Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013 6:53:23 PM
There are rare times in life when our world is hit by a tragedy of cruel and excruciating senselessness. A tragedy that contains no reason to occur at all, yet had bloomed from the terrifying disease of mankind itself. Nothing could prepare me for the shocking wave that would wash over the country in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Massacre. Living only 25 minutes away from Newtown, I still cannot fathom how such a ruthless act of violence could happen so close to home. People say that guns don’t kill children, people do. But seeing a tragedy take place in a town so close to me, an area that has always known peace, has made me realize that this sickness of mankind lurks in even the safest places in the world. Since the beginning of time, individuals in humanity have been driven to perform mindless acts of violence. This disease in man will never fade. You can’t cure the cancer that drives a gunman to murder innocent children. But why is society giving him the tools he needs in order to infect others?
There are so many aspects people choose to blame when it comes to mass murders. Blame video games. Why do countries, like South Korea, that are known for their intense gaming society, have some of the lowest murder rates in the world? Blame the “sick people.” We already know that there are many people whose mental illnesses drive them to murder the innocent. In China, where gun ownership is closely monitored, most mass attacks involve knives and cleavers. For instance, on the same day as the Newtown shooting, a knife attack wounded 22 children in the province of Guangxi. Some murderers will do anything it takes to kill.
However, by giving people automatic weapons, we are allowing them to slaughter both instantly and massively. In 1996, a gunman named Thomas Hamilton murdered 16 children at Dunblane Primary School in Scotland. The heartbroken families and friends began a campaign to ban private gun ownership, which eventually gained thousands of persistent supporters. The government introduced a ban on all cartridge ammunition hand guns, leaving only historic muzzle-loading and sport handguns legal. The United Kingdom has seen few mass shootings of the same caliber since.
But where is America now? In the past few months alone, the screens on our televisions and computers have been lit up with the stories and pictures of multiple massacres- Aurora, Oregon, and now Newtown. Of course, severe mental insanity is a very prominent problem in these cases, but why are we letting this sickness demolish us? By allowing access to weapons, we are doing nothing to prevent their disease from affecting the innocent. No matter how carefully we monitor the sick, someone on the loose will always be plotting. It is absolutely impossible to contain every single mentally ill person in society. Guns don’t kill children, they say, people do. That’s true. Except guns do make a murderer’s vicious job much, much easier.