How Many More Must Die?

One massacre too many.

Many of our countrymen believe that we should have the right to bear arms.  It one of the freedoms that that our country has always embraced and is a sacred freedom to them.  I never have and never will allow a gun into my home.  People have argued about guns for decades.  Little has changed.  I get it. We had to fight for our freedom and don't want to let anyone dominate us.  I get it but I still don't like guns.

Many believe that we should have the freedom to bear arms to protect our homes and families.  That makes sense but, unfortunately, having guns in a home often leads to tragedy.  I am sure one could find the statistics to support any argument we could have on that subject.

I am 61 years old and have watched the shootings and horrors, year after year, that unfolded related to shootings.  One of the first i really recall is the assassination of JFK in Dallas.  I was in 7th grade when the news got to us.  I remember sitting in front of our tv and watching all of the coverage. 

Ours is and will probably always be a violent society.  That is the way people all over the world view us.  They hear about one shooting after another.  They see us take up arms against one country after another.  I am all for protecting our own and fighting for what is ours, when need be, but violence and guns should be the last resort. 

If I rail against the violent video games that our youth play many will just think I am old and out of touch.  I don't think these games make most people do violent things but there is a mindset of violence that seems to permeate our society.  It is one that I cannot embrace.  I enjoy too get caught up in war movies and enjoy the special effects but that doesn't mean I should have an assault rifle in my closet.

It breaks my heart every time I pick up the paper and someone has been shot. I think we see and hear about so much violence that we begin to become desensitized about it.  Just the other day I was watching the news and they showed a video taken of a young man shooting into a train after having a discussion about a sporting event.  It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  I guess having a gun empowers some.  I cannot understand having one define who I am

I am especially concerned about the automatic and semi-automatic weapons that people can purchase.  Personally I cannot imagine a strong argument for allowing people to purchase these weapons.  My wife and I were out Friday and did not hear about the shooting in Newtown, CT. until late that night.  We had just gotten past the shootings at the movie, Batman, Dark Knight.  A f ew days ago it was a shooting at a mall in Oregon.  As a parent, it breaks my heart to see such tragedy.  I cannot imagine the horror of having your child taken from you in any fashion much less a shooting in a school where they should be safe.  I usually do not watch much of the news coverage of these shootings.  I can not take listening to all of the heart-wrenching stories of the lives cut short.  For some reason I sat and watched the coverage and heard President Obama speak.  I don't ever want to do that again.

How many more must die before we, as a nation, can have a meaningful conversation about preventing more of this bloodshed?  We are a divided nation right now.  I think that is dangerous.  We have to find a way to come together and learn to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again.

Michael kaynard is a local photographer who lives in West Ashley.  His photos can be seen at http://kaynardphotography.webs.com.  He can be reached at mkaynard@gmail.com.

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w. martin January 03, 2013 at 11:16 PM
I hear your concern, and agree there must be something done, but I believe we're unlocking the wrong door here - in most, of not all cases, the shootings were committed by people who should have been committed. They were sick. People knew, but, in our liberal world, didn't want to offend them by getting them help. The ACLU gave them a choice - get help or deal with it; most chose to deal with it. They didn't like being institutionalized until their medication brought them out of their insanity...they were released on their own and, for the most part, don't take the medicine. Their rights were protected, however, the public's rights and safety concerns were not. Our schools were designated GUN FREE ZONES, which these sicko's knew and were smart enough to do their dirty deeds where they wouldn't be stopped by some sort of violence against them...we have to help them BEFORE they kill...not blame an inanimate object...we should think and act logically here..
Michael Kaynard January 03, 2013 at 11:51 PM
You made some good points. I understand it is not the gun that is the entire problem. I do believe we mark people who seek psychiatric help. Many do not want the stigma of "getting help". I also agree that we need to do more so there are not droves of deranged people walking our streets. I agree that we should think and act logically. We are,however, still within the period where we are being emotional about the use of guns and how we should protect our children and other citizens. I think it will come down to the cost of the programs and medication to help those with mental problems. No one is going to want to absorb all that it will take. Perhaps the uproar about the assault rifles has become the focal point of fixing the problem. Perhaps that is because it is an inanimate object and would be easier to control. My blog is meant to get people thinking and discussing this subject, I am certainly not an expert on any of this but it affects us all. Thank you for taking the time to give your thoughts. Happy New Year.
w. martin January 04, 2013 at 12:27 AM
Thanks, Mike...just heard on the news where they are going to put more police in the schools...I think they wear guns...the same guns those poor girls who attacked that sick individual in that school needed - if they had been trained and armed - the same protection we give celebrities, politicians and others we deem important. the story would have read very differently...I can't get their faces out of my head and knowing there was someone sick enough to kill them so easily really gets to me...the children need protection now...we can figure out how to fix the mental problems later, but we need to protect our most precious children NOW. Happy new year to you...
Michael Kaynard January 04, 2013 at 02:02 AM
It is unfortunate that we have to read about these atrocities. I cannot imagine how devastating it would be to lose a child. I doubt I would ever get over it. I have one son who will be 32 next Tuesday. I don't know what kind of person I would be today if I had lost him this way as a child. Take care and hug your kids every chance you get. He is still cool with a hug.


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