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Preserving the Second Amendment – Responsibility Is More Than Blaming Guns

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
TNVC INC.

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19 Responses to “Preserving the Second Amendment – Responsibility Is More Than Blaming Guns”

  1. John Denny says:

    Thank you for voicing what many of us are thinking

  2. Doc B says:

    The blood of those children already drenches the grabbers’ hands. It was they, in spite of knowing that the solution to such a tragic occurrence was to call the police (people with weapons), they want to disallow appropriately trained school staff to exercise their freedom to carry in alleged “Safe Zones”.

    The safety that they have implemented, exists for would-be shooters.

    It is logically inconsistent to allow another person to educate, and to have in loco parentis authority over your child on an all-day, every day basis, and in the same breath of air accuse them of being unable to properly carry concealed. Those who want to carry, you take a month of their summer vacation from them, and you assign an appropriate military asset to teach them how to shoot. Send them off to a base, give them proper instruction, give them range time, range time, range time, and you can count on producing a shooter who can keep up with any local LEO on the marksmanship front.

    It is not brain surgery to, in the event of crisis, lock your classroom door, kill the lights, and move your children over to the opposite side of the room. Draw your weapon, and wait. I am not advocating teacher door-kicking, in case that was unclear. The police response that day, as I have read, was 100% appropriate. But it still takes them, as it would anyone, time to move and get there.

    Your piece was very well written, sir, and your stance is very well thought out. Thank you!

  3. jellydonut says:

    Video games don’t kill people – people do.

    Seriously, you’re blaming a bunch of pixels. Millions, if not billions of people at this point have played these extremely popular games. A tiny minority of otherwise mentally ill people have happened to commit horrible crimes like these, whilst also having played these (again, very popular) games earlier in their life.

    The idea that there is a correlation has been debunked over and over again.

    Video games are protected by the 1st Amendment, just like guns are protected by the 2nd. Don’t blame one or the other. NRA’s head honcho trying to shift the blame to video games made me roll my eyes so far back in my head I damn near required surgery to see again.

    • Chris says:

      1 singular item is not or will not be the key piece. I fully agree with the author television, video games and ultraviolet movies are part of the problem. The mere act of playing a video game or watching the movie is not going to spur a deranged killer. These ultra violent media coupled with a lack of responsible parents who parents who do not instill what is morally right or wrong in the children lay the foundations for a problem latter. Way to many times parents feel it is the job of the schools too teach their children morals, manners and ethics and rather than then be the good parent of yester year they turn to TV movies and video games to occupy there kids time. The schools do not have the resources nor the budget to be parents nor is it there responsibility too. Additionally schools are such risk adverse that they do not identify the problem children do to fear of descrimination suits. So they let the kid slip through.

      To sum it up, a lack of parenting couple with lack of responsibility on the part of schools leads to kids learning the eithicsl codes from video games movies and tv. All of these social media tells th kids it is okay to lie steal cheat and murder and there is nothing there to stop them because no one has taken the time to care.

      As it has been said before this all starts at home and the environment that these people have been raised in is the direc correlation for their actions!

    • M says:

      I think you missed the whole point of the post there jelly doughnut.

      Since you did here you go:

      Stating video games and a violet movie scene help cause the problem, does just that: Help.

      All the author is trying to say, along with the head of the NRA is that by glorifying violence and allowing your average person to live out fantasy’s through video games, can also allow those with mental issues to have a hard time separating the two.

      Also to compound this, the moral of chips story was that the country as a whole needs to stop placing blame on the weapons used by assailants, and more on those who commit the crime. He is stating that society is plagued by a lack of ability to think, and is made up of herd mentality people who cannot and will not attempt self thought and critical thinking skills. For if they did have critical thinking skills, individuals like you would see that the entertainment industry references only encompass a small percentage of the total argument.

  4. Mark says:

    Yeah blaming video games and movies is getting about as old as blaming guns for these incidents. Especially since numerous studies show that there is no correlation. But like the OP writes, they can affect people who are crazy to begin with.

    But I guess you could blame anything when you think of how stuff affects the minds of insane individuals. I mean if you are crazy and look at tv news you will see violence…ban the news?
    Read the bible or koran and if you are a nutcase you might be affected negatively by religion…we have plenty of examples of that don’t we? So ban religion.
    I guess the common thread is this: insane people do insane things and are affected by the outside world. Be it gun magazines (the paper kind), internet, video games, tv, religion, “insert whatever you want to ban”.

    But to a degree I agree that there is also something to be said about the macho culture that is somewhat encouraged and admired by certain folks even in the gun business: it is easy to cross the line between cool jokes and unhealthy admiration to violence. This is something we all as responsible gun owners can try to keep to a minimum since it affects the gun culture in a negative way.

    But imo lets not try to shift the blame to movies or games. Lets get to the root of the problem: mental heal issues. That is where the reasons and possible solutions lie.

    • Steve says:

      Something to think about:
      1) What media does the military use as a low-cost/low-impact training method for employing weapons from individual small arms to crew served combat vehicles?

      2) What media do thousands of police departments use to train officers in shoot-no shoot scenarios, and also records officer shot placement in shoot scenarios?

      3) What media do airlines use to train their pilots in emergency procedures to better aquaint them with the procedures they would otherwise not be able to replicate in real life without incurring high risk?

      It seems at least a few professions put quite a bit of stock into the idea that “video games” are useful for preparing a person to conduct similar real-life actions.

  5. PsyOps says:

    Great article. The mainstream media are hellbent on a political agenda regarding gun control that doesn’t seem to be reflected in the majority of public opinion. There are studies that link images of violence with increased aggression but that is with small children only. Older people can seperate fantasy from fact. However, there have been numerous studies that linked widely exposed news stories of events such as suicide or mass killings with a spike in the rate of those events. You’ve heard of “copy cat killers” right? Every time a national story breaks like aurora or sandy hook somebody with issues sees the event as a social proof and model for behavior. Mass media can be a weapon of influence.

  6. Thatguy says:

    Banning Cops would end crime. Spoons make you fat. Pencils cause test failures.
    Regardless of how someones feelings toward gun control bad people with guns or mentally deficient people with guns is a bad thing. So America will have to come together and make an educated decision or we can make an emotional decision that will only divide a nation further.

  7. jrexilius says:

    Very well said. The simple fact that 40 years ago there were nearly no anti-gun laws and guns were much more accessible, yet school shootings didn’t happen, seems to be lost on ant-gun people. It’s easier to blame the object than themselves as part of the failings of society.

  8. bulldog says:

    Sorry SSD. I can’t help but think that our responsibility goes beyond our commitment to the NRA. I will not commit to a bunch of rich guys with the gun makers agendas. F them for sure! Sorry to see that you, SSD, advocate for technology and solutions have not formulated one single solution beyond false doors. Instead it is a “let’s keep things the same” type of attitude. Terrorizing the NRA heads according to your report is silly…why would you do that?

    • Doc B says:

      Perhaps you can identify a pro second amendment organization with an equal or greater amount of political clout for us to throw our effort and monetary contributions behind?

      I’d rather be free than safe, any day.

    • M says:

      Don’t chastise an organization for re-posting what others write, about not coming up with their own “solution” if you yourself cannot come up with one.

      If your going to post a problem, post a solution with it.

      I.E: Your problem is saying SSD has not presented a solid vehicle of change.

      The Solution: Legibly submit your own idea for ” change “

  9. BradKAK308 says:

    Solutions for this problem are layered. Owners need to secure thier kit. Socialized mental health treatment. Cut back on the violence level in entertainment. People need to be aware of syptoms of mental illness not just physical illness. They need to be able to get help quickly and effectively.

    When I walk about I’m watching my arcs and in nice areas my main concerns are bad drivers and mentally ill people. No shortage of either. The number of people around me totally unaware is scary. These are undoubtedly the same ones who expect the police will arrive just in time.

  10. Lucas Washing says:

    SSD please …stick to your Blog name…you have one of thebest blogs on the Internet. Stick to your game plan. Don’t follow political agendas.

    A lot of people, including myself, come for the awesome amount of content not for political thoughts. There are different blogs for that.

    Sadly, I only read uneducated or wanna-be educated opinions and articles…and they are always pro 2nd amendment….wich is not bad,but a problem.
    No objectivity can be found….even when only guest posting are published and no opinions by SSD

    About video games: they are spreading gun culture more than the NRA ever will be able to. Bashing them seems very short-sighted.

    • Thatguy says:

      Oh thank you educated one for posting. I too was sick of the uneducated and wanna-be educated opinions. For ages we have waited for you to spread your knowledge of how SSD should be operated. Long have we searched for the objectivity you have spoken of but to no avail but alas you have granted us sight beyond sight…..Just because someone is pro 2nda doesn’t mean it lacks objectivity.

      • Lucas Washing says:

        Supporting a cause, of course doesn’t mean that you somehow instantly lost your objectivity…it means that you have to work extra hard on displaying various sides of the problem,so we can reflect on it.

        Displaying only industry professionals (wich feelings towards the 2nd amendment I would never question ) inherits a certain problem…all those professional are not only affect by a change of their given rights but also in danger of losing montery value by a change of law.

        SSD sparks a discussion wich is so important, but since the topics of this blog are clear,I would just wish a more diverse discussion… Not because I am against the 2nd amendment(wich I am not), but without reflecting the topic, uneducated rants from both sides will never stop,making only everything worse.

        A serious discussion in the community is long overdue (see Jerry Tsai,recoil) so we can stop endlessly stupid prejudice regarding our way of thinking/living, jobs,hobby and community.

        Don’t count on the NRA to bring a positive shift to this discussion,they already failed….

        @thatguy…read your comment again,and feel ashamed. I wrote an opinion,you just bashed…

        • Thatguy says:

          No you came in here blasting people and now you’re trying to say I was bashing you. I would feel ashamed if I was pulling a Lucas and being a total jerk to a bunch of people who I don’t know and attempting to pretend to be more intelligent than them….. I think what happened to Jerry Tsai was an overreaction but that was a whole different topic. I am not the biggest fan of the NRA sometimes but they definitely have the 2A as one of the things they stand for. Many people are capable of critical thinking and weigh the pros and cons of the 2a and guns. Happy Holidays

          • Lucas Washing says:

            Well my statement was maybe overreacted

            Surely not every statement posted by those industry leaders was wrong,but there were always(!) a few lines that left me in disbelieve.

            I was afraid it would turn to a next iTS tactical for me. Since this whole overreacting Recoil thing I am not able to look at their HP anymore. Something I would regret deep fully if it happened to me on SSD.

            I feel that my first comment rather show my love for the site than for the topic at hand. Which doesn´t mean that its not important!

            @Thatguy
            by stating that an article or blog entry is uneducated does NOT mean that

            1. the author is stupid
            2. that i am more intelligent (don´t know where you read that??)

            It means that the content is filled with emotions (loosing rights and business) and lacks therefor objectivity

            Furthermore; NRA stands for something…doesn´t mean anything…a lot of people/organizations stand for something…the community must handle the situation, just looking at the NRA with a sheep-dog attitude won´t help.

            i know that a lot of people can weigh in pros an cons (obviously you are the first i would mention,just because you participating in a discussion) but wouldn´t it be nice to see a critical text from a industry professional?

            deep down i believe you think the same….because we all know that one-sided information has its own term…its called propaganda.
            And it makes it easy for the other side to dismantle the whole topic…