Over the past few days SSD has been host to several articles penned by industry professionals that we hope will inform and spark discussion on the Second Amendment of the Constitution. This article is from Chip Lasky, Director Product Development at TNVC, Inc.
Like the rest of the nation, I am horrified at the senseless murder of innocent children at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday. My heart is broken. But, I am also horrified at politicians and many Americans who claim to be grieving and shocked, immediately turning to anger and lashing out at law-abiding gun owners. We didn’t commit this crime, a deranged kid and his failed parent did. Yes, we have all heard the old saying “guns don’t kill people, people do.” Well, it’s true.
The fact of the matter is that there are deranged people out there who do not see life and this earth like the rest of us. They do not understand the difference between fantasy and reality. What this comes down to is parents. We live in a society where the cost of living practically forces both parents to work. Kids are not getting the parenting they got in previous generations. Sometimes this cannot be helped, because parents are working, but the parents need to make that extra effort to spend the time with their kids when they are home and be involved with their lives. I’m tired of hearing how so many of these kids had warning signs of dangerous behavior and nobody did anything. I lay the blame at their feet. All it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.
These evil people exhibit all the deranged anti-social behaviors that lead to this stuff. They are able to recede into their dark little worlds playing violent video games where they can simulate the mass murder of hundreds of people as they run screaming from the gamer. A regular person can do this and know it is a game, but a mentally ill person (whether medically or pushed there from bullying, or any other reason) starts to see this sort of thing as possible. They start to wonder what it would be like in real life. We are surrounded by violent imagery in the media: movies, TV, games, etc. We are separated more and more from each other by social media that takes the human contact out of our lives. And when parents and teachers do not intercede when a kid is exhibiting mental instability, we get tragedies.
But, society doesn’t want to take responsibility for the monsters it creates. It would rather blame guns. Does the video game industry take responsibility for making games like Grand Theft Auto that glamorize mass murder and committing crime? No. How about all the Hollywood actors and screen writers who make millions of dollars off ultra violent movies that glamorize murder, torture, rape, drugs, alcohol, etc, only to turn around and call for the banning of so-called “assault weapons?” Then we have the people in this country who wet the bed at the thought of scary guns while having never participated in the shooting sports, have no idea about the differences in guns, and do not want to know. They think that anyone can go to the local store and buy a machine gun because MSNBC and CNN say it is so. They are wrong, but they do not want to hear it. Then there are the politicians who have wanted to ban guns for political points, yet walk around with bodyguards carrying all sorts of hardware. These sick people never let a tragedy go to waste. Sen.Diane Fienstien from California had her bill ready to go before the smoke cleared at the crime scene. It’s sick. These beautiful children are not even laid to rest yet, and certain political movements are already trying to get points.
Reading some of the blogs shows a despicable attitude towards gun owners. Some of the so-called “peaceful” people of our nation are calling for the execution of the president of the NRA while others say that anyone who ever gave money to a pro-gun organization has blood on their hands. Why are Americans so quick to jump to rage? When Gabbie Giffords was shot in Arizona, people on one side of the aisle were saying the same things. It immediately became a partisan issue where people were saying incredibly nasty things to each other over political differences. This is not a democrat or republican thing. It is a societal thing. We have created a society where we glamorize violence and cruelty. We have self-described “peaceful” folks who rally against guns and war, only to go home and mow down hundreds of unarmed, screaming victims in their video games and watch SAW movies.
The problem is not guns. And when unthinkable tragedies happen, people are so ready to fight that they immediately start throwing blame around and looking for the easiest solution instead of the right one. Taking away “assault weapons” will not solve these problems. It only hurts people who are law-abiding and have no intention of becoming a criminal. Why should we punish millions for the actions of a tiny few? What does that solve? We might as well ban alcohol again. After all, it serves no good in society. It creates alcoholics, drunk driving (which is responsible for way more fatalities every year than guns), fuels domestic violence and child abuse, tears apart families, contributes to rape and teen pregnancy. The list goes on. But, all these gun-grabbers wouldn’t think of doing that.
I get asked all the time why I need an “assault rifle.” Does it matter? Of course not. Why do you need a car that has more than 100 hp? You don’t. How about an SUV that all but guarantees the death of someone in a compact car in an accident? No, these people wouldn’t think of banning anything mainstream. What about banning all the violent video games and movies and music? No. Even though a direct correlation can be drawn between this media and the increase in violent behavior and tendencies in kids today can be drawn, this stuff is protected as art. Society is the problem. If we want to fix this, we need to stop looking for simple answers and start attacking problems at their root. But, that would require critical thinking and it seems our society, carried by social media, is made up of more drones than problem-solvers these days. Let’s take some time to grieve and honor the fallen. Then, let’s take a look at our society and the way we treat one another. Let’s look at how much anger and hate is out there and do something about it. Let’s take an active role in identifying crazy people and getting them help.
Like them or not; guns are not the problem. Study after study by the FBI and NIJ show that banning guns has no effect on crime. Independent and government studies showed that the Clinton assault weapon ban had zero effect on crime. And, the places with the highest gun control have the highest crime rates. Oddly enough, CT is rated in the top five strictest gun control states in the nation. They have a state ban on “assault weapons” and “high-cap magazines.” They are also the only state in the country that bans civilian ownership of body armor. Yet, murderer had both. Gun control does not work. Bad people will always have access to weapons. All it does is make people feel good that they did something about the problem. Is that a way to solve this? No. You cannot solve this issue with a band-aid.
This is a systemic problem with people and our society. We need to work on identifying the people who shouldn’t have access to guns so that their records have it. There are already laws in place to deny the sale or transfer of guns to anyone who has been hospitalized or treated for mental illness, is a convicted felon, been convicted of domestic violence, been dishonorably discharged from the military, or has a restraining order filed against them. The instant background check will flag any of this. But, the information has to be recorded and has to be there. The shooter in Aurora at the theater was seeing a shrink who warned his school that he was going to do something violent but the school dismissed it saying that he was un-enrolling and it was no longer their concern. The shrink did nothing further. The authorities were not warned and the killer was able to legally purchase the guns he used to murder people. Had the doctor and the school taken responsibility, they would have alerted authorities and the killer would have been flagged and brought in for treatment.
The signals for Adam Lanza were there. His own mother was working to put him in a mental hospital for treatment. She was caught in the process of trying to have an adult committed against his will. This angered Adam. But, she was doing the right thing. The problem is that he was receiving no mental help, was on no medication, and was given all the tools he needed to fuel his rage. He never spoke to anyone, lived in his mother’s windowless basement, walls plastered floor to ceiling with posters of guns and weapons, and played Call of Duty for hours on end. His mental state and zero social skills meant his mother had to actually talk for him according to his barber. Mom dropped the ball on this and let a person like that become dangerously obsessed with violence, go unmedicated, and gave him access to guns. That is the problem. All his social cues came from violence and isolation. To someone who needs to be committed in the first place, this is a dangerous combination. Shame on his mother for allowing this to happen. Shame on all the other people; friends, family, etc, who knew and did nothing.
But, don’t come after my guns and my rights to own certain types of guns and accessories in a responsible manner. I am not crazy. I know it is a difficult request, America: but start thinking! Don’t just blindly lash out. An assault weapons ban does nothing. Columbine happened in 1999: smack dab in the middle of the Clinton Ban. I have no blood of innocent people on my hands. But, if the rabid gun-grabbers pass an assault weapon ban because they want an immediate “fix,” the blood of all the innocents in the next tragedy will be on their hands.
Charles “Chip” Lasky
Director Product Development