Saturday, December 15, 2012

Another Shooting

It's hard to imagine the terror and anguish being felt in Newtown, Connecticut, right now. Certainly, to some degree, it is felt by all of us.

Certainly by Gregory Gibson, who writes:
Our son Galen, who was 18, and a teacher were killed on Dec. 14, 1992, by a deranged student who went on a shooting rampage at Simon’s Rock College in western Massachusetts.

In the wake of Galen’s murder, I wrote a book about the shooting. In it I suggested that we view gun crime as a public health issue, much the same as smoking or pesticides. I spent a number of years attending rallies, signing petitions, writing letters and making speeches, but eventually I gave up. Gun control, such a live issue in the “early” days of school shootings, inexplicably became a third-rail issue for politicians.

I came to realize that, in essence, this is the way we in America want things to be. We want our freedom, and we want our firearms, and if we have to endure the occasional school shooting, so be it. A terrible shame, but hey — didn’t some guy in China just do the same thing with a knife?
 I think that's an accurate analysis.


Richard L. Floyd said...

Thanks for this. The Simon's Rock shooting was just down the road and I knew people who knew Galen. I preached a sermon about gun violence at the time, and it chills me to think that was twenty years ago and nothing has changed unless it has got worse. My daughter-in-law worked for Gabby Gifford and that shooting was very close to home for us. I accept the analysis, but have difficulty accepting that it can never change. A society that allows its innocents to be slaughtered like this routinely is very sick. Why can't we take on gun violence as a public health issue like smoking?

Bob Miller said...

Thanks for your comment, Rick. I have trouble visualizing what a public health approach to gun violence would look like. A PR campaign? Warning labels on guns? I'm not being facetious, I'm just not sure how it plays out.

Is there no room for reasonable people, gun owners and not, to get together to address the issue? Or is the conversation limited to the hysterics?

Maybe the public health approach is the only avenue available.