Firearms in society: what are we to do?
Gun laws are part of the world these days. As is the occurrence of people ‘going postal’ or school killings. And the responses to these new threats and outbreaks are as varied as the nations they occur in.
In Canada as a response to the murder of Anastasia De Sousa and injury of 20 other people at Dawson College in 2006, a new law - ANASTASIA'S LAW – has been enacted in Quebec. This law restricts firearms in public transit, and at schools and daycare centers. It requires psychologists and other medical professionals to report people with high-risk behavior and/or gunshot injuries.
Jacques Dupuis, Quebec's public security minister, said that the package "is not perfect. But, it's a piece of the puzzle, a way to try to prevent tragic events like Dawson from happening again."
In England the fear is their terror in becoming what is perceived as American life
“Everyone wants to be a gangster now, mainly the kids. You have five or six in a little crew and one of them will be carrying. They want handguns - shotguns are too big and bulky. The sawn-off doesn't look so good but use a machine gun and you get known as a heavy guy. They have them just to be a chap on the street, to pose. Some of them walk around all day with a .38. It's 16-year-olds at it and it's getting like America, silly as it sounds.”
Though their problems are not American imitation as much as the breakdown of social morals that every nation these days faces.
“Playground squabbles are now being settled with guns," he said. "And drug dealers are taking a policy decision to get youngsters to carry guns.”
But in the U.S. there are some other views.
“Spurred by fear of a violent attack or because they have actually survived one more Washingtonians are getting a concealed pistol license. The license, or CPL, allows them to travel with a hidden gun among an unknowing public. License holders jumped from about 179,000 to 258,000, 43 percent, between 2003 and 2007. The state Department of Licensing says permit applications in Kitsap County jumped from 1,587 in 2004 to 3,339 in 2007.”
“Mike got his concealed pistol license about four years ago and carries a .45-caliber Glock (he has a smaller 9 millimeter for when he's wearing lighter clothes or is in the company of his "anti-gun" relatives). He carried intermittently until the Virginia Tech massacre, in which 32 people died when a gunman shot up classrooms in a building and then killed himself.“It was then that I realized that you can't count on help being there when you need it. You're only guaranteed a chance when you are able to defend yourself," he said.”
And in at least on school
“Harrold Supt. David Thweatt said some of the school's 50 employees are carrying weapons, but he wouldn't say how many.”
So which thought is the right one? Which provides the best answer to the public?
Is Canada right in their restrictive measures? But what happens when a criminal or crazed individual does get a firearm, which in England is easy and cheap, and the police are minutes away? What if a teacher, or a responsible trained civilian with a liscenced concealed weapon is right there and able to prevent the wanna-be ganster with a machine gun, or end the threat that could create a Dawson College or Virginia Tech. What if a teacher or school employee is able to stop a Columbine before dozens are injured or killed.
The issues involving firearms are universal in this world. There are always people who want to be a gangster, or are criminals, or deranged. There is no preventing the proliferation of firearms – whether converted, smuggled, or sold legally – in a world where the internet can provide the instructions to convert a fake or rendered safe firearm into a functional weapon.
Blame is a wonderful tool to obfuscate the resolution. Blame movies, or television, or drugs, or cartoons, or American culture. Blame never resolves the issue at hand, nor brings the dead to life. Blame never prevents violence.
So what is the best answer?
Labels: Anastasia De Sousa, ANASTASIA\'S LAW, Canada, Colubine, concealed pistol license, Dawson College, England, firearms, going postal, gun control laws, Jacques Dupuis, Quebec, Virginia Tech, Washington state