I really do not know what is meant by the term “common sense gun control”. Given that it is a relatively amorphous phrase it is difficult for me to reject or accept the argument that we need even more common sense gun control.
I have no problem with background checks or even enhanced background checks but it seems to me that, given that school shootings are often committed by young people, that common sense would indicate that we eliminate the rules to seal a juvenile’s police records, their medical records, and school disciplinary actions. If we had common sense regulations that would allow government officials to ferret out socially aberrant behaviors and intervene beforehand many if not all of these shootings could have been avoided without having to infringe on the rights of law abiding gun owners.
Furthermore, common sense would tell us that if we gave the government the power to review all online posts we might be able to also ferret out cyber bullies and their victims which leads to more deaths annually than school shooters. According to DoSomething.org :
1.”Nearly 30,000 Americans commit suicide every year.
2.In the U.S., suicide rates are highest during the spring.
3.Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year-olds and 2nd for 24 to 35-year-olds.
4.On average, 1 person commits suicide every 16.2 minutes.
5.Each suicide intimately affects at least 6 other people.
6.About 2/3 of people who complete suicide are depressed at the time of their deaths. Depression that is untreated, undiagnosed, or ineffectively treated is the number 1 cause of suicide.
7.There is 1 suicide for every 25 attempted suicides.
8.Males make up 79% of all suicides, while women are more prone to having suicidal thoughts.
9.1 in 65,000 children ages 10 to 14 commit suicide each year.
10.There are 2 times as many deaths due to suicide than HIV/AIDS.
11.Over 50% of all suicides are completed with a firearm. ”
Think of it, one person dies at their own hand every 16.2 minutes. We need legislation to stop this. We need legislation to stop the cyber bullies. We need legislation to stop the carnage. We must think of the children. We cannot simply focus on the firearm because nearly half do not use a firearm to kill themselves. We can do more than simply control firearms. We must stop the killing by any means.
To do that we need to have the power to find out what these kids are thinking, what they are doing, who are they communicating with, and hold people accountable for creating the conditions that lead these innocent children into committing acts of violence upon themselves and affecting all those around them. We can no longer afford to maintain the idea that privacy is more important than children’s lives.
According to bullyingstatistics.org, they recommend:
“Keep weapons and medications away from anyone who is at risk for suicide. Get these items out of the house or at least securely locked up.
Parents should encourage their teens to talk about bullying that takes place. It may be embarrassing for kids to admit they are the victims of bullying, and most kids don’t want to admit they have been involved in bullying. Tell victims that it’s not their fault that they are being bullied and show them love and support. Get them professional help if the bullying is serious.It is a good idea for parents to insist on being included in their children’s friends on social networking sites so they can see if someone has posted mean messages about them online. Text messages may be more difficult to know about, so parents should try to keep open communications with their children about bullying.”
It seems to me that theses recommendations would be appropriate for all children and young adults. We should be as concerned for the children that direct their violent tendencies inwardly, as in suicide, or outwardly, as in shooting others. Does it matter if the child dies at the hand of another or by taking his/her own life if outside forces precipitated the event? We must hold the outside forces accountable. That includes the purveyors of mindless warfare video games, movies that depict massive amounts of graphic violence such as Halo 3 that tend to dull the child’s ability to empathize, TV programs such as Snapped or Killer Couples that depict killers and their crimes, and we should not forget violent sporting events such as MMA that teach kids to cheer for the warrior who can beat the pulp out of his/her opponent. All this should be banned if we want a safer, more harmonious society. I am not suggesting that all video games, TV, and movies should be banned just the ones that show people being hurt as a form of entertainment. Finally, we must hold the parents, teachers and school administrators who are in a position to know which children are the problem and who do nothing to turn them into the authorities.
Let’s bring these kids into the conversation and tell them why it is necessary for them to give up their privacy and other rights so that others can be protected. Parents and authorities need to make these kids understand that we cannot guarantee their safety without having the ability to monitor all of their online and offline activities without question. They need to understand that it is the price they must pay to ensure their safety.
I’d be happy to discuss my ideas with any of the kids now being paraded before the public on this subject.