The other day Frank and I took Dante (more like Frank and Dante took me) to the shooting range. We wanted to do something together before Dante goes back to college in a few days. Dante wants to get into law enforcement (like most of the menfolk on Frank’s side of the family). Frank’s side of the family likes guns for sport. For hunting, but not too much hunting. For protection, but mostly for sport. Frank has the concealed and carry license. It is good to be comfortable with your gun if you hold that license.
At any rate, we went. My first time. It was enjoyable. I was clearly the rookie. I could see how it could become an enjoyable hobby, albeit expensive.
It brings me to examining what is going on in our country with the scramble to change the gun control laws in our country. Right now, I see people moving out of emotion, following the recent elementary school shooting. I find it strange that so much focus is on the gun, and so little on the mental health.
It’s sexier to focus on guns. Easier.
To focus on the emotional state of the young man, the way the system fails people over and over… is much less appealing. Much less emotionally charged. Most people have no answer regarding the mentally ill, but are able to scrounge one up – or pick a “side” at least – when it comes to guns. I’m not concerned with mentally sound adults having firearms in their homes. I am concerned about some of the violent, mentally ill people in our community – guns or no guns.
I don’t really know the answer to any of this. I just know that right now, at this time, may not be the the exact moment to make a decision. I personally would much rather see the focus turned on the mentally ill than on the weapon of choice they use to kill themselves or other people. For every one of these mass-killings, there are many more where a person kills a wife, child, mother, father, sibling, self, or others on a smaller scale. It isn’t always with a gun. It’s with hands, household objects. Whatever they can attain. It doesn’t make headlines. Same problem, different stage, setting and weapon.