Guns: How It’s a Short Trip From ‘Average Joe’ to ‘Active Shooter’

Yes! Cain killed Abel with a rock, although I doubt he’d have picked a rock if a Glock had been lying around. It’s not a heart problem. It’s a mental illness problem. The mental illness is paranoia. The paranoia that makes one think they need to be armed to the teeth to check their mail or buy their groceries. The paranoia that makes them think that requiring a couple of extra hoops to be able to carry around a device capable of delivering death and destruction in any direction is tantamount to taking away ALL of their inalienable rights.

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Banning guns is NOT feasible. Getting rid of all guns, short of having a genie in a lamp, is an impossibility. But requiring people to show they’re not mentally unstable, don’t have a felony record, aren’t a domestic abuser, and aren’t a danger to themselves or others IS not only possible, it’s a damn good idea as well.

No one is blaming guns. Guns are inanimate objects. Yes, you can be killed with a bat, a knife, a rock, and, hell, even with a refrigerator but is there an epidemic of fridge related massacres the media isn’t reporting? No. The reason we have a gun problem in this country is not solely because of mental health problems. It’s because you can go to a gun store (or a Walmart) and walk out a few minutes later with something you’re not trained to use that can kill you or anyone else in mere seconds. Very little is required to go from “Average Joe” to “active shooter”.

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Face it, we ALL know someone we wouldn’t want to have a gun. And, at least for me, the majority of those people aren’t well regulated nor part of any militia. If there were a disease that claimed as many lives as gun violence, gun suicide, and accidental gunshots do, the CDC would be the most well funded department of the government. Well, except for the military. And why is that? No disease has a lobbyist promoting its existence and proliferation. So, after yet another massacre, we get to go round and round about guns.

One side says they want sensible gun control while the other side screams to not take their guns. They lay the blame at the feet of video games, social media, mental illness, racism… The list goes on. But what are we going to do after this blows over? What are we going to do until this happens again in an average of one week? Are we just going to find a meme that explains what we want to say? Shall we argue with that one guy on Facebook who talks about his right to own something that removes everyone else’s rights in a fraction of a second? Are we going to cringe when we hear the phrase “school shooting” and just hope it’s not our child’s school? Are we going to wait until gun violence has affected every single American personally? Because that’s all I see being done.

The NRA and the gun lobby doesn’t take a week off. They advocate for their cause every single day. We need to be doing the exact same thing. And without the millions of dollars that Smith & Wesson and others are offering up, we need to be louder, clearer, and more organized. Get your congressional representatives’ email, phone number, address, and whatever other contact info you can get and let them know, in one loud voice that THIS is a priority to us. Inundate them with inquiries, requests, demands, calls to action. Doing nothing will garner nothing. There needs to be a change in this country regarding the accessibility and proliferation of guns.

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Posted by on October 6, 2015. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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8 Responses to Guns: How It’s a Short Trip From ‘Average Joe’ to ‘Active Shooter’

  1. Timmy Mahoney Reply

    October 6, 2015 at 8:34 am

    This might be the best article that speaks to gun control I’ve read in a long time! Kudos to the author.

  2. Rachael Reply

    October 6, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Oh my. Yes Josh you are so RIGHT!! The NRA and those other gun corporations never quit. Their PR rivals that of Josef Goebbels and that’s why they are so successful.

  3. Glenn Geist Reply

    October 6, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Yes, some good points. I think nearly everyone agrees about Federal waiting periods. A number of states already have them and have had since the 1990’s, but the period varies from 3 to 10 days and the kind of weapon it applies to varies as well. Some states like Illinois, require permits to buy guns or ammunition in addition to waiting periods. Wisconsin’s legislature recently voted to end waiting periods for handguns, the sponsor of the bill claiming there’s no statistical evidence that it reduces violence. I have no idea whether this is true. I suspect not.

