man learned how to make swords, knives and daggers made from metals. Most early weapons were made during the Iron Age 1200BC.

It has been clearly documented that well before firearms were invented that man used weapons for killing; whether murder was committed with bare hands, a stone weapon, club, mace, spear, knife, dagger, arrow, or swords man has used these weapons to kill man.

Evil is a part of our world and there is nothing mankind can do to totally eradicate it. Weapons alone cannot kill and weapons alone are not evil; it is the evil within the man that kills and/or uses weapons to kill. As long as there are people in this world, murders will continue to happen. No matter how restrictive laws become it will be impossible to stop killings. If laws were able to totally eliminate a certain weapon, a killer will always find another means to carry out a killing.

It appears as if killings are more common now than they have ever been and that is partly true. As the population grows, the number of killings will inevitably rise; however the ratio percentage of murders/population has remained relatively consistent. The ratio between people murdered by Firearms compared to persons killed by Alcohol Related motor vehicle accidents reflect that you are one and a half times more likely to be killed by a vehicle driven by someone who had been drinking than you are a firearm. Another reason why it seems as if there are more killings is because of the media; the world has become a smaller place due to technology. Not all that long ago it was rare to hear about crimes or killings that happened in other states but now through technology such as iPads, Television, etc. the news travels much quicker.

It is a tragedy what has happened in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December 2012 as well as some of the other schools throughout the past years such as Columbine High School in Colorado (1999), Virginia Tech. (2007), and the University of Texas (1966). It is horrifying to think about these killings but we need to learn from them; although we can never totally prevent these types of killings from happening we can certainly minimize them via understanding and learning the motive behind them.

Whenever something like a mass shooting happens it is a knee-jerk reaction to blame weapons and demand stricter gun control laws; that simply is not the answer. Remember, guns don’t kill people; man kills people. If guns were completely outlawed criminals will still find a way to obtain them. Think about this; during Prohibition our Government outlawed alcohol entirely but what happened was a Black-Market was actually created and the crime rate actually increased. The laws were not able to stop the production and consumption of Alcohol nor would such laws stop the production and possession of firearms. Drugs are another example; our nation has some of the toughest drugs laws on the face of the planet however you can obtain any type of illegal drugs within minutes of trying. When you outlaw certain things you will create a higher demand and it will equate to more money for criminal empires. It will definitely create another market for Organized Crime. As with drugs, weapons will still find their way across our borders and end up in the hands of Criminals. So no matter what, you need to come to the realization that it is absolutely impossible to eradicate firearms and those individuals who want them badly enough will find a way to obtain them.

There is nothing that a Criminal, with or without a weapon, fears more and that is a Citizen with a gun. Criminals are not afraid of a Law-Enforcement Officer because they know that police need to follow certain protocol and cannot shoot a fleeing armed suspect unless he/she is an imminent threat to the life of another. There are 31-States that legally permit its citizens to carry concealed firearms and on the average there is a 19% lower murder rate 39% lower Robbery rate compared to the minority (19) states that prohibit its citizens from carry firearms. If guns were outlawed, then a Burglar would have nothing to fear when he breaks into a home in the middle of the night; on the contrary if a Burglar wasn’t sure if a homeowner was armed with a firearm, there would be a lesser chance the Burglar would enter an occupied home. Even in regards to other crimes such as Carjacking, Rape, Robbery, Abductions, Kidnappings, etc. a criminal would be much likelier to rethink committing said crimes if he suspected his considered victim was armed. New Jersey does not permit its citizens to carry a concealed firearm (for the most part) however its bordering state, Pennsylvania, does. There is not a rash of crimes and shootings in Pennsylvania because of the many guns that are permitted to be carried concealed. In fact, New Jersey has a higher crime rate per capita then Pennsylvania. Serious Armed Crimes such as Car-jackings, abductions, rape, robberies, burglaries, rapes, and murders are much higher in New Jersey than in Pennsylvania likely because the Criminals are not fearful of the citizens knowing the citizens will not have a concealed firearm.

