It’s no secret that many Americans not only want to tote guns virtually everywhere – imagine waking to an armed bed-partner – but that they also want the right to buy as many of them as their finances can handle. Giving up fast food and clothing purchases to buy guns is the way to go, especially with fear that the US government may at long last take some action against the proliferation of weapons with no function but to mow down lives.
Buying guns in the US is supposed to be fraught with checks and waiting periods to guarantee that people with mental imbalance, or who are temporarily seeing red, don’t go out and blast off.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
Sure, if you totally discount gun shows and other private sales – which don’t require checks or waiting periods. Even at the show, life is at risk. Private sales were halted at one gun show after an owner accidentally fired a gun he had brought to sell. Luckily, it was a shotgun. Only three people were injured, and none fatally.
And mental health? How many people do you know admit to having problems with their own? Only the brave and knowledgeable. Those who are too unhealthy to realize they’re mentally ill won’t admit it. The states are beginning to see that pulling the plug on mental health facilities was a very bad bargain, indeed. Sure, it saved money. It also cost lives.
Weren’t “life, liberty and happiness” the Founders’ premier goals for newly created Americans?
So checks for mental health are a thin and tattered veil.
Yet the risk to people from guns located in their own homes is what most gun owners don’t understand. Adam Lanza’s mother was the very first person of dozens he murdered in Newtown last month. He shot her in the face with explosive bullets using her own gun, a gun she had failed to put away securely – get it out of the house! – even though she knew Adam was having extraordinary problems and had taken him to a psychiatrist.
The New Mexico teenager, Nehemiah Griego, who recently murdered his parents and several of his siblings, shot them using guns owned by his father. It was a crime he had planned for some time. He originally intended to randomly kill many more people, citizens unrelated to him, at a local shopping center. Fortunately, he had second thoughts.
The number of men who kill their own children using guns found in the home beggars belief. Sometimes, the murderer then commits suicide. Sometimes he crows about his massacre. Children of gun-owning dads are at enormous risk from their own fathers using his weapons found in their home.
Not to mention children who are injured or die while exploring said guns, or while their sibling or friend does so.
Sometimes, people forget about the guns they’ve stockpiled – or are too fearful or embarrassed to retrieve them.
Let’s hope that happens with many of the guns being stockpiled today. Because chances are, if they’re used, they will wound or kill someone who lives — used to live — on the same floor as the weapon used to attack them.