Saturday, February 16, 2008

My Two Cents on the Illinois Shooting and Gun Control

Ever since the recent shooting in Illinois, involving the young graduate student, the issue of gun control has cropped up all the more and questions have been raised about whether increased gun control could possibly prevent further school shootings in the future.

In my honest opinion, increasing gun control, at best, would only be a temporary fix to the problem and, at worst, be a solution that may not have any effect at all. The reason why I say this is because the people who would tend to perpetrate such crimes are individuals who are often willing to be patient and resourceful enough to find ways of acquiring what they need to commit their crimes. All in all, they are desperate people, who see that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing what they devoted themselves to do. Making it more difficult to access firearms, may retard their efforts to carry out their agenda, but if a person's desperate enough they will acquire a firearm whether legally or illegally (such as stealing one from a parent, relative, or even stranger). Having an enforced gun law would do little against them.

Many people these days, make the mistake of assuming that it is the access to guns or the presence of violence in our culture that are the ultimate root of the school shooting problem. Though violence in the media can play a role and though convenient access to firearms can make it easier to carry out a shooting, the ultimate root of these incidents lie in the choice of the individuals involved and whatever factors made them to be the way they are. Overall, the politics of gun control in America hasn't changed that drastically over the past decade or so. However, the frequency of actual school shootings and potential school shootings has increased significantly in the recent years—very few would argue that.

These shootings, by and large, are a result of a greater disease and increasing gun control will only mask the symptoms of this disease for the short term rather than cure it.

To treat this spiritual disease, people and children need to be taught to respect and care for one another at an early age. Bullying needs to be curbed and prevented in every school and environment and pro-active programs devoted to better parenting skills need to be implemented on a much larger scale. Schools must be involved, parents must be fully committed and, yes, churches everywhere must make every effort. And this doesn’t just mean paying lip-service here and there; this means actually doing something and taking action. Because the two main histories that nearly every perpetrator of nearly every school shooting share is a history of bullying and a history of having a distant family.

This is my two cents.

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