Friday, April 5, 2013

Gun Crazy

Yesterday, I read an article about Liberty University considering a rule to allow the carrying of guns on campus and in classrooms.  Liberty University is the Rev. Jerry Falwell's creation and of course it is a Bible college.  I find it quite paradoxical that a religious institution would endorse the carrying of instruments of death on its campus.  I also find it ludicrous that ministers around the country are allying themselves with the NRA in this over the top era of gun craziness.  I cannot imagine attending a college class where the students are "carrying."  Even worse, I cannot imagine teaching a college class where the students are "carrying." 

Americans have become obsessed with guns and the mistaken idea that carrying a weapon makes one safe.  In reality it probably makes one less safe, because it induces a bravado that otherwise wouldn't reveal itself.  I have heard more than one person remark, after hearing of a shooting, that they surely wished they had been there.  They would have handled it with their trusty sidearm.  Yeah, cowboy, you would have handled it all right.  Probably directly into the grave.  You aren't a character in that book you just read or the movie you saw on TV last night. More friends and relatives are killed by these gunslingers than bad guys.

Carrying a weapon does not guarantee safety.  Ask all of those police officers, who have died in recent years. Ask the officer in Mississippi or the sheriff in West Virginia both of  whom died a couple of days ago.. A shooter may be able to consistently make head shots on the range, but the target doesn't shoot back  That target also doesn't carry a fully automatic assault rifle with a high capacity magazine.  When those rounds start flying in a college classroom or hallway, the armed student will be diving for cover and wetting his pants, hoping his gun doesn't go flying across the room, when he fumbles to get it out of the holster.  If he's lucky he'll survive at least for a moment or two.  Long enough to pray if he is so inclined.

The NRA, the mouthpiece of the gun manufacturing industry, spews its propaganda to work paranoid gun owners into a frenzy of weapons and ammo buying.  The government is coming to take your guns it says.  Yet the government has never advocated such nor will it. Who profits?  The NRA and the gun manufacturers.  I have friends who hang on every word that NRA publishes and will defend that organization, it seems, to the death.  Common sense be hanged.

In recent years there has been an increasing number of young children, spouses, and others who have died at the hands of a family member.  On an almost weekly basis one reads of the death of a child at the hands of another child.  A husband kills a wife whom he mistakes for a burglar, or a father kills a son or daughter for the same reason.  A father kills a son with a gun he thought was empty or that he was "cleaning."  It is an epidemic.  Teenagers, mimicking adults, carry guns around the neighborhood gunning for someone who "dissed" them.

The country has become a killing field.  At the current rate, gun deaths will soon outnumber deaths from automobile accidents.  Yet, we require licensing  and registration of automobiles and drivers and education and testing is required in order to receive a license to operate an automobile.  In most states one can purchase a gun with no requirements for education or testing.  Background checks are required for the purchase of a gun, but only if one purchases it from a store.  Large numbers of weapons are sold at gun shows throughout the country with no background checks whatsoever.  Preachers, politicians, and gun owners decry the regulation of firearms, yet they readily succumb to the regulation of automobiles and the licensing of drivers.

I don't know where this will end.  What I do know is that common sense has been thrown out the window as far as firearms are concerned.  Thousands of adults, teens, and children are being slaughtered throughout this country each year with firearms, and there is little concern.  "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."  People with guns kill people and with guns they can and do kill large numbers of people in a very few minutes.  We are crazy about our guns, but we could care less about our fellow humans.