California Weeping

Once again, we as a nation are left to mourn. Gun violence against the young seems, according to the posturing of the NRA, to be a legitimate diversion. I remember watching Gilligan’s Island growing up. The episode “The Hunter”—where if Gilligan survives being stalked by big game hunter Jonathan Kincaid, the castaways will be rescued—now seems strangely prescient. The location changes every few months, however. Yesterday it was in Santa Monica, California. College kids studying for finals being shot at by a man with a semi-automatic rifle. And even after Sandy Hook, and Columbine, and Virginia Tech, we still do not have the will, as a nation, to safeguard our young. Such a perversion of evolution the natural world has never seen.

The logic of allowing widespread ownership of firearms doesn’t make me feel any safer. Judging from the number of young victims of various gunmen—most of whom end up dead so no questions may be asked—we are willing to allow our children to be collateral damage in the war to keep personal weapons. As city after city after city is scarred by the anonymous guy who’s got anger issues taking it out on the helpless, we still insist that guns are our friends. I’d rather be friendless.

My fingers grow fatigued scrolling through the increasing list of multiple shootings. It takes one of sterner constitution than this writer even to make it through the Wikipedia page listing school shootings. Those who die give us ample cause for tears. Those who survive will spend lives dealing with horrible memories. Schools are where we place our hopes for the future. The lessons learned there should give our young the knowledge they require for a lifetime in this complex society we’ve created. Unfortunately that society also includes facile access to deadly weapons that kill with ease. Our hearts raced as Gilligan outsmarted Mr. Kincaid, although we knew he would have to survive. The star always does. But television is a poor guide to reality, unless it’s the NRA telling us why the only reasonable response is to increase the number of guns and let civilization do its work.


3 thoughts on “California Weeping

  1. Brent Snavely

    Gilda had not problem with “violins on television” — violence is the nation-state’s favorite pastime, and given talk of “sacrifice in battle”, one wonders if there is a religion involved…


  2. I must respectfully disagree on this one. We live in a nation where a kindergartener is booted out of school for biting his poptart into the shape of a gun, and that story is no anomaly. How can American citizens possibly trust a government that not only allows such nonsense, but actively perpetuates it? Aside from the fact that the most firearm homicides are in the places with the most gun control, this issue is so much more complex than taking guns away from the people who are law-abiding enough to turn them in. There is a great temptation to be reductionist with this issue on both sides, but such simplistic “solutions” will only compound the problem. America is not like other countries, and Americans are not like other people.


  3. Stephen Tarr

    Right on Steve. Their blood is on the NRAs hands. To paraphrase an anti war slogan from the 60’s, “Hey, hey NRA: how many kids did you kill today?”


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