Your View: Guest column - Before jumping on gun control bandwagon ...
BY DICK ANGEL
If you turned on the radio or TV, read a newspaper or visited the Internet over the last few weeks, you have been bombarded with news of the Sandy Hook School shooting. In the aftermath of this unspeakable tragedy, behavioral experts have speculated and individuals have opined about reason for the shooting and the need for stricter gun control laws. In addition, politicians have seized the opportunity to “never let a crisis go to waste” in their efforts to legislate for gun control. Frankly, the individuals, experts and politicians are apparently clueless about what causes these events.
Even with stricter gun control laws and more individuals exercising their “right to carry,” the fact is that gun-related homicides have not increased one iota during the last 35 years, even with an ever increasing population and a larger number of gun owners. U.S. gun related deaths, homicides, suicides and accidental shootings average some 9,000 per year or .0006 percent of the guns owned by individuals. This figure does not include the 7,000 lives lost in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars over the last 10 years. If it will appease the gun control lobby, I’d be glad to go along with a ban on guns with large capacity magazines, but it won’t change anything.
There are some 50,000 deaths per year caused by automobile accidents, but you never hear anyone blame the automobile. Drivers speed, imbibe, text and talk on cell phones, eat, put on makeup, watch movies, read books, maps and other documents, etc., etc. ad nauseam, many driving with revoked or no license and we cannot seem to control this abhorrent and deadly behavior.
In my opinion, insensitivity is the real culprit and our culture is the villain. Before we jump on the gun control bandwagon, let’s petition our congressmen and filmmakers to curtail violence and vulgarity so prevalent in today’s films. Let’s forbid our children access to those violent games and hold their designers to stricter content guidelines. Finally, let’s put a lid on the vulgar and debasing language used by popular rappers in the music industry which has no redeeming value other than to sell records. Freedom of speech is certainly one of our most revered rights, but if its abuse is determined to be detrimental to our society, there should be consequences.
Once we admit our culture is going to pot and return to the core values dictated by our Christian heritage, we will all be better off and offenses against our fellowman will begin to subside. Failing to do so will cause our morals to deteriorate and atrocities like the one in Newtown to increase.
Dick Angel lives in Thomasville.
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