Gun Laws

You might have guessed at this headline. With the news of the Virginia Tech shootings so fresh in everyone’s mind, debate about weapon laws entered into this morning’s conversations at work.

Yeh – an Asian man with grand visions of America’s wild west compares those good ole days (notably via Hollywood entertainment and the likes of John Wayne) to what life could be like in modern society. His idea is simply that, while he doesn’t feel a need to carry a weapon, he would feel safer knowing that a percentage of other citizens do.

Brandon – a good friend of mine now for over seven years always has an informed perspective on issues of law, politics, and their possible effects on society morale. He sees that modern society has a tendency to escalate situations to the point of violence too often for him to feel comfort knowing citizens are carrying concealed weapons.

Damon – the minister by night, techie by day; new(ish) guy. He generally has a specific slant to his interjections – one of Godliness and a faith-based perspective. His statement is one of idealism…we should all just love each other more.

I see validity in all of their statements. Unfortunately, I don’t see drastic changes occurring to society as a whole based upon this event. Brandon said it best, “any law that is created based on these events would be a knee-jerk reaction.” Love and peace go without saying. The days of the wild west, as portrayed in the movies, seem orderly enough – that is, the majority of violence was kept between two men. Or at most a man (Clint Eastwood) and a marauding gang. In an idealistic way, I can agree with Yeh because I want to believe that most people are good. Most people are reasonable. And as Yeh says it, the knowledge that anyone could be carrying a gun prevents the “bad guy” from outrageous exploitations of the innocent. Alas, I live in the southeastern United States where I think that pondering fails experience. It’s likely a global fault, to be sure.

So what’s the answer? How do we protect the innocent without inflicting the very rights by which they can protect themselves? Clearly the issue is less about enforced justice and instead one of individual righteousness. Just when you think (hope) everyone is decent, your theories are dashed by a frenzied, yet incapable member of society.