If guns were somehow eliminated, a killer would find another weapon to commit the murder. Some may argue that a gun can kill more people than a knife and that simply is not true. For example, using the incident in Connecticut, the shooter targeted young children and shot them multiple times. Those children were too young to protect themselves and stood no chance whether he had a knife or a gun; the killer was intent on ensuring the children and adults were dead, therefore if he had a knife he would have likely stabbed them multiple times. Had he targeted an Eighth grade class with a gun, the number of people probably would have been less because, at that age, children have more insight and physical and mental ability to run or fight. To take it a step further, had the shooter targeted a college class, the numbers would likely be even lower because young adults have a greater insight and physical strength to overcome the shooter much like the passengers on the American Airlines planes that were hijacked by terrorists in 2000; this leads to my next point.

On the morning of September 11th 2000, there were four planes that were each hijacked by five terrorists connected with al-Qaeda. The terrorist were not armed with firearms, rather they were armed with box-cutter razor-blade knives. Information obtained from the plane’s cockpit recorder, along with information relayed to loved ones from passengers who called home, indicated that the terrorists used the knives to stab and kill some passengers. As a result of the attacks 2,996 people were killed that day not by firearms but rather by man.

According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, between 2006 and 2010, there had been an average of 37,632 Motor vehicle Fatalities of which an average of 11,846 of those fatalities involved Alcohol-impaired drivers. In comparison, there are approximately 9,746 murders a year involving firearms. The rate of Gun Homicides per 100,000 people has actually declined every year since 2005. By far, many more people are killed each year by distracted drivers who are texting, eating, putting on make-up, etc. than there are people who are killed by firearms.

If legislators and government want to outlaw firearms you must then ask yourself why do they not have the same determination, energy, and desire to outlaw Automobiles, Knives, or anything else that can cause or be used to cause murder. After all, statistical data clearly shows that many other things are used much more often to commit murders than firearms. It is evident that there is an ulterior motive to ban firearms and you must try to understand what that is.

The answer is not to outlaw firearms because that would only create worse problems for society as a whole. Our founding fathers wrote the United States Constitution to protect its citizens; the Second Amendment of the Constitution protects the “right of the people to keep and bear arms and should not be infringed”. This was intended as a layer of protection from the government. Too often our Government uses fear to strip the people of Constitutional Rights. Immediately after the Connecticut incident politicians began using it to justify the need for stricter gun laws and some politicians are calling for a total banning of firearms altogether. Many politicians take advantage of the people during an emotional time in their lives realizing after a tragedy people are fearful, angry and confused. Many politicians attempt to act swiftly in passing laws under the guise of protecting you when rely their true motive is more Government Control at the expense of your freedom and Constitutional Rights. A similar ploy was used by our Government after the terror attacks with the creation of the Patriot Act which stripped Americans of many Constitutional Rights & Privacy without most people even realizing what happened to well after the fact. These same politicians rely on people feeling awkward or ashamed to voice their opposition after a tragedy in fear of seeming insensitive or uncaring. The reality is that if you continue to keep quiet and not let your voice be heard then soon you will have fewer and fewer rights and less privacy. World Governments that disarm its citizens create a fear of the government and have greater control of the citizens which leads to a Totalitarian State.

Gun laws should be tougher only in regards to stricter punishments on those who use a firearm to commit a crime. Education is a key factor in regards to anything in which you are trying to improve. Firearms have been a part of our country and heritage since the country’s inception and will remain a big part of who we are. Therefore we need to dedicate our focus and energy on teaching respect for guns, educating people on ways to safeguard them when they are not in use, and becoming more understanding of statistics which reflect the fact that crime is actually lower in states that permit its citizens to bear firearms.

If there was one armed adult in any of the schools were shootings had taken place, or even a Police Officer assigned to the school, then it would be reasonable to believe that there would have been fewer deaths; even if it was one less death then it would prove this point. We have armed police officers at movie theatres, carnivals, concerts and sporting events however we do not have armed police officers in each and every school protecting our most precious resources- our children. It simply does not make sense. Taxes would be considered wisely spent to employ and assign a police officer to each school rather than assigning a police officer to a construction site on a closed roadway.

Whether or not the shooter in Connecticut had previous documented mental illness is not the point; the reality is that on that day there was something mentally wrong and he was determined to kill; so whether he had a gun or not he would have likely used something else to kill those unarmed children. What good would limitations be on Magazine clips? For example, whether someone uses a magazine that holds 50-rounds or 10-magazines that hold 5-rounds a shooter can still shoot 50-rounds of bullets; it literally takes milliseconds to eject and insert another magazine. Besides, criminals will be able and will gain access to higher capacity magazines. Don’t be fooled by the images of the gun the media has shown and classified it as an assault weapon. There were two semi-automatic handguns and one semi-automatic Rifle. The Rifle may look intimidating but is no different in mechanics than most other rifles. They were not “fully” automatic weapons and each of the three guns could only fire one bullet at a time with each pull of the trigger; they are not machine guns. In other words you must pull the trigger once for each bullet to be shot; you cannot simply hold the trigger down to fire bullets. Rifles are used more for long rage and handguns are made for closer quarters and in actuality the shooter could have easily killed even more people in a shorter amount of time had he used the handguns. The media is simply ignorant and loves to dramatize situations hence the focus on the AR-15 Rifle. The media is leading people to believe that the firearm used was a machine gun capable of spraying hundreds of rounds with one pull of the trigger and that simply is incorrect.

Our society does not understand or acknowledge Mental Illness as much as it should. Even Insurance Companies do not permit professionals to treat or provide medical coverage to for those individuals dealing with Mental illness as they do with Physical illness. We as a society, need to pressure the elected politicians (who are supposed to represent the interest of the people) to create laws mandating Insurance Companies to provide the proper and needed care to those with mental illness. Society needs to better respect those dealing with such issues as opposed to shunning those individuals. Again, education is the key to change and progress. We need better education as far as diagnosing mental or emotional deficiencies without causing the stigma associated with such. Those dealing with mental illness are fearful of the stigma that is carried with seeking such treatment and for some reason our society outcasts those with mental issues and the end result is that people feel embarrassed or ashamed to seek help for such issues in fear of being labeled crazy. People do not hesitate to seek medical assistance/treatment for a physical ailment but they delay or avoid seeking help for emotional and/or psychological ailments. Usually the warning signs are there but either they are ignored or not recognized. Just as with a cancer that goes undiagnosed, or someone who ignores the physical symptoms of a problem, the end result will likely be terminal or severe; well if a mental or emotional issue goes untreated then it too could have a devastating outcome. We have to believe that if we could encourage friends, family, co-workers, etc. to seek professional help then there would likely be fewer incidents like the one we saw the other day.

Darrell Scott provided this Statement to Congress after his Daughter was killed and his son was seriously injured during the shooting at Columbine High School. If prohibition or stricter gun laws were beneficial this man certainly would support such measures however he too realizes that there are no laws that will prevent senseless killings once someone is determined to plan and execute mass killings.

Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.” “The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field.

The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart. In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA.

I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA – because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest opponent.

I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy-it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room.

Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem that expresses my feelings best. This was written way before I knew I would be speaking here today:

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You’ve stripped away our heritage,
You’ve outlawed simple prayer.

Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question “Why?”

You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!

Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual influences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact.

What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties.

We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

Political posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers. The young people of our nation hold the key. There is a spiritual awakening taking place that will not be squelched! We do not need more religion. We do not need more gaudy television evangelists spewing out verbal religious garbage. We do not need more million dollar church buildings built while people with basic needs are being ignored.

We do need a change of heart and a humble acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God! As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, He did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right!

I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA- I give to you a sincere challenge.

Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter’s death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!

References

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cain_and_Abel
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocides_in_history
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weapon
  • http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/showthread.php?86794-Comparing-quot-Alcohol-Related-quot-vehicle-accidents-to-firearm-murders
  • http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/gun-control-myths-realities
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacks
  • http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/2012/DOT+Kicks+Off+Nationwide+Crackdown
    +on+Drunk+Driving,+Warns+Public+to+’Drive+Sober+or+Get+Pulled+Over’
  • http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/united-states
  • http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/scott.asp

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