The sacrifice we ask others to pay for our choices is laid out clearly in an op-ed this morning in the New York Times. It comes from a father whose son was murdered in another school shooting some years back. He points to the real reason we won't and almost certainly won't control the elements in our society that allow -- even encourage -- these events to continue.
I came to realize that, in essence, this is the way we in America want things to be. We want our freedom, and we want our firearms, and if we have to endure the occasional school shooting, so be it. A terrible shame, but hey — didn’t some guy in China just do the same thing with a knife?
Still, whatever your position on gun control, it is impossible not to react with horror to news of the shootings in Connecticut. Our horror is nuanced by knowledge of what those families are going through, and what they will have to endure in years to come.
More horrible still — to me at least — is the inevitable lament, “How could we have let this happen?”
It is a horrible question because the answer is so simple. Make it easy for people to get guns and things like this will happen.
Children will continue to pay for a freedom their elders enjoy. ...Gregory Gibson, NYT
And it's not just guns. We've allowed a corporate culture in America to dominate our entertainment, making it more and more available and more and more violent. Not just physical violence but emotional and psychological violence. Can't live with it, one might say, and can't live without it.
Guns are just another facet of the tools our culture puts in our hands and minds. By all means, let's take some control over access to military ordnance and handguns. But that alone won't stop what Gregory Gibson, who's had plenty of reasons to think about all this long and hard, calls a public health issue. He wrote a book about it.
In it I suggested that we view gun crime as a public health issue, much the same as smoking or pesticides. I spent a number of years attending rallies, signing petitions, writing letters and making speeches, but eventually I gave up. ...Gregory Gibson, NYT
Most of America has given up, too. We already know a bloody pile of little kids isn't going to stand between us and our "freedom," especially when what we like to think of as freedom is just another cluster of addictions.