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Take away reason to shoot, not guns
by Larry Wilson
Jul 24, 2012 | 1870 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Here we go again: another mass murder involving innocent civilians. The country is appalled at the tragedy. Where have we heard this story before? It seems as if this is all too common an occurrence, doesn’t it? I agree, but what are we to do about it? Stand on every street corner weeping and lighting votive candles until our fingers are blistered by the melting wax? There is something we can all do to at least begin to correct this situation.

Immediately, all the gun control people want to take all the guns away from our citizens. I agree, there are some weapons that we are allowed to purchase that really don’t appear to me to be of any use in most hunting scenarios. A case in point: When is an assault weapon needed by a resident of Oakland, Calif., since they know they can’t use that weapon for hunting, never go hunting and don’t have any plans to go hunting? Additionally, this weapon isn’t legal to use if it is fully automatic.

It isn’t the weapons that are killing the people — it is the people pulling the triggers who are killing the people. We need to look at the people behind the weapons. We have seen in the past that these people are loners. They are almost always social outcasts whether in their own mind’s eye or by some sort of ostracism by society itself directed at these people.

We need to somehow ferret out these people and include them in some way in all our reindeer games so that they are not the lone wolves we have seen. The Aurora, Colo. gunman had played on a soccer team, but his own teammates have reportedly said that he was a kind of loner even then.

There are several areas where we, as a people, can help to turn this problem around. First, our high schools in urban areas are way too big. The students are treated like so many chicks in a chicken coop when it comes to the size of the schools. Students in these huge schools, in some cases, can’t find their way to their lockers much less establish any social contacts within their own student body. The school size just further exacerbates the loneliness factor for some students.

Every student in high school should be required to take part in at least one extra-curricular activity the school offers. It doesn’t have to be sports, it could be chess club even, but they would have to do something.

Currently, when high school students graduate and don’t go on to college they are just allowed to flop around. Some never do find themselves, but life is like that, isn’t it? We owe to not only our newly graduated high school students but our society an opportunity for them to give some sweat equity to our country for minimum of two years.

A program such as this would give the young a chance to serve our country and maybe, just maybe, gain some respect for our nation as well as their fellow man.

We also need Hollywood to present the public with more wholesome movies for our entertainment. With all the veterans we have in this country who have served in real combat, I’m sure they don’t need to see anymore shoot-‘em-up “Rambo”-style movies. They aren’t reality anyway, and they glamorize death and destruction. I know those types of movies sell popcorn, but I also know Hollywood is capable of giving the paying public more solid entertainment choices.

In short, we need to devise programs that involve our young in our society in a more positive and creative way. We can do this and still allow all of us to enjoy the rights our Constitution so wisely has granted each and every one of us without having to resort to killing one another.

As someone said several years ago, it takes a village and that means we all have to pull together to ensure that each of us leads responsible, productive, happy and complete lives without the societal holocausts as we have witnessed in the past.

Larry Wilson is a 50-year resident of Sparks and a retired elementary school teacher. He can be reached at
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