Friday, December 28, 2012

A Plea for Restoring Sanity


Mark W. Danielson

The above photos show a dog riddled with twenty-nine BBs.  If they came from birdshot, it means she was shot twice.  If it was from a BB gun, then she was shot twenty-nine times.  Amazingly, she survived and went on to be adopted by my daughter who had no knowledge of this horrific act until her dog had X-rays.  As of now, there is no plan to remove them due to the possibility of inflicting more damage.  Sadly, there is no way to predict how long her dog has been suffering or if it was lead shot that could lead to lead poisoning, but the two of them share a very close bond.  Truly they were meant for each other. 

When my daughter sent me these X-rays, I angrily wondered what kind of monster squeezes the trigger on an innocent and defenseless dog, and then I realized it’s the same type that shoots kids and teachers in elementary schools, high schools, or randomly shoots from college towers.  Clearly the first solution in preventing more killing sprees is to identify people like this dog shooter and give them psychological help before they explode and cause another massacre.  As a minimum, they should never have access to a firing range or weapons.

I am a strong believer in the right to bear arms, but unless we are facing a Zombie Apocalypse, I fail to see why any individual needs a large-magazine, rapid-firing assault weapon.  For the purpose of this article, I will arbitrarily define large magazine as anything over nine rounds, and classify any weapon having more than nine rounds as an assault weapon because no one needs more than that to go hunting.  But as the NRA will point out, the real danger behind any weapon is the person pulling the trigger.  I agree, and go on to say that our system has failed miserably in identifying people with violent tendencies.  Even worse, the records of those who have been clinically identified as disturbed are sealed to protect their civil rights, which means there is no way authorities can be proactive.  Only after a mass murder like the Connecticut shooting are the details of the deranged assailant’s background revealed.  If we started seeing these people as domestic terrorists, we might have a shot at preventing future killings.  When we finally realize that protecting the general public is more important than protecting a potential murderer’s civil rights, we might have a fighting chance.  Agree or not, this is definitely something to think about the next time you cast your ballots.  

The great irony is those who fear authorities will be delving into their personal information willingly share their life’s story on social media sites.  They complain about Big Brother’s security cameras and then rant when criminals are released because video didn’t record their crimes.  Neighbors complain to authorities when they were not warned that convicted rapists and child molesters are living among them and yet these same people rush to protect criminals who claim their civil rights were violated.  What will it take to realize that only those people who violate the law have reason to fear increased scrutiny? 
The first step in restoring order is to enforce existing laws, not create new ones as a reaction to public outcry.  The second is to restore censorship to enhance decent core values.  People are far less tolerant now than when I was a child, and a big reason is electronic stimulation and media sensationalism.  Thanks to texting and social media, bullying has gone from school playgrounds to cyberspace.  Movies, television shows, and video games have not only become increasingly violent and graphic, they encourage disrespectful behavior.  Music has gone from innocent teen romances to explicit commentary on abusing women, doing drugs, killing bitches, and language so foul they require warning labels, and yet we protect all of this in the name of Freedom of Speech.  So before we blame everything on the criminally insane, it’s time we identify how we can restore sanity.  Before this can happen, we must first accept the blame for letting our society go mad.  Until we regain our work ethic and refine our scruples, more mass killings will be coming to a theater near you. 

By nature of their jobs, law enforcement and military personnel will always have a need for improved multi-magazine assault weapons.  On the contrary, someone who shoots a young dog may also possess the mental capacity for riddling humans with bullets.  If you are against assault weapons, then ask your elected officials to explain why they lifted the ban.  With the New Year upon us, now seems like a good time for meaningful change.     



Earl Staggs said...

Mark, I'm in total agreement. As far as "civil Rights" is concerned (Freedom of Speech, Right to Bear Arms, et al) we need to go back to when they were created and enforce them in accordance with their original purpose and not the way our legal system has bastardized them.

Earl Staggs said...

Mark, I'm in total agreement. As far as "civil Rights" is concerned (Freedom of Speech, Right to Bear Arms, et al) we need to go back to when they were created and enforce them in accordance with their original purpose and not the way our legal system has bastardized them.

Mark W. Danielson said...

Absolutely, Earl. The intent of our Forefathers has been diluted to the interpretations of whatever suits the times. History shows that in the late 1700s through the mid 1900s disrespect and crime were treated with swift justice. Now, enforcement of those laws seems more concept than reality.