June 18, 2015 by Chris Kite
The church shooting in Charleston was terrorism. There is no other word for it.
Because the shooter wasn’t dark skinned and muslim, the media won’t call it that. They’ll just call him a deranged person. He IS a terrorist.
Our history with what the media calls terrorism suggests that we are willing to go to great lengths to prevent future acts. We’re willing to sacrifice freedoms. More intensive searches at airports are one example. Assembling lists of people that cannot fly is a perfect example. Throwing people into prisons without charging them with a crime, providing them with a lawyer, or allowing them outside contacts is another. Requiring fingerprints of non-Americans entering the United States is another. And then there is the rampant telephone surveillance. The entire “PATRIOT Act” was a reduction in our rights in America. Yet people accepted it for the most part.
So it would stand to reason that we might consider changing our approach to guns in order to help prevent future incidents like this.
We don’t know much about him or how he got his gun. But we do know he got a gun. And there is little doubt the gun he used started as a “legal” gun.
I can hear the gun rights nuts now. “How dare you try to capitalize on a tragedy like this to try to take away our guns.” But the truth is, it has nothing to do with capitalizing on a tragedy. It has everything to do with taking sensible action. After a plane crash, you examine what caused it and take steps to prevent another. Better pilot training. Safer runways. Better procedures.
After car crashes, data is gathered and steps are taken to reduce them. Safer cars. More intensive training for young drivers. Safer roads. Mandatory testing for very old drivers. Tougher drunk driving laws.
When a structure collapses and people die or are seriously hurt, we look at construction, inspection, and building codes.
When hurricanes or severe storms kill people, we change our approach to forecasting, preparing for, and providing protection from these storms.
This is just common sense. Something bad happens and sensible civilizations try to learn from it.
It is way beyond time to do something about America’s gun problem.
It isn’t necessary to take away everyone’s guns. But perhaps we could start with requiring safety training and mental health screening before getting a permit to purchase a gun. We could require background checks for every single gun sale. We could toughen enforcement of existing laws.
Would it be less convenient? Yes, it would. Would it “hurt gun sales.” Yep.
Sane people would see the connection between these mass killings and guns. Other developed countries don’t have anywhere near the number of mass murders that we have in the US. People in other countries, people that don’t have easy access to guns, aren’t building bombs, or committing mass murder with knives and baseball bats. There have been attacks. But they rarely result in mass casualties like we get in American with our hundreds of millions of guns.
It is time for change!