I find it a fascinating thing to watch the reaction of the different political parties when it comes to the issue of gun control. In the aftermath of the shooting of Republican congressmen in Alexandria recently, there seems to be fewer cries for gun control than there were in 2011 when Gabby Giffords (a Democratic congresswoman) was shot.
Part of this is because the Republicans are in charge of both houses of congress and the executive branch right now (even though you can hardly tell it) and they are typically against gun control on the basis of individual freedom and responsibility. Even though they were targeted by a gunman specifically for their party affiliation, I am pleased with the level-headed approach that most of the representatives, present during the attack, that I have seen or heard speaking about the indecent. They almost all have had a sensible and thoughtful response in that they have focused the attention on the person behind the act and not the tool (gun) which he used to carry out the attack.
The Democrats, who are very much in favor of gun control (and thereby another way to control the populace), have been surprisingly quite after this incident. Again this is partially due to the fact that they do not control the agenda in either house of congress, nor do they have the bully pulpit of the presidency. However, they have not even been seen in the media very much in the days and now weeks since the attack. I wonder if it might be because it was not one of their own that was wounded? Could it be that in this case the argument for gun control laws would not hold much credence, since the shooter purchased his weaponry legally in the state of Illinois, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country already (so much for keeping the guns out of the hands of criminals with gun control laws)?
I recently read a list of high-profile attacks dating back to the early 2000’s in which the weapons were purchased legally; including the Alexandria attack (most recently), the Sandy Hook School shootings and the Gabby Giffords incident. They numbered around twenty different situations across the entire country. Many of these happened in states with very strict gun control laws. Doesn’t that indicate that gun laws are not the answer. Holding those who commit the crimes accountable is the real answer. On the list were Sandy Hook (Connecticut has the 5th strongest gun laws), San Bernardino (California has THE strictest gun laws in the country) and even though the attack on the Republican congressmen happened in Virginia (ranked 21st) the weapons were purchased in Illinois (which has the 9th strictest gun laws).
So based upon these observations one should conclude that gun control would not be the solution. Obviously the solution lies with controlling the human element, either through moral teachings or incarceration. The best answer would be to not only expose the populous to moral teachings more frequently from early ages in schools (preschool comes to mind) but to also insist that certain moral standards be observed, such as right from wrong (we have too many gray areas in our culture) and natural consequences, if you break a rule or law there is a direct consequence (we allow far too many “do overs” in life today).
The other solution is incarceration. However we as a society have to adopt the mindset that incarceration facilities (prisons) are NOT daycare facilities for adults, nor country clubs where you get to choose your favorite activity for the day. They need to be PRISONS where life is so miserable you don’t want to come back, you want to strive to get out and never return. According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics report from 2005 through 2010 just over 75% of criminals studied in 30 states were arrested for additional crimes within 5 years, just over 25% were arrested for “violent” crimes. That statistic right there tells us that prisons are far too easy on the offenders. If prisons are nice enough that 3/4’s of the inmates released are willing to go back by committing additional crimes, then the punishment of going to prison in the first place is not severe enough. Prison conditions should be designed to make the inmates want to NEVER set foot inside another prison EVER! If an inmate wants to have access to a library, they should have earn that privilege, it should not be an expectation just because “I am here” it should be given to me. If you want to ride horses, if the particular institutions has that available, you have to earn the privilege. Because that is exactly what it is, a PRIVILEGE, not a right!
Average Red Blooded American Citizens abide by the rules and laws of society, we don’t ask for special treatment and certainly not if we break the rules.