Most days I won’t be talking to the flavor of this post. This is a review blog and a personal blog, and I think that it’s for the best that I avoid topics like politics and current events. However, while I was at the Hobbit, I saw something that scared me, and then this weekend was a pretty scary one too, so I thought I would talk about it.
So, what’s gotten me hot and bothered? It starts with The Hobbit. Those of you who read my blog last Friday know that I saw, and enjoyed, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Adventure. What I didn’t write about at the time was what I saw before the movie started. Not the previews- the M-16 rifle that the police officer was toting around. I understood that this was backlash from the Dark Knight shootings. Whenever a shooter makes a large public shooting, you can be damned sure that copycats are going to be close on their heels, imitating. However, it really scared me. While I can, in a twisted sort of way, understand why a crazed gunman might make an appearance at a movie whose theme focused on the depravity of mankind through what’s mostly a hostage situation, but the Hobbit? A feel good fantasy adventure movie? I wouldn’t have personally assumed that any gunman would choose that movie as the focus of a rampage (which is why I’m not a police officer/public official) At the time, my girlfriend and I made light of the situation, complaining about how our seating left us particularly vulnerable to a potential gunman, making plans on what we would do if a gunman appeared. Looking back on it now, it’s not very funny.
This brings me to Sandy Hook Elementary. I’m sure most of you have heard by now, but on Friday morning, a lone gunman forced his way into an elementary school in Connecticut. He racked up 27 kills in a matter of hours. 20 of those kills were first grade students. They’re saying that this is the worst school shooting since the Columbine shootings and the Virginia Tech Massacre. Since Friday morning, there have been four or five other gunmen who have been arrested with plots to shoot a large number of people. Three of these plots were based in schools. Two of these plots focused on elementary schools. One of these elementary school malefactors possessed a grand total of 47 firearms.
This entire series of events leads me to one, sad, sorry conclusion. What has happened to America? There have always been a relatively large number of madmen, psychotic boiling pots of emotion roaming around America and the rest of the world, but lately, it seems as if a lot more of them have gotten access to firearms. I mean, naming the most recent disasters I can think of comes up with a list of maybe six, seven events where somebody got themselves ahold of a gun and shot a few people up. This should be a huge, grand warning sign to people, with flashing neon lights on top. How many disasters do we need before we can address and manage the issue of gun control?
The issue is, there are far too many people in America who do not believe in moderation when it comes to firearms. Just take a look at Texas Republican Representative Louis Gohmert. He says, “[He wished that Principal Dawn Hochsprung] had an M4 in her office locked up and so when she heard gunshots… she takes his head off before he can hurt those kids.”
Let me say this. I am not a fan of any kind of ban on general firearms. Honestly, too large a percentage of America are attached to their weapons for any kind of measure to pass, and firearms are such a large influence on our nation’s history and existence. I won’t argue against the second amendment. However, I highly disagree with Rep. Gohmert. The solution for our gun problems cannot and will not ever be giving everyone a gun. If an elementary school principal needs a gun, who else will? The foreman of a construction team, in case someone tries to assault his crew? Traffic guards, in case somebody pulls a gun out of their glove box over a ticket? A priest if someone attacks his congregation? The lengths to which Rep. Gohmert’s philosophy would apply is beyond obscene. We live in a modern day and age, we do not need to see every human being on the face of the planet armed to the teeth to protect ourselves from potential attack. That kind of philosophy back in the sixties caused something called the Cold War. That kind of philosophy is why North Korea is building missiles, and Iran enriching plutonium. That kind of philosophy doesn’t end in peace- it ends with the world in flames. Elementary school principals should not have “willing to shoot gunmen in the head,” as part of their resume.
What’s a solution for all of our problems then? Good question- one that I’m not particularly qualified to answer, I’m afraid. I’ll take a stab at it though- First, we should set up some central power responsible for the administration of civilian arms licensing. Some one federal resource that is singularly responsible for the administration of firearms and defining the necessary requirements for owning one. It may be necessary for a psychological exam to be regularly administered to the owners of firearms- if you’re deemed too crazy to go around packing lead, then you shouldn’t have a gun. There should be strict limits on the number and power of active firearms one can possess. These are all grand (and costly) ideas, but ultimately? I don’t think a single solution I just proposed could have even slowed down the Sandy Hook shooter. He didn’t own a single gun or bullet he shot, as they were owned by his first victim, his mother.
My heart goes out to the families of Sandy Hook, and for now, I’ve talked your ear off long enough.