Sunday, February 13, 2011

Personal responsibility and guns

Yesterday, 12 February, marked the 4th anniversary of a tragic mass-shooting in Trolley Square Mall in Salt Lake City.

On that night, the mall had signs banning weapons, criminal activity, and disorderly conduct. Nevertheless, Sulejman Talovic (It is not politically-correct to comment on his religious background.), 18, methodically killed five people and wounded four. Total time spent from the start of his shooting spree until he was killed by police – 7 minutes. All victims were shot in the first one minute – before anyone could call 911! Ironically, the man who stopped Talovic was also violating the Mall’s gun/violence ban because he was an off-duty cop out of his jurisdiction. The first official police response came 3 minutes after the first 911 call -- an excellent response time, but too late for 9 victims.

Talovic had a shotgun and a revolver with a bag full of ammo. He was prepared to do considerable harm to the mall’s shoppers that night and mentally prepared to die doing so.

The finger-pointing still continues today. Some even blame the licensed dealer that sold Talovic his shotgun. According to the Deseret news (which seems to prefer to blame guns, not criminals),
"Tuft’s attorney, Mark Williams, and attorneys from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, say federal law prohibits the sale of pistol-grip guns like the one Talovic bought to anyone under 21."
To put that gun sale into perspective, before 1968, anyone of any age with the money could walk into a hardware store or gas station and buy any gun on the shelf with no questions asked and no forms to fill. No merchant in the nation needed federal permission (a license) to sell guns. Back then, we didn't have anyone shooting up malls, schools, and churches. Nobody argued whether a shotgun with a pistol grip really was a shotgun because politicians hadn't yet started imposing confused and contradictory terminology. But, parents raised their own children.

The difference between the times before the Gun-Control Act of 1968 and today is not guns or the pawn shops that sell them. The problem is a society where few people learn good judgment or a sense of responsibility and accountability or even logic. Instead, we blame someone else (or something) for our problems and mistakes and we blindly give the government the power to fix everything for us. We farm out our children to someone else (day care) to raise so we can live life in our own selfish way. We think that making more laws and putting up more prohibitory signs inspire bad people to behave themselves.

It is this collection of naive attitudes that creates the conditions that people like Talovic will continue to exploit. We need to grow up!

And, we need to understand that any place that bans the most effective means of self-defense -- a gun -- without also providing absolute security can be a very dangerous place. Don't go there!

No comments:

Post a Comment