Mass shootings in this country are becoming far too common. Another tragedy spawned by some sick individual who had easy access to a firearm. Every time one of these tragedies happens it inevitably brings about the “gun debate” which gets us absolutely nowhere in this country.
And following the comments made by shooting victim Chris Martinez’s father, you can bet gun nuts will be out in force spewing the same old crap about how guns have nothing to do with gun violence, the only way to stop a good guy with a gun is a bad guy with a gun and blaming a gun for a shooting is like blaming a spoon for obesity.
They’re all lines that I’ve heard countless times. They’re also lines that make absolutely no sense.
The one that I think infuriates me the most is the “only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” To me, what that says is that a few victims are acceptable. Because a “good guy with a gun” can’t stop a “bad guy with a gun” until that bad guy opens fire.
I say the best way to stop a bad guy is to do everything we can to ensure bad guys don’t get guns. But that’s just me.
Though I think Richard Martinez might agree. During an emotionally charged short speech following his son’s death he lashed out at the NRA, politicians and gun nuts in general.
“Our son Chris Martinez and six others are dead,” Martinez said. “Our family has a message for every parent out there: You don’t think it will happen to your child until it does.”
“Why did Chris die?” he asked. “Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’s right to live? When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say, ‘Stop this madness!’ Too many have died. We should say to ourselves, ‘Not one more!'”
Now I’m not going to try to say that Chris died solely because of guns. The alleged shooter clearly had some serious mental issues and shouldn’t have had access to any kind of gun in the first place. That’s a huge part of the problem.
But I think the context behind what he was saying is that we have to stop pretending that guns aren’t a problem and there’s nothing we can do to reduce gun violence. How many mass shootings have to occur before we finally take measures to ensure bad guys don’t get guns?
A gun nut’s answer is usually “more guns.” Again, how would that save initial victims? They’ll also say this is all about mental health. And they’re right about this being partially a mental health issue. But these shootings are also related to how easily accessible guns are in this country. How we glorify guns.
Will regulations solve all gun violence? Of course not. But you have to start somewhere. And what’s the real alternative? Start denying the ability to own guns to those with any kind of mental illness? If that’s your argument, that’s a very slippery slope. Who defines what “mentally ill” is and who determines who’s “too mentally ill” to own firearms?
And if you really honestly believe more guns is the answer, you’re insane. Many of these mass shooters end up killing themselves. If they don’t value their own life, why would the possibility of being killed by a “good guy with a gun” after shooting a few people first deter them from planning their killing spree?
What’s the answer to solving the issue of gun violence? I’m not completely sure. But I think it’s clear that we can’t continue doing absolutely nothing of substance. The fact we haven’t even been able to pass universal background checks should disgust each and every one of us to the point of being sick to our stomachs.
Watch Richard Martinez’s emotional comments below, via CNN:
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