Monday, April 16, 2007

A Sad 50th Post

So this blog post marks my 50th of my short career as a "blogger". Almost 5 months since I started. Ahh, the memories.

But I digress.

What I'm here to banter about are guns in this country. By now we've all heard about the despicable shooting at VTech. I for one am fed up with hearing about these shootings and seeing people killed, hurt, and suffering because of them. And I
can't help but think that guns are quite literally killing this country.

Now yes, I know that Americans have the right to bear arms. And yes I know that the vast majority of gun owners don't commit heinous crimes like this rampage. And I also realize that if somebody really wants to kill somebody, they can find a way to do it. But let's face facts here... there's a very small percentage of people who have it in them to mess things up for everybody else out there... in ANY area of life.

For example, in a game of basketball, there's always one guy who fouls
constantly while everybody else is playing a clean, competitive game. Well, if this
guy keeps fouling, he's going to foul out of games (if they're refereed), or people will stop playing basketball with him in due time. Simple solutions. In either case, this persistent fouler becomes marginalized so as not to ruin the game for everybody else.

Unfortunately, when it comes to guns, gun owners seemingly won't accept style="font-style:italic;">any solutions to make things better for the majority of people. And the rest of us have to deal with the consequences of a few lunatics who feel the urge to shoot up fellow humans for unexplained, unjustifiable reasons.

So now what? Short of getting rid of guns, which won't happen (for better or for worse... I'm not going to debate that issue one way or the other at this point), how do we marginalize people who feel the need to unleash their semi-automatics on innocent bystanders? Penalties apparently don't matter, especially when the shooter commits suicide. And it can be difficult, if not impossible, to recognize the signs of somebody who's about to spray bullets. And there is certainly no way to have security at every corner and doorway to try and prevent such incidents.

One solution that might help: the media should be barred from showing the face or announcing the name of the killer(s). Sadly, I think many people are looking to make "a name" for themselves and becoming cult heroes by starting a massacre. Think about the "trenchcoat mafia" from Columbine, the Unabomber, Timothy McVeigh, etc. Their faces, tactics, and mental histories are bandied about in the media, making them seem larger than life. Without such notoriety, I highly doubt there would be so many copycats.

To wit, let's go back to the basketball game scenario. If you're watching an NBA game on TV and a streaker runs across the court, what happens? The cameras all turn away, the announcers give a vague update that "a senseless fan is interrupting the game", and once the culprit it nabbed, life goes on. TV viewers will never find out the guy's name, identity, or motive. And guess what? People are less likely to idolize the culprit and subsequently copycat him or her. Therefore, the few idiots out there don't continue to ruin it for others.

Well that's my take on the issue. Stick around for the next 50 posts, won't you?

1 comment:

Melissa Niedringhaus said...

You may be on to something. I thought about that very issue myself this morning- why are so many of these attacks copycatted? For instance, I was working in Baltimore when that father and son team started snipering random people in their cars as they drove by. The incident was immediately copycatted. I'm not sure if it was to throw the police off, help out a guy someone thought was really on the right track of "sticking it to the man", or whatever, but it is a strange phenominon.