Banning Guns Isn’t the Solution

DSC02079In the aftermath of Sandy Hook, many people are calling for tighter gun control in order to prevent future massacres. Of course, such a view fails to take into account a few things:

1) We’ve increased our gun control measures after a few recent massacres, and yet massacres still occur

2) Massacres occurred well before the invention of the gun

3) Prior to WWII, there were no recorded mass shootings of innocent individuals in the United States, though most Americans owned a gun and gun control was minimal to non-existent

4) The only crime shown to drop with gun control is gun violence – alternatively, every other crime increases with gun control. While the UK has a lower gun crime rate than the US, you’re more likely to be stabbed, robbed, raped, or assaulted in the UK than you are in the US.

Regardless, gun control has not worked and will not work in stopping individuals from killing innocent humans. For one, it’s a utopian idea to think that we can somehow end mass killings by banning the gun. Murder will always exist and when you take away the gun from the citizens, you then put the power in the hands of the government to inflict violence on its own citizens. This is especially true in democracies, wherein every democracy has tyranny as its logical conclusion.

The solution to our problem is a moral one, not a legislative one. Yes, the individual who carried out the sickening actions at Sandy Hook was insane and therefore incapable of fully grasping morality. But therein lies the problem – he is a symptom of society’s moral problem. Because we’re so enamored with making sure everyone is equal, because we’d rather spend money on creating thousands of Sandy Hook’s overseas rather than putting that money towards mental health improvement. We’ve raised three generations to believe that they’re okay as they are, so much to the point that a mother would refuse a son mental health treatment because it would send the message that he’s “different.” In our all-encompassing pursuit of tolerance and equality in all things, we’ve created a generation so selfish, so narcissistic, and so fragile that we’ve made our society nearly unlivable.

Banning the gun or regulating the gun will have literally no impact on our societal problems. While we may prevent multiple Adam Lanzas, we will create even more Joseph Stalins. Regulating the gun without first addressing our moral deficiency may lower or prevent gun crimes from citizen to citizen, but it will not prevent the violence a government holds over its populace. A gun is a tool and when placed in a society without a strong moral foundation, it becomes a tool for mass murder. Again, those who are insane cannot be trained to be moral, but an immoral society leaves those who are insane with no support, no medication, and no alternative to possibly heal them or cure them. An immoral society thinks nothing of its neighbors and causes a mother to leave her weapons within reach of a son she knows is not mentally well. We can condemn Adam Lanza’s mother for leaving these guns out, but the ultimate problem is she actually listened to the message society has been preaching: do what makes you happy, so long as it doesn’t harm anyone else.

Well, for a little over two decades she did what made her happy and it didn’t hurt anyone else. However, her happiness finally did hurt someone else, multiple someones, but she had no way of seeing this. Rather than preaching virtue and that we all have a obligation to the common good, we have preached to do what makes one happy so long as no one else is harmed. Of course, because we are imperfect and temporal and cannot see into the future, we have no idea if what we do today will harm someone tomorrow. What I can do, however, is choose to be prudent with my actions and show good judgement, but this would require me to buy into a moral absolute and that is simply taboo in our culture.

Blame the gun all you want, at the end of the day its our lack of moral fortitude that created the conditions for Adam Lanza to exist. Because we lack the moral fortitude to take care of the sick among us, especially the mentally ill, we created Adam Lanza. Because we’re unwilling to even use the term “mentally ill” and instead prefer the term “special,” we created Adam Lanza. While there are students with mental disabilities who are not mentally ill, we have eradicated the idea of being “mentally ill” because we think that’s unfair to some students, even if true. While we seek to regulate who can and cannot get guns, we will do nothing to fix our moral foundation, which is why another mass shooting is inevitable. We eradicated the truth in the search for equality and tolerance, we abandoned absolute morality for the sake of feeling better about one’s self, we condemned the common good in favor of just being happy, and now the victims of our pursuit lay before us and we’re unwilling to see that we were the artisans of their demise.