Sunday, May 12, 2013

Gun violence: ugliness on parade

Yet another shooting at the hands of worthless shit-stirrers who'd be nothing (and would accomplish nothing) without easy access to deadly weapons. How much "freedom" will we tolerate before people can't do anything safely anymore?

I'm bracing once again to hear racist white people blaming this on blackness. Every time a white guy shoots up a theater or a school, those people will insist he's not representative of all gun owners, let alone all white people. But when blacks shoot innocent people, it's because all blacks are irredeemable thugs. Debate over incidents like this, especially in the South, inevitably diverts to race. 

But gun violence is not a racial issue; at least, it shouldn't be — it's a gun issue (or a people issue if you prefer, though not one race of person). Every shootout has one or more unhinged individuals and a multitude of victims; that setup is universal and transcends pat stereotypes. Today, as many times before, black victims suffered and black family and friends wept alongside them. That doesn't fit with what prejudiced whites want to be true, but it's reality. Just as all gun owners aren't violent murderers, all black people aren't trigger-happy thugs (and not all whites think they are).

Those who perpetrate gun violence have lots of issues: mental instability, sociopathy, poverty, hatred, poor impulse control, cowardice, etc. What they don't share is a common skin color. 

It's time to end destructive double standards and pointless sniping about "thugs," and address the glut of disturbed and desperate minds (of all races) this country produces at an alarming clip. We must do everything we can to ensure these sick people can't get their hands on guns.

Unlike race, that's something we can control. We need to control it.

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