When doctors treat people for the flu, they just don’t focus on the fever or headaches — the full range of symptoms is targeted, yet that same logic doesn’t seem to apply to another sickness in American society: violence.
Every time a tragic incident happens such as the mass shooting at the Florida high school on Valentine’s Day, the immediate reaction of some in our country is to start harping for more gun regulation. They recite this repetitiously like a chorus of parrots, while failing to condemn other factors behind the violence problem that arguably are more infectious.
Number one, it’s sad that we use terms nowadays such as “another school shooting” or “more die in church violence,” with these incidents collectively joining a growing stockpile of statistics which doesn’t do justice to the individual tragedies involved.
It’s sad that what once was a random occurrence now seems to happen on an every-other-week basis with a mass killing somewhere in the U.S.
And exhibiting the same level of regularity are gun-control advocates who look for every opportunity to politicize their demands on the backs of victims.
It is so important to get their old, tired agenda back before the public, which presently is emphasizing assault rifles. Thus they are totally ignoring the deadly use of handguns, the weapon of choice in the Virginia Tech shootings, along with other implements frequently used to commit murder, such as knives.
And any soldier who’s served in Iraq or Afghanistan can tell you about the horrors of IEDs (improvised explosive devices).
Unfortunately, just as chills and nausea are only parts of a larger flu condition, more laws in general are not the cure to our violence epidemic.
The truth is, the government could ban every gun there is tomorrow and all it would do is create a black market in which criminals (who don’t follow any laws at all — that’s why they’re called “criminals”) — could still obtain firearms. Meanwhile, law-abiding citizens would be deprived of a means to protect themselves from the same elements.
It seems that whenever the Far Left wants something done about a problem, the solution always involves someone they hate; in this case not only gun owners, but the NRA and Republicans who support Second Amendment rights.
In other words, the usual handy targets (pardon the pun).
It’s much more politically disadvantageous to examine the larger factors behind mass murder, which include but are not limited to:
• The role of the media in glorifying violence through movies, video games, song lyrics and other mediums (none of the gun-control crazies want to go after their fellow liberals who tend to produce such tripe).
• Declines in our social structure, including the disintegration of the traditional family unit, and a moral culture that stresses an “anything goes” mentality without fear of consequences for one’s actions.
• A lack of discipline and respect for one’s fellow man that has been allowed to flourish nowadays in schools, many of which are mini-battlegrounds on a daily basis as a result.
• The social media culture rampant in our country which often foments hatred, ill will and reinforcement for troubled people which can trigger some deadly action.
• A social caste system operating in many schools which promotes ostracizing and bullying.
Of course, attention also has been paid to mental illness in the wake of the latest shooting, especially when it comes to making sure someone who is afflicted is unable to buy firearms.
But here again, we are talking about government responses to deal with symptoms for which the ultimate solution lies within people’s hearts, minds and souls to not desire to commit violence in the first place. The same solution that has been offered to prevent abuse of drugs: eliminating the desire to use them.
And did government regulation or intervention prevent the Texas church shooting last fall? No, because the Air Force didn’t report information about the perpetrator’s past behavior which would have kept him from buying weapons.
Did government oversight derail the Florida shooting, specifically by the FBI that failed to act on red flag information it had received about the would-be killer which could have prevented the tragedy?
Did government involvement help when the school resource officer in Florida decided to stay outside rather than go in and engage the killer as he should have?
Much has been said in recent days about beefing up campus security, arming teachers, etc.
However, the moral of the story is we can’t count on the government, or its regulations, to protect us — only ourselves.
Tom Joyce is a staff writer for The Mount Airy News. He may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.