Guest Column: Who can bring change to our violent culture?

Jan. 07, 2013 @ 01:31 AM

BY STEPHEN MADISON

Ladies! Ladies!  After the recent mass killings, I’ve listened and watched the news and political commentary extensively.  I’ve listened to every person, group and agency accept absolutely NO responsibility for the violent gun culture in our country.  Aggravating. Reprehensible.  So I have an idea.  Ladies, please take this short test, after which I’ll suggest some “homework” to be considered.
Here goes:
Who grows up playing violent video games?
Who grows up watching violent “guy” movies?
Who grows up playing with guns?
Who pulls the trigger on toy guns thousands of times before they reach puberty?
Who goes to gun shows with their fathers?
Who owns guns? Who buys guns for their children?
Who learns to hunt and kill while they are still children?
Who buys more guns instead of saving money or reducing family debt?
Who accidentally shoots a family member while playing with real guns?
Who commits crimes with guns?
Who carries concealed weapons?
Who buys assault weapons? Who thinks they should be legal?
Who needs a 30-round clip for their weapons? Who stockpiles ammunition?
Who thinks they actually “need” lots of guns for personal protection?
Who thinks there is some shadowy conspiracy to take away all of our guns?
Who really believes our Second Amendment rights are at risk?
Who believes there is an ethnic or class warfare upcoming that they must prepare for?
Who are the members of the NRA? Who are the corporate sponsors?
Who gets the most campaign money from the NRA and gun lobbies?
Who believes the answer to gun violence is “more guns”?
Who commits mass killings?
The answer to all these questions is, of course, the same. It is your “fathers, husbands, brothers and sons.” You can’t ignore that simple fact. It’s been that way for generations. Are you waiting and hoping for these same males to do something, or even anything significant to begin changing the violence and gun culture? It will not happen.
If you understand the implications above, then you have homework …very long-term homework.  You must exercise your numbers nationally and your considerable individual influence in the home if there is any hope of progress. If you can’t make a difference there, you must accept a future that looks very bleak indeed.
To the men out there who don’t like what I’ve suggested: I respect your right to disagree. Know this. Before your testosterone overcomes objectivity and fact (and it will) … before you attack me with your invective-laced gun rant (and you will) ... unless you’ve seen, smelled and touched the blood of an innocent victim of gun violence and helplessly watched that innocent life slip away, your opinion has little significance to those firefighters, officers, paramedics, EMTs and medical personnel who have actually had that tragic and memorable experience.
Out of respect for public safety personnel and more importantly, your family, please don’t let your fantasy get in the way of any meaningful change to our violent culture.

Stephen Madison is a retired firefighter and lives in High Point.