Another shooting in Florida has brought the usual round of easy answers about how to avoid these tragedies once and for all. And while many of the arguments are grounded in passion, grief and a sincere sense that things are out of control most of them miss guidance that can be found in more complex perspectives.
Some believe that all the tragedies would be averted if we just returned prayer and the pledge to our schools. And while those things might be helpful their absence in many schools did not cause the shootings. There were extensive problems in schools decades ago even when practices like those were in place. Others suggest greater police presence and that may be needed. Worth some more consideration.
But similarly, the calls for severe gun control, requests that clearly impede our Constitutional freedoms, are not an easy or only answer either. Guns will be acquired whether they are legal or illegal. Guns are not what kill people. People kill people for all sorts of horrible reasons.
But let me use an oft – referred to illustration in this vein that might help us consider some common ground on gun control. Consider cars. People driving cars kills tens of thousand of people each year. The results are tragic. But I hear no one suggesting that we ban most cars or severely limit the kinds of cars we can drive.
However, what if I suggested that because there is freedom in this country to have a car I want to own and drive a NASCAR level auto through town.? Imagine what I could do on I-465 getting around Indianapolis with 600HP or more!
However, there are rules (wise ones, by the way) that prohibit owners from having a car with that kind of power. I could argue, “But what if there were an emergency and I needed to rush a family member to the hospital? Wouldn’t it be better to have a faster car?”
And the obvious answer would be “no.” I can still have a car, I can even buy pretty fast ones, but a NASCAR level car isn’t going to be legal on our streets. Will a ban on NASCAR automobiles stop all the killing on our roads? Hardly. But we would be saying that there is a limit and we’ll put more restrictions on too much power for the average person. We can avoid some deaths that way and that is both a doable and wise choice. It’s one we’ve made for years.
In fact we’re not even banning high-powered cars from all usage. No one should be asking for NASCAR to completely shut down. But the limit would make sense. Only those capable of using those cars in an appropriate setting would be allowed to have them.
In the same way, we could find some middle ground concerning guns, limiting some of those higher powered, too much power, guns from getting into the wrong hands, the hands of people who are incapable of using them wisely. That seems to make sense and I think would calm some of the criticism concerning some people not willing to make any limits on guns. Let’s hope the conversation and some wise, corresponding actions are a result.
Think about it. I’m open to hearing what you think, too.