Gun tragedies force countries to reevaluate their policies. Rightfully so, innocent victims should force public officials to debate, and ultimately to take action. The government merely reacts to public opinion. Britain did it in the 1990s and now the U.S. because of Sandy Hook.
Our country lost the lives of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary. It was a horrible event that everyone would like to prevent from ever happening again. The argument begins when talking heads around the country discuss the types of solutions the country needs to implement.
There are two camps that lead the current discussion. One is President Obama, who enacted 23 Executive Actions to prevent gun violence. The other is the National Rifle Association, which proposes a plan that requires all states to have a police officer on duty at all schools. As the vice President of the NRA said at a press conference, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
These are two very different ideas. One sees guns a potential threat to society, and the other believes that guns are the solution to gun violence. Here’s for an interesting thought: they are both wrong. Both the NRA and the president are wrong. Both sides are missing the point.
Our country needs to address solutions other than guns. The more guns or less guns is an outdated argument that we had already back in the 1994 Weapons Ban. The ban lasted 10 years, yet we still had tragic gun events.
As for the NRA, schools cops will have a limited impact. It’s far too expensive of a plan and will not address the root of the problem. Our country has a gun violence problem that can’t be solved via legislation.
Federal action is tempting, don’t get me wrong. Congress and the president don’t need to act, however. They need to enact some reasonable gun laws like closing gun show loopholes and enacting background checks, but even these won’t change the violent behavior in today’s society.
The solution lies in the families and within our interpersonal relationships. For example, parents should pay much more attention to their children.
Kids watch an average of 200,000 violent acts by the time they turn 18. That’s concerning. Another concerning fact is that children only have 3.5 minutes worth of meaningful conversation with their parents per week. Families need to change. Events like Sandy Hook should change our culture instead of our gun regulations.
America has also a mental health problem that needs to be addressed. President Obama addresses this in his 23 Executive Actions, so kudos Mr. President. Our country needs to be much more comfortable when talking about this issue. Only then will people be able to seek psychiatric help.
So yes, neither side gets it. We have yet to hear a speech from both camps addressing our sociocultural gun violence problem. As much as we crave for new gun legislation, Sandy Hook should change our society. It should change the way we function as individuals. In other words, we should reevaluate what type of movies we watch, what type of video games we play, whether our loved ones need professional help and whether children get the attention they need.
This doesn’t come from legislation. These changes should come from within.