By David Gunn
There is one question that unites most Americans today: What’s to be done about gun violence in our country?
The liberals want to get rid of guns, and conservatives want more people to have them.
We may either ban assault rifles or arm teachers, but the winds of change do seem to be blowing.
But then again, we might get distracted by a scandal and forget about the whole thing.
I don’t believe it matters whether you ban or permit guns. It doesn’t matter if the government hands them out to everyone.
It seems to me we’re rather bipolar about the whole issue, which has led us to our current unhealthy state.
We send a mixed message concerning violence to our citizens, particularly to our young people.
We condone violence in all aspects of our society, then weep when it actually happens. We allow it to exist everywhere — especially in our movies, music and games.
Then, when someone actually commits the same act that we pay to see in a movie, we label him a monster.
The strange thing is that we seem to be just as violent as we are kind. The excessive violence at Newtown is followed by equally excessive mourning.
For some reason, it’s not hard for us to do both.
I have witnessed a family put down their violent video game of killing and maiming strangers to work the soup kitchen on Thanksgiving.
“OK boys, after we feed the poor on Thanksgiving, we can go back home and resume our video killing spree.”
They don’t even see the disconnect.
What are the kids supposed to think about that?
It’s foolish to ask how the Newtown massacre could happen. With our level of cultural violence, it’s just a matter of time until something more horrific happens. It’s like someone who questions the material in National Enquirer, wondering how they get away with it. Simple: People buy it.
If we continue to finance violence through music, movies and games, we no longer have the right to ask how or why. It’s foolish to be shocked when it happens.
We all share blame when these chilling acts of violence occur because we have created a culture that celebrates, reinforces and even encourages graphic violence in so many different mediums.
The laws are immaterial.
Switzerland, Israel and Finland have liberal gun laws that allow for private gun ownership, yet school shootings are rare, if they even happen at all.
France, England and many other countries ban guns altogether. They don’t have a fraction of our gun violence.
The laws don’t matter, the people do, and we will kill with screwdrivers and butter knives if we have to.
As we mourn for these children, we should also weep for ourselves.
David Gunn works for the Walton County Board of Education. He lives in Monroe.