A Farewell to Arms, Apparently Not

 By Mary Anna Violi | @Mary Anna Violi

Searching for Balance - tangledpasta.net
Searching for Balance – tangledpasta.net

In the past years we have witnessed, experienced, or read about senseless deaths due to gun violence.  As the litany of Columbine; Paducah; Virginia Tech; Aurora; Tucson; Newtown; and a host of other deaths lesser in numbers, like Tinley Park, but by no means of lesser importance.  As a nation, we wring our hands in disbelief; we clamor for tighter gun control laws; we pray there will be no more shootings.

And yet a powerful lobby pulls out all its stops with the idea that classroom teachers should be armed, as should the administrators.  As if that were not ludicrous enough a notion, the Governor of South Dakota signed such a law into being this past week. What happens if an administrator or teacher or counselor goes off the deep end and starts firing at living targets within and without the school?  How do we know whether of not there is a stable mind inside the school personnel stroking the trigger?  The sorry truth is that we do not know, until a rampage is unleashed upon innocent victims.  The only rational voice heard is the one crying out for improved mental health evaluation, treatment, and oversight.

The U. S. is no longer the wild, wild, west.  We are not battling the Revolutionary War, or the Civil War.  If a person wishes to dine upon venison, then the individual may purchase the deer meat, like one does the beef.  Anytime I hear someone babbling about our Second Amendment “right to bear arms”, I blanche.  I expect to choke quite a bit this year as the Senate and House attempt to shape different sorts of arms policies.  We have amended our Constitution since its inception, yet we are paralyzed when it comes to amending the “right to bear arms”.  Some perceive hunting as a “sport”.  Even the British have curtailed their “riding the hounds” for the blood sport of killing a fox or hare.  It seems silly to hunt animals.  What sort of achievement is that?  Hemingway and his promoting “going on safari” in Africa looked ridiculous gunning down lions.  The gruesome bullfights of Spain provoke more sympathy for the bulls than for the toreadors.  Where is the art in torturing and then killing a corralled beast?

A far better question is, Where is the humanity?

Perhaps we would do well to ponder why any civilian needs guns at all.  For what purpose does one possess a gun, except to kill life?  All humans of every color, shape, and culture, all creatures great and small deserve better than we have offered through our twisted view of the nature of the “right to bear arms”.  A better phrase would be, “all deserve the right to live”.

Ciao for now.

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