    Perhaps national uniformity would offer some benefits. In Florida, having a concealed carry permit allows one to bypass the waiting period but getting that requires a lengthy process including fingerprinting and FBI screening. Mine took about 6 weeks. Perhaps something similar would screen out some bad actors? I’ve read that waiting periods reduce suicides, but I’m ambivalent as I believe one has the right to end one’s life – as gruesome a method as that is.

    We can’t expect a magic bullet, if you’ll pardon the metaphor, and I think that reducing the proliferation of firearms is not a simple or easy task in a country that has always had a lot of guns and where armed resistance to government is a tradition going back to our beginnings. See a Confederate flag and you can bet the man who displays it has some guns.

  4. Bill Formby Reply

    October 6, 2015 at 10:42 am

    One thing that always bothers me is that when a proposal is offered that might slow down one part of the gun violence problem the gun advocates shout it down by screaming that it will not solve other problems. For example, criminals do not go through background checks to get their guns. Well, no shit Sherlock. That does not mean that the loop hole that let the young man in Charleston shooting get a gun because the authorities could not get the background check done in three should not be closed. It also does not mean that by requiring private sales and sales at gun shows to go through background checks before the transaction is completed would not cut down on gun violence. Will these eliminate all gun violence, of course not, but it is a start. Right now we as a country are in a no start position because of the pro gun lobbies leaving it at the discretion of each states. Thus, idiot states like mine, Alabama, makes it easier to get guns as well as carry them, and they easily end up in states with more restrictive laws. There needs to be a national standard on these points.
    Any number of pro gun enthusiasts point to Chicago, IL as an example of a place with strict gun regulations but problems with gun violence. Do they not understand that many of that city’s residents have southern contacts and may well be getting their guns from other states. It is no big secret that there is a black market business of buying guns in the Southern States and taking them northward to sell them at a profit in the restrictive places like New York and Chicago. Where there are opportunities to curtail the possession and use of guns by the wrong people we should take them. They will not end mass shooting nor all the gun violence but if they stop even one is that not enough. The problem seems to be that too many people see themselves as a Clint Eastwood character and shooting it out with bad guys. Usually these end up going the wrong way.

  5. Paul Gallagher Reply

    October 6, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    It’s all about the money. The NRA is subsidized by the gun manufacturers, and that is what keeps them afloat. The money they getfrom membership fees is minuscule in comparison.

  6. nigel Reply

    October 7, 2015 at 10:42 am

    What combination of existing or proposed firearm regulations would prevent a determined person from obtaining a gun and going on a rampage in a gun free zone? Once someone goes down that path, is a background check really going to stop them? We have a multitude of laws in place to prevent access to illegal drugs. How has that worked out? A trained swat officer in every school would solve this problem now. Put some effort into a real solution and forego the empty symbolic gestures.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      October 8, 2015 at 9:32 am

      A trained SWAT officer in every school? Well let’s see now. A good guy with a gun enters the northeast door of the high school and starts shooting students. Meanwhile, the “trained SWAT officer” is at the southwest door, and on the other side of the campus. Now tell me how he’s going to stop a “determined shooter” before perhaps dozens are killed? Secondly, how is he contacted? Is everyone given radios of some kind?

  7. Josh Fielder Reply

    October 7, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Symbolic empty gestures? Should I judge you on the one written thing I’ve ever seen of yours and draw erroneous conclusions as well? A trained SWAT officer can’t stop this from happening. If so, the Virginia Tech massacre wouldn’t have happened. They had an entire police department AND a tactical team and it still happened. You can’t prove a negative. How many people aren’t dead today because a hot head cooled off before his waiting period ended? How many people have zero bullet holes in them today because a guy didn’t pass his background check? You don’t know. You only know of the failures of the existing, albeit, weak gun laws. The drug analogy really bothers me though. It’s as if you’re saying, “People still do drugs. Guess we should just put them in vending machines.” As if there’s ever been a law that some didn’t decide to break?

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