Responsibility

 

I normally don’t comment on, or about current events, but this past Saturday a long-time friend that’s originally from the Denver area and I engaged in a conversation about the shooting in the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

There has been a lot of conversation about who should take responsibility for the crime and who is to blame (a favorite American past time, finding fault with someone, but this subject is a thought for another time).  Along with all of this, not surprising, conspiracy theories.

One of the largest issues that I’m aware of at this moment is the issue over firearms – an age-old subject in the U.S.  Should citizens REALLY have firearms?  What kind?  How many?  Should there be a limit on the caliber of the firearm?… and the list goes on.

People focus on the item more than they focus on the person (seeking) to buy the items.  Is the person mentally stable?  Does the person have a criminal record of violence?  What is the intent for the purchase?  Does anyone consider asking for accountability?  I’m sure someone may ask why someone should ask for accountability for firearms when no one does so for… a car.  The obvious assumption here (I’m sorry to use the word assumption, but unless you want to be answering questions all your life, let’s assume this) is, you’re buying a car for transportation:  you’re buying a firearm to shoot something – or someone, unless of course you’re a gun collector and you’re buying (usually) a vintage firearm.

Having been a firearm owner once myself (for occupational purposes only), I had to take a course, practice loading and unloading, aiming and firing the weapons.  The State insisted that we continually practice at a shooting range, and yearly we had to qualify our skills.  There are those of us that think all firearm owners should have some similar standards to live up too.  If you have to take drivers education; a drivers test and be licensed to drive anything from a motorcycle to a truck, even a forklift – all of which are designed as non-lethal, why not for something that was made for destructive purposes only?

If you’re thinking that these thoughts would restrict gun ownership, then let me ask you some questions:  if you place a gun of any kind on a table – loaded or unloaded, will it fire on its own?  If you place a hunting knife on a table, will it kill someone on its own?  When a firearm has the ability to make itself and its own ammunition, load itself, aim and fire itself… I’ll move to an island where machinery does NOT exist.  If any of the firearms in these pictures have the ability to fire on their own, everyone in the range of a firearm – loaded or unloaded, in the hands of a human being or not, is in imminent danger of physical harm or death; even the photographers risked their lives to take these pictures.

If you tell a fourteen year old child that he can’t go swimming after eating; if you tell him that he can’t enter the pool without a lifeguard present; if you put an eight foot high chain-link fence around the pool and a padlock on the gates, but the child eats lunch, goes to the pool and climbs the fence, dives into the pool to swim, gets a muscle cramp and drowns… whose fault is it?  If you say it’s the summer camp’s fault, then tell my long passed friend that he was justified for breaking all the rules and bypassing all reasonable restraints to keep him and everyone else safe:  tell his family that the camp they sent him too wasn’t responsible enough… then the next time you go on vacation, don’t be surprised when you find hotels no longer have swimming pools available to the general public, let alone leave them unattended in the night:  All beaches will be accessible only when someone is willing to take responsibility for your actions.

Before this world will see any peace, everyone will have to stand united, speaking with one voice and accepting responsibility for their own actions, and inaction’s – realizing that WE are our own greatest enemies.

My sincerest condolences to all that have suffered loss of life, health, happiness and innocence through ALL violence.

 

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