When the carnage dealt by Jarred Loughner left the state of Arizona and the country reeling for recovery, political pundits, journalists, and practically anybody who had access to the Internet sat down for a round of the blame game.Because of their vast involvement in the Tea Party Movement mixed with political rhetoric, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck were seen as the catalysts to the tragedy that ended six lives and injured eighteen people, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Others, however, defended the right wing, saying its actions shouldn’t be blamed for Loughner’s rampage, which may have been prevented had anybody paid attention to the delusions he exhibited beforehand.
But despite being knee deep in finger pointing, it’s surprising to note that we’ve managed to brush off a particular issue that the National Rifles Association has Congress paralyzed on effective gun control.
Isn’t it obvious that we need better control on who we’re selling guns to and why?
Protected by the Second Amendment and millions of lobbying dollars, advocates of a pro-gun America are driven by a need for security and patriotic nostalgia, channeling the days of cowboys, Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, and good ol’ sport hunting.
But not all is picture perfect, especially in a society that has come to glorify violence in various media. Need we be reminded of the horrific events at Virginia Tech or Columbine — schools in states that don’t pay particular attention to who can buy guns? And even so, there are countless gun-related homicides that occur on a day to day basis worldwide. Sadly, mentions of homicide are all too common to the ear and become old news fast.
Whether we’d like to believe it or not, easy access to guns has spawned a culture of disturbing behavior. We’ve strayed away from the old fashioned value of protection and have evolved into an age where firepower has become top priority. Even as we take steps to monitor and control gun sales and usage, the NRA, aided again by the Second Amendment and its ever-growing heap of cash, will make sure Congress doesn’t hinder business or inhibit individual rights.
This begs many questions: Is law enforcement not enough? Do guns need to be so powerful? Must we really wield a gun in public? It is when we answer these questions that we find out just how paranoid and dangerous Americans can be to one another.
We must rethink not only the policies revolving around guns in the United States, but also the purpose of owning one. If it’s for hunting or you just feel comfortable with it stashed underneath your bed – then fine. But a 9mm Glock at hand when one is simply strolling around downtown is a bit too much to accept.