It seems that every time a tragedy occurs within this country involving innocent people being killed, a witch hunt always ensues. This witch hunt always entails finding the “cause” of the violence in an attempt to find something or someone to blame for why the tragedy happened. The cause of these tragedies is already in front of our faces, however. It is people who kill other people. More specifically, people in various states of mental duress kill other people. Guns don’t kill people. Cars don’t kill people. Cigarettes don’t even kill people. Inanimate objects don’t have free will. Blaming inanimate objects is simply a way of humans taking the blame off of humanity for the terrible things humans do to other humans or to themselves. Putting the onus of death on an object is either a grand form of delusion, or propaganda to push an agenda, pure and simple.
If all the guns were to disappear off the face of the Earth overnight, we would not live in a society devoid of violence. Violence would still transpire where it would have transpired before. Knives are the tools of wanton violence in many areas where access to guns is scant. Massacres happen in Japan, wherein knives are used in lieu of guns. Bombs are the tools of destruction in other areas, Afghanistan being a prime example. Bombs are easy to construct out of any number of readily available materials and have a much higher casualty rate than a gun, all the while keeping the perpetrator out of harm’s way. You can’t outlaw or regulate bombs. People don’t decide to engage in violence because of the existence of a particular weapon. The will to engage in violence exists independently of the weapon used and will transpire regardless, unless the root of the problem is addressed.
You always see debates about gun control after a massacre, but what you never see is a debate about the reasons why the massacre took place in the first place. Limiting access to weapons doesn’t stop violence. It never will stop violence. Even attempting to do so is a lazy, uninformed reaction to a stimulus based upon aimless passion with no real thought placed behind it. Nobody has ever decided not to murder another human being because of not having access to a gun. Guns are merely one of a myriad of tools at the disposal of somebody who has made the decision to do something that most people can’t even fathom doing. If not a gun, something else would be used to commit the act, and we surely can’t limit every human being’s access to every item that could potentially be a murder weapon, can we? What we can do however, is lessen the likelihood that somebody takes the ultimate plunge into doing something drastic.
By finding out and understanding the actual reasons behind why somebody decides to take another person’s life, we have the fundamentals to work with in attempting to take preventative measures against others making that same decision. By focusing on the tools used in these massacres, we aren’t taking any kind of preventative measure to stop future incidents from happening. We would merely be ensuring that different tools be used the next time such an occurrence transpires. The root of the problem is never isolated, and ultimately, nothing actually changes. The root of the problem is not an inanimate object. Unfortunately, finding the legitimate roots of problems such as these will always require a lot more thought and insight than pointing a finger and blaming a scapegoat. Thus, the path of least resistance continues to be traveled.
By educating the public in general as to the signs of individuals who are prone to engaging in these self-destructive and harmful acts, we will be better equipped to prevent them before they ever occur. The warning signs are always there, time after time after time. These types of things don’t “just happen”. Parents, friends, acquaintances, teachers, and therapists, among others see the warning signs of these events long before they occur. Educating these people as to what to look for and how to handle the situation will do more than a reactive witch hunt ever will. The best-case end result being that nobody loses their life and somebody in need of help actually gets that help and is able to turn their life around. It’s always easier to point a finger and blame something that can’t defend itself rather than looking inward and realizing that we as a society are continually dropping the ball on taking the necessary preventative measures to keep history from repeating itself.