If you live in Oregon you know this… we can not buy Sudafed at the pharmacy. We can’t buy it here in Oregon because some people misuse the ingredients to make meth. If you have to go to work and you have a cold, Sudafed is the best way to kick it for the day. We have outlawed a medication because a few people can’t be responsible. We don’t want to make it easy for drug dealers.
Years ago my mother was running late for work. An animal like sound came from across the street… it became a tortured scream. The neighbor boy had tried to kill himself with one of their family’s guns. He was lucky, my mom was there and he lived. Years later, in the early morning my phone rang. I sat in my kitchen as my boss told me that my coworker’s 16-year old son had committed suicide with his father’s gun. Then there was an early morning meeting to tell us that a student had accidentally shot and killed his brother. Of course there was Columbine, Sandy Hook, UCC and many, many more… but those were the big ones… The small ones are the ones we, as a nation, never hear about. They are the hunting accidents, the suicides, the accidental shootings, the children picking up guns and the sudden bad decisions made in anger that take only one or two lives.
As a nation we are willing to do whatever it takes to keep our people safe. We have laws about wearing helmets, wearing seat belts, using a phone in the car, how much medication a person in pain is allowed to receive at once, where we are allowed to carry our glass of wine or bottle of beer in public, how high we need to make a railing, and the age we are required to send our children to school.
We may never be able to foresee the acts of a mad man or the lengths he is willing to go to do harm… but we can prevent accidents, curb successful suicides, and stifle something done in the heat of the moment (think road rage), and make it extremely difficult to commit mass murder… either way we don’t have to make it easy to hurt someone.
If you own a gun you and your family are far more likely to be injured by a gun. Period. If you own a gun you have to realize that YOUR gun may be used to commit a crime. A gun really has one purpose: To kill something. You can say it is for protection, for hunting, for target practice, for sport… but it really is just to kill. We need to care more about keeping our society safe than about owning guns. Owning a gun does not make you safe… it makes you part of the problem… I know that is harsh, because no one wants to admit that something they believe is a right may need to be restricted or even eliminated… Let’s not make hurting each other easier than it has to be.