Crosshairs of Change

I cannot begin this post without first expressing my deepest condolences to the victims in Orlando. Our focus should be on praying for and finding ways to support and encourage victims of senseless crimes, rather than pushing political agendas. But considering the agendas are already flying and this is a presidential election year, I feel  compelled to speak.

I have never been a gun owner. I’m not a fan of guns. I am a fan of the Constitution. Therefore, I support those who choose to own a gun. Too much blood has been spilled protecting the gun rights of Americans and I will not demean that sacrifice. Furthermore, I have yet to hear a rational argument that can prove stricter gun laws or even removing guns from citizens would actually work. Remember the Prohibition Era when the government blamed all sins on alcohol and banned it? It changed nothing. People still found a way to get their booze and commit their crimes.

While some tout stricter gun-control as our only option I ask simple questions. Are the majority of mass murders committed with legal guns? Does a person contemplating mass murder have any regard for laws? Will terrorist stop terrorizing if they can’t get a gun? If every gun in America was destroyed would that be the end of mass murders? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding no.

Although, the Orlando shooting was done with legal guns the fact remains that the vast majority of crimes are committed with illegal weapons. Theoretically, it could be said, “Well, stricter laws would stop the murders done with legal guns.” Would it, really? There’s no way to know because anyone contemplating mass murder doesn’t care if it’s illegal to own a gun. It may make it harder for them to get a gun but in the end, the result is the same.   Criminals are obviously not deterred by laws prohibiting their actions.

Mass murders and terrorism is carried out in the perpetrators mind many times before he actually acts on it. By the time he is ready to put his plan in motion he has rehearsed it so many times it is ingrained. Anyone determined to slaughter innocent people isn’t going to say, “Good thing it’s illegal for me to get a gun. Otherwise, I’d kill scores of people.” Anyone fearful of law wouldn’t even be considering mass murder because murder has been illegal since the beginning of time.

For the sake of argument, let’s just say a man wants to commit mass murder but can’t get a gun. What do you think he’s going to do, just give up? NO! They are going to get online and in a few keystrokes have the recipe for a bomb. If Timothy  McVeigh could pull it off in the pre-internet days how hard would it be for someone today?  One well-made bomb will kill scores more than any gun ever could. The worst terrorist attack our country has ever endured was carried out without a single shot fired. Mass murders and terrorists have proven to be far more creative than we are. Taking guns from average citizens doesn’t stop terrorism but it does remove an effective line of defense against those who attack.

Rather than have the same ineffective arguments let’s try something new. Let’s realign our focus onto other solutions. Why not require nightclubs, music venues, and other public areas to maintain working metal detectors? How about we start charging parents with the same crimes their kids commit? I’m willing to bet if a parent knew they’d be in trouble for what their kids do they be a more attentive parent. More accountable parents means there will be fewer kids starting out with petty crime and morphing into violent crimes. Why don’t we overhaul our prison system so that it truly does become a place of reform rather than making sure those behind bars have conveniences? How about we stop this anti-police mentality and start working with them to provide a better, safer America?

There are many solutions that can be utilized to help end mass shootings. So, why don’t we ever hear about them? The answer is simple. Because too many people claim to want change but they don’t want to be inconvenienced or be forced to do something themselves. They’d rather blame the gun, the NRA, the Republicans or anything else to keep the attention on others and away from their inactive selves.

In the aftermath of 9/11 America was screaming and demanding to know how the terrorists got our planes. There was a national outcry for the government to make airports safer. Fifteen years later, and people have forgotten about that. Now, they get on social media to vent about long lines at airports, TSA agents who “feel them up” during a pat down, security tossing out their innocent liquids and outrage when suspicious people are removed from planes. The prevalent attitude now is to return to the security that we once called lax. Why? Because it’s a hassle and inconvenience for them. News flash people you can’t have both convenience and safety.

There’s a reason for the saying, “nothing in the world is free”. That is because everything has a price. It may not be a monetary value, it could be the cost of commitment or convenience, but there is a price to be paid. As we discovered with “free health insurance” if you aren’t paying the price someone else is. And until we can become a people who will pay the price to put ourselves in the crosshairs of change and understand that the devil isn’t in the object it’s in our hearts, then none of us are safe.   crosshairs

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