Ugh, I can’t stop reading about Elliot Rodger, even though doing so is a strict violation of my “no more sad news” policy. The story is everywhere, and it’s pretty hard to keep my head in the sand on this one. It’s all so depressing and infuriating. All of those young lives cut short for no reason. That image of the crying father. And all of the horror that comes along every time there’s another mass shooting.
Yes, they just keep on happening. A year and a half after Newtown, nothing has changed. Nothing.
The Onion nailed in with this blurb. We as a society just seem to accept these things. We consider them a sad but normal part of life. Like we can’t possibly do anything to stop them. Joe the Plumber addressed the parents of the shooting victims with this idiotic statement: “Your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.” I mean, he’s not an elected official or anything, but somebody ACTUALLY SAID THAT. And what’s worse, countless people actually agree with his sentiment. That some dead innocent kids now and then are a small price to pay for the right to own a gun. There guns mean THAT MUCH to them.
It’s sickening. That dad has every right to be outraged.
And if you really want to get your blood boiling, check out the comments that are below any one of these articles. People say, “California has the strictest gun laws in the country, so that means strict gun laws don’t help.” Really? Because the state has the dubious honor of having the strictest gun laws in a gun-happy country, whose laws on the control of deadly weapons are virtually non-existent? That’s not really not anything to boast about. And, of course, Rodger bought his gun legally, and there were no red flags in his background check, despite the fact that he was a deeply troubled young man who’d been in therapy for most of his life.
And don’t get me started on the whole “It takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun” argument. That’s a great story, except it never happens in real life. Rodger and Adam Lanza’s killing sprees only ended when they killed themselves. These hypothetical vigilantes who save lives with their guns never seem to actually show up in time, do they?
Then people say, “Well, he also used a knife and a car to kill/hurt people – does that mean that knives and guns should be restricted as well?” Here’s the thing folks, knives and cars are used by most people every day to do things BESIDES hurt and maim. Yes, you can use them to do serious harm, but they serve other more practical purposes, like cutting your dinner and getting from Point A to Point B. A gun can ONLY be used to kill something. That’s it. And make no mistake: when people say they have a gun “for protection,” what they mean is that they could one day use it to kill someone. And while Rodger was able to kill three people with a knife, the fact remains that a gun is a far more efficient killing tool. If a crazy person comes at you with a knife, you have a fighting chance. If they aim a gun at you, your odds get much, much worse.
But yes, cars should be made safer. Google’s self-driving car looks ridiculous, but at least the company is trying to take the human error component out of the equation. And hell, all of those ridiculous “hunting” knives that look like they only really belong in a horror movie should be outlawed, too.
Yes, too. Let’s just go ahead and get rid of all the guns already. Seriously, what are all of these politicians afraid of? Obama can’t run for re-election anyway, why not just go for it and try to make a real difference? Yeah, changing the Constitution is a tall order, but it’s been done before. Think about it – there was once a Constitutional ammendment that made alcohol illegal. This country outlawed something that makes you act loud and goofy, but not something that can take a life in a fraction of a second.
Moving away from the gun issue, much has been made about Rodger’s views towards women, and how he felt that he was “entitled” to them. I’m no psychologist, but to me that just reads as an excuse for him to justify some truly heinous acts. Being romantically/sexually frustrated is something a lot of people have gone through, and it doesn’t drive most of them to murder. Jesus, I can think of a dozen guys I knew who were angry and furious and desperate to lose their virginity, all as they watched other jerks have much better “luck” with the ladies. That feeling sucks, but if you use it to justify causing massive bodily home, there is clearly something wrong.
OK, I’m coming down from my soapbox now. It’s not like anyone is really listening anyway. But I urge everyone to send in their “Not One More” postcards – it’s easy enough, just click here. And here’s hoping that those three words lead to some real, actual change.