Asking the People About Concealed Weapons…

Originally published in the Grand Rapids Press, July 2, 2011

Here’s the thing: I’ve been an American all my life, and I still don’t really understand our obsession with handguns and the visceral need for some to possess them. I think it all likely stems from fear. Fear built upon fear built upon fear over time. And now it’s a societal instinct to get firearms when we feel a threat. I don’t think the answer is to ban handguns. Banning stuff in America typically doesn’t work very well. We like the stuff we like, legal or not. Honestly, I don’t know exactly what to do. But if I were a politician and could create a well-intentioned but completely unenforceable law (the type of reactionary laws that get people re-elected), it would be this: If I wanted to buy a handgun, I would have to wait one week. And during that week, I could do anything I wanted except watch TV news. And if — after that one week of not stewing in the worst of human behavior — I was still fearful, then, yes, I could buy the gun. (Plus, there would be a background check on me. Because who in their right mind would sell me a gun if I had a criminal background? Um, right?…)

I’m sure you all know about the guy in Grand Rapids who snapped last week and killed seven people and then himself. It was a horrible thing. But instead of wasting our energy and money stocking up on weapons or trying to get rid of them all, maybe we should concentrate on improving the health support structure to identify and treat mental illness. Which is to say, reduce the fear for everybody.

1 Comment »

  1. Tyler said,

    July 13, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

    And to that idea I say Amen. It’s far easier to blame guns, food, drugs, etc. than it is to try and address the root of the problem.

    Best way I’ve heard this conveyed was in the evel movie South Park in the “Blame Canada” song:
    “We must blame them and cause a fuss
    Before someone thinks of blaming us.”

    Which of course was the real problem.

    Prayers to the victims of that aweful event.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment