All weekend long, my heart has felt heavy and my head has been full. Filled with anger and sadness and sympathy for the families who have lost their loved ones in such a senseless way. In the wake of the shooting in Connecticut on Friday morning, I haven't really commented on it because I've been completely disgusted by the "debates" going on on Facebook, Twitter and other places about gun violence in America.
Living in Canada, in a small town, I can only recall two times in my life that gun violence touched me personally in anyway. The first time was while I was in high school. A young man went to a local high school (not mine) and shot his girlfriend on the front lawn of the school. Some friends of mine witnessed the murder and I can tell you that it changed them forever. The second time, was many years later. A young man whose family had lived across the street from mine when I was very young, committed a similar crime. The young man shot and killed his girlfriend at a local mall. Both events were horrific and were related to domestic violence. Both victims were known to the shooters and in all likelihood, the shootings could have been prevented or predicted by folks who were close to the victims.
These events seem very different to the huge mass shootings we keep hearing about from down south. I know that folks in the US have very strong opinions about their right to own guns. Personally, I would never have a gun in my home but I think that if you like to hunt and you have the proper permits and licenses, owning a hunting rifle or a crossbow, to hunt with, should be legal.
I do have a lot of questions though, about guns in general, which I can't find answers to:
Why does anyone, except the military or the police would need to own automatic (or semi-automatic) weapons?
Why would an individual need a hand gun?
How does arming entire communities make people feel more safe? (personally, I would feel less safe to think that everyone was walking around carrying a hand gun)
Why do folks who want to own guns think that "gun control" means "gun ban"?
Why is it harder to receive a diagnosis and treatment for mental disorders than it is to access guns in the US?
Goodness knows, no country is perfect. In Canada over the past couple of years, there has been an increase in gun related deaths and injuries (mostly in large cities and primarily related to an increase in gang activity) but it is like a drop in the bucket compared to the devastating massacres which continue to happen, almost monthly it seems at times, in the States.
Collectively, your Nation needs to pull it's head out of it ass and stop arguing about who can legally love someone else and figure out how to get people to stop killing each other. Wake up America, how many more more children have to die while you keep bickering about guns?