There has been a lot of recent discussion regarding gun control lately, as it is the newest thing to take us all by storm and demand our immediate and direct attention, for at least the next 24 hours (we’ll forget about it soon enough).
The recent shooting has got everyone on edge again. Much like the shooting in Colorado, people are saying that we need to do something about gun control in order to curb these types of shootings. What people aren’t realizing, is that you can’t regulate crazy.
I have long had issues with censorship and “political correctness”. As the quote says: “Censorship is taking a streak from a man because a baby can’t chew it.” Too often in society anymore, we try to do everything with one sweeping gesture. We don’t want to think about issues like mental health, access to firearms, personal responsibility, and all these other factors that will spill forth from a very public shooting, so we try to just sweep it under the “gun control” rug.
You can’t take a look at an individual and surmise that they’ll be the trigger man in a future shooting. Nor can you expect to keep guns from the hands of citizens. Instead, there is talk of regulation. Now, regardless of your views on gun control, people have to realize that gun control won’t “fix” these types of shootings. Crazy is everywhere, it is irrational, it doesn’t care about your laws, it doesn’t care about your ideals, and it most certainly doesn’t care about you. Gun control might be able to have a slight effect on gang violence, but we are kidding ourselves if we think it will prevent future shootings.
What needs to be done is we need to direct less attention to these tragic events when they happen. Now, I’m not saying that we should ignore them, far from it, but we should avoid glorifying the situation. When all you hear from the media for days upon days is material regarding the shooter and the shooting, you are indirectly making him a “star”. The media is indirectly planting seeds in those that might entertain these types of thoughts, that they should go and shoot up a place themselves if recognition is something they seek. It’s like telling someone to not think about a white elephant. They instantly think about what they aren’t supposed to. Just like the media is filling the heads of the unstable with visions of “going out in style”, for lack of a better term.
I’m not directly related in any way to the victims, nor can I fully understand what they are going through. Enough has been said of the terribleness of the situation. However, as a society, we need to act less shocked by these happenings. Again, I’m not saying we aren’t to feel sympathy and sadness at the loss of innocent lives, but it’s 2012, we should know crap like this happens, and we shouldn’t freak out. Be aware, deal with rationally, and move along. It’s all we can do at times like these. Just move on.
If there’s anything to be learned from this, it does not have to do with gun control. That is a red herring. What we need to realize is that we don’t fully understand mental health. We don’t understand why things like this happen, nor do we understand why the individuals end up snapping. Even then, you can only diagnose when there are symptoms. Too often, unthinkable shit like this just happens. No amount of action after the fact can prevent it. It’s a depressing reality of, well, reality.
EDIT: I just realized how cynical this is. “We must toughen our skin so as to not freak out when children are murdered.” Yikes. Anyways, to counter the grumpy, here is a picture of a guy who was the happiest anyone could ever hope to be, at least for a moment.