Our thoughts and prayers go with the families and congregation of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC.  The response of the congregation to the murder of nine parishioners and their pastor is as inspiring as any that I have seen in the face of such tragedy.

However, I wish I could say the same of the news channels, politicians, and even our President.  What I have to say in the following post in no way diminishes the horror of that night.

The blood was barely dry before calls for gun control measures were bandied about with the worn out promises that these proposals “would prevent such tragedies from happening” when these same people know damn well that such actions, rules, laws, regulations, etc. would not prevent anything of the sort.  It frosts me to no end that the talking heads focus upon the instrument used instead of the person responsible.  No, I’m not referring to the in-depth semi-glorification of the perpetrator by the media, but of the lack of personal responsibility, judgment, empathy, self-control, and maturity this individual showed in planning and carrying out this attack. 

Before we go too much further in assigning blame, let’s remember the following:

Cain Able

People have been killing each other since the beginning of time with any and all implements that they could get their hands on (or using their bare hands) for as many reasons as a person could think of.  It’s not the implement that does the killing, it’s the person wielding the implement and their reasons for it.  If it’s not a gun, it’s a knife.  If it’s not a knife, it’s a rock.  If it’s not a rock, it’s a sharp stick.  And it goes on and on and on…

The truth of the matter is that we, as humans, are kidding ourselves when we say we are “civilized.”  We’re not.  We make laws & rules, and have formulated various moral codes to regulate our behavior and actions.  As long as we voluntarily obey the rules of society, we call ourselves “civilized.”  But all of those inhibitions will often be conveniently ignored if some advantage is seen in violating said codes & rules if that person believes the risk is worth the reward.  And that’s just the sane people…

The insane or “touched” people have no such inhibition.  Hate, the desire for fame & attention, an obsession, or some other internal motivation known only to them sends them on a path to inflict harm upon other people.  These are the folks that need the focus of the media and politicians on getting help – real help – rather than talking about disarming law-abiding people, or taking away a tool for self defense.  But that isn’t politically expedient or correct – it’s much easier blaming an object instead of a person.

Around a year ago, I wrote the following about an incident when another mentally unstable person went on a rampage in California:

This incident (among others) proves to me that no matter what laws and regulations the politicians pass for whatever purpose to reduce crime, crime will continue to happen because individuals, whether sane or insane, will commit crimes of various types.  This incident also proves to me that a nutcase can come out of the woodwork at any time and wish to harm my family or myself for the most mundane reason, or worse, no reason at all.

This is what the gun-control crowd refuses to realize – it goes against their mindset of a perfect world of where everyone gets along and no one will hurt them.  This Pollyanna view of the world just isn’t so – a view of the international news from Ethiopia to Sudan to even news of our cities (like Chicago or Detroit) bursts that bubble.  And folks with that attitude are bound and determined to get themselves and anyone else that listens to them killed.

The anti-gun crowd is continuing their predictable hand-wringing, wailing, and calling for more restrictive laws and regulations that will do nothing but inconvenience law abiding citizens and encourage more people to become unarmed and unable to defend themselves.  From

“That everything currently being pushed on the national level as “common sense” and “reasonable” is already in place in California, that it proved wholly inadequate at stopping a determined, mad killer, and that this does not enter into what passes for their thought processes, shows they will not be satisfied until all guns are banned from private ownership. There can be no other conclusion.”


To continue with excerpts from the same post:

Here’s one additional thing that we have learned:  The gun is not the problem.  Most of the mass-killings from Columbine onward have been perpetrated by mentally unstable people who do not have a sense of right or wrong, who have somehow been allowed to have access to weapons of various kinds, and are in desperate need of therapy, medication, and (dare I say it) institutionalization.  These people are not only threats to themselves, but to the people around them.  But this is not what the politicians are focused upon other than lip service.

Dealing with mental health is a political minefield that politicians do not want to go into.  Patient privacy, funding, and the inexact science called psychology are only a few of the holes that a politician can wander into and become lost.  Easier to blame and vilify an object rather than have people that will accuse the politician of being insensitive and discriminatory.  Thus, the responsibility of action has been shifted from a person to an object.

That, my friends, is the problem.  Who really, seriously, blames the perpetrator of the crime?  Think about that for a little bit…

Personal responsibility has been shifted from the individual to something else.  People are only too willing to shift their personal safety to the police, blame their less than stellar actions to society, and to trust their very existence to government handouts.  Without “skin in the game,” the responsibility that a person has for their actions is now transferable to something or someone else, thus avoiding blame for any consequences and their own inaction.  This action also allows the blame-shifter to accuse others for their own shortcomings.

Next, the psycho-babble analysts delve into the person’s “issues” and “problems” seeking that “trigger” that caused a person to go off the deep end and sidle up to those “evil” guns to commit horrendous acts.  Again, it’s never the person that commits the crime, it’s always “something else” that caused it.  Ultimately, the perpetrator becomes a victim, and is almost never held fully accountable for their actions.

Last, the politicians blame the gun for the killings.  The victims blame the gun for the killings.  The parents of the victims and the perpetrator blame the gun for the killings.  Those evil gun-rights activists and the NRA are also blamed for the killings – how dare they defend the rights of people to bear arms when those arms are used to kill people?

The harsh reality is that we live in a dangerous world.  There are people who would rob, steal, & murder you for what you may have, what you look like, or what you believe.  There are laws that state that such acts are criminal, and spell out penalties for committing those acts.  However, laws are written on paper, and are useless in defending oneself in the heat of the moment.

We, as a people, have the moral right to defend ourselves.  For those non-religious people, we have a natural right to defend ourselves.  I don’t know a single person that will not fight back if assaulted unless they were surprised.  A weapon such as a gun is a tool that can be used to defend oneself and our loved ones against such an attack.  It doesn’t matter if you are an 80-year old grandmother, a person with a physical disability, a college coed, or a normal, everyday person, a gun can save your life and get you home to your family.  To willingly disarm yourself & submit yourself to the tender mercies of a criminal because of some politician saying it’s for the good of all is absolute foolishness at best & suicidal at worst. 

I, for one, refuse to die at the hands of a criminal with nothing in my hand except a cell phone with “911” on the screen…


“There are places in the world where it is hard to imagine that anything is wrong.  It’s merely an illusion, and only the foolish think otherwise. But even more foolish are the people that cling to that illusion as if it were reality.  They are the ones that stand to lose the most when the illusion fades like so many stars in the morning sky.” – “Broken – A Podcast Novel”, