I’ll preface this by saying that murder is a horrid thing, and our children do need to be protected against that.
There are approximately 25 million high school students in the US right now (it is lower than that, but I’m also including and private schools which for some reason are treated as a different stat).
In all of the school shootings (CNN alleges 17, though that could be greater or lower depending on the criteria; the FBI cites a mass shooting as having more than four victims. Chicago has nothing but mass shootings outside of schools), there have been roughly 20 deaths. But I’m going to go ahead and pump that number up to one thousand.
Statistically that means that the total deaths caused by mass shootings to teenagers comes out to 0.00004%.
Some would say that number needs to be zero, and I would like to agree.
What is killing teens more and more is texting while driving.
However I don’t think gun control is going to be the most logical way to do that.
Some people will trot out Australia, and how their gun violence has gone down. And it is true…their GUN violence HAS gone down….but their violent crime rate stayed the same.
What does that mean?
Well, imagine suicide was an epidemic, so they passed laws that made ropes illegal. The statistics for rope suicides would go down, right?
Yes. But people were still killing themselves at the same rate. They just used different methods.
Now, I know already, some of you are saying “Well, that’s a bit of a straw man false equivalency” yet the argument will still be made “Well at least they didn’t use a gun.”
Australias crime levels didn’t go down. Their violent crime didn’t go down. Their murder rate stayed the same. So how were guns the problem if nothing actually changed?
Change certain gun laws, sure. Do background checks AND actually do them (not like the 82 times Cruz was reported to the police, and the laws that prevented his mental illness from being added to the gun registry websites used for background checks).
But a criminal, by definition, does not obey the law. And, law, is mainly a reactionary method. We don’t have a “pre-crime” unit like in that Tom Cruise movie (terribly adapted from a Phillip K. Dick novel). We could increase the punishments for crimes already committed as a preventative measure, maybe. But what does that yield? Should we bring back public execution as a method of behavior method?
I want a solution. You want a solution. We’re both coming at the problem from different angles. Me wanting to keep my (non existent guns because I don’t own any) guns is not going to stop a school shooting. You banning guns is not going to stop a pre meditated attack. And even if all guns were banned there are people who will use other methods just as deadly or worse (nail bombs, home made flame throwers*, home made cyanide gas*).
We need to focus less on “taking away” or “making new laws” and figure out predictive methods.
It’s no surprise to me that out of the 27 mass shooters in the last few years came from fatherless homes. I mainly came from a fatherless home and the most influential person in my life was Optimus Prime. How many of my friends who didn’t have fathers loved Arnold Schwarzenegger movies where everything was solved at the end of a gun (not blaming violent movies on violent people, or even Hollywood).
I think the shift has to come culturally, and it will take a long time. I think that interference at early instances are our only hope at reducing gun crime. In Canada we have lower gun crime (but still existent), and I think that is largely due to the common belief that being angry and choosing death is not a solution. Maybe we need to move in more of a meritocracy concept, where instead of pushing the idea of violence as a means to solve our problems (as antifa, school shooters, violent criminals), we push the “I’m going to go and do better than you just to throw it in your face.”
I was horribly bullied when I was young. Many times, bleeding into the ground while feet kicked me and blows rained down from above, I wished I had had a gun.
I had plenty of access to guns, I grew up in a rural area.
Instead I chose to be smug. I chose to be “better”, smarter. I wouldn’t kill them…I would eviscerate them intellectually. Still they called me stupid, still they called me names.
It didn’t get rid of my anger, but I feel that it was still a safer alternative.
Maybe we need to foster that. Maybe we need to foster that “good” competition that forces us to be better people. Maybe we need to bring back actual trophies for achievement. Maybe we need to tell the slow kid to get moving. Maybe we need to tell the “loser” great try, try harder so you can throw it in their face.
It may not be good sportsmanship, but maybe things won’t end with a gun.
I don’t think change is going to come at the behest of a shaved headed teenager who was in a building a quarter of a mile away during a shooting. No matter how many people march in the streets, gun owners and sympathizers as well as the indifferent, will make more of a change while voting than throwing a concert will.
Passing laws are going to make people hide their guns, not get rid of them. You'll turn ordinary people into criminals because of mistrust.
And who will be left with all the guns? The criminals and "racist" cops.
Maybe that’s just me.
Send me your thoughts. I want a solution as much as you do.
*These things are frighteningly easy to make.