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They might have a gun...

This post may bring up a lot of different emotions in my readers but I want you to understand that it is solely my opinion so please take it that way. I read the news on the computer every morning when I first wake up and I have one question that came to mind yesterday morning. What’s up with all the guns?

As I started my morning reading, there had been a guy who walked into a grocery store and shot two women that he didn’t even know. One was an employee and the other was a random shopper. The police showed up, he pointed his gun at them so they took him out. Then in Oklahoma, a 19-year-old boy shot a 19-year-old girl in the arm on Wednesday night. He continued his spree by shooting a man in the hip on Thursday afternoon while the police and ATF were looking for him. He proceeded to shoot the two ATF agents. By Thursday night, local police had located him and a chase ensued. He shot at the officers and they returned fire, killing him. All of the people the boy shot are expected to survive. Then I turned to local news and there was a story about a little girl who got caught in the crossfire of two guys having an “argument” with each other via bullets. Thankfully, she is going to be ok. Every day in my city, I wake up to a story of a shooting somewhere.

Nevermind the recent armed robberies, such as the one on this morning involving the Arkansas State football player, Markel Owens, where two masked men forced their way into his apartment, where he was shot and killed along with his stepfather as they tried to fight them off because they wanted money and drugs. His mother was shot as well but she survived the incident. Then there was the Miss Venezuela winner who was killed on the side of the road along with her ex-husband while her 5 year old child was shot in the leg as armed robbers attacked them when their car broke down.

What the hell is going on in this country? Every single day there is a crime that involves the shooting death of someone either locally, nationally or internationally. I can never remember a time when it was this bad. It just keeps getting worse as each day passes. Road rage=shoot the guy. Poverty=rob someone. Can’t control your temper=shoot someone. Retaliation because you think you were “wronged”=pull out your gun and get your revenge. This is insane.

Now, I grew up in a household that did not have guns. I grew up in a state where guns were used for hunting animals to feed your family. I never felt the need to own a gun to protect myself while I was growing up. In my early twenties I was educated about guns and we did have two guns in the home because we lived in a very dangerous area but I was never comfortable with the fact that they were there. If I had needed to use it, I knew how.

I fully understand that people who own guns want to maintain their right to carry weapons. I am not jumping into that pool of argument in this blog. I am only saying that the actual USE of guns in this country has gone completely out of control. I don’t know what it is going to take to get people to stop randomly killing people on the street. Has human life become so useless to us that we have forgotten what pulling the trigger actually means?

There is hatred all around us. There is no more tolerance towards our fellow man/woman. There is no more compassion, patience, understanding and respect that people will not always do things the way that you want them to. People don’t talk out their differences anymore. They don’t settle issues in a civilized fashion or even with just a simple knock-down-drag-out behind the barn like the good old days, where you stood up, brushed yourself off, shook hands and it was over. Now we go to funerals and people go to jail for the rest of their lives.

Not every shooting is because someone is mentally ill and we need better psychiatric care in this country. I agree that some of the mass killings are due to unstable people. However, I still believe that we need less guns on the street. In my heart, I believe that the true basis for our problem is that people stopped caring about other people. Once we became a society where our personal well being mattered more than helping our neighbor, where our own protection mattered more than assisting someone who may be suffering the jig was up.

I read a story where a woman who had been abducted was able to escape from her captors and she ran to a house that had lights on. She was banging on the door for help and the couple inside would not let her in because they were too afraid to get personally involved. They DID pick up the phone and call 911 but they left her on the front stoop, half naked, crying and begging for help because they simply didn’t want to open the door and get involved. Some people actually applauded their actions. I was repulsed by that. Can you imagine if that was you or your daughter who just escaped a possible rape or murder, not knowing if the abductors were coming after you and the “safe house” won’t even open the door so you can get inside a locked house and hide in a closet? When did society stop trying to protect people who desperately need help?

We call people “heroes” who lend a hand in the time of crisis when someone needs assistance. I would like to think that anyone who is in a position to help would step up and intervene if they could at the time. Gun violence is stripping away this society’s ability to trust their own instincts. We all WANT to help people in danger but at what cost? If there is a car accident, people jump right in to help. If someone is drowning, people come running to lend a hand. Even if there is a building on fire, people will risk their lives to get others out of the building.

When it comes to an altercation of any kind, man against man or a domestic violence situation, the likelihood of someone willingly getting involved is starting to dwindle simply because a gun may be involved. We are NOT winning the war against gun violence in this country. The guns are winning and it is an awful thing to see. They are stripping away our confidence to remain the caring, helpful, heroic American society that we are known to be.

These pieces of metal and the people who use them for the wrong reasons are taking away the power from the rest of society who have the good intentions to help those in need. How long are we going to let this go on?

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