Secularize This

Monday, August 13, 2012


This past month the United States has produced two mass murders that have no place in a civilized society.  Dozens of innocent people were slain and families forever changed by the tragic events that took place in Colorado and Wisconsin.  I am not trying to take anything away from the families touched by the horrific actions of these two men that have forever shaken their worlds, but what puts these victims on a pedestal compared to the other murder victims that have their lives tragically taken on a daily basis in this great nation of ours?  Colorado had 12 lives taken in a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" and 58 injured.  Wisconsin had 5 lives shortened in a Sikh Temple, the gunman was also killed totaling 6 lives ending that day due to unneeded violence.  After these tragedies our government buildings and local business establishments lowered their flags to half mast showing respect for the victims and their families.

A total of 18 lives were taken in these two tragedies and our nation goes into honor mode immediately by lowering flags to half mast, but what actions are taken daily for those who have their lives cut short by mindless gun crimes?  According to the National Institute of Justice, there was 11,346 people killed by gun violence in 2005 averaging 31 lives lost every day that year.  How many times did our flags fly at half mast for those victims?  We tragically lose 18 victims over two different incidents and we show respect for isolated incidents performed by what appears to be mentally unstable individuals driven by psychosis or hate, but for the innocent people lost by stray bullets from drive by shootings, home invasions or even escalated domestic disputes are not given the same respect?  A life is a life, once it is gone it cannot be gotten back.

The answer is not more guns; that carries the same logic as using gasoline to put a fire out because it is a liquid like water.  If we are truly a civilized society we can thrive without firearms, but I know realistically that day will not come, so there will have to be other answers.  Education only goes so far, and we are a quick-tempered, gut instinct society that has a quick fuse and guns provide that superior feeling, especially when the other party does not have one.  Rather than gun control, there should be regulations on the ammunition.  Stop making it so easy to obtain these projectiles that inflict the damage.  Alcohol and tobacco cause damage to humans as well, and those industries are regulated.  There are stark differences between the use of alcohol/tobacco compared to firearms.  The people consuming alcohol/tobacco are making the conscious decision to partake in those products, and the harm they inflict are not instant.  The damages become apparent overtime.  Firearm victims have no choice in the damage that is inflicted upon them and the capacity for damage is far greater from a magazine of bullets compared to a carton of cigarettes or a fifth of whiskey.

Again, I mean no disrespect to the families of victims in Colorado and Wisconsin in these recent tragedies.  Any life lost is always tragic, especially in the face of ignorance and neglect.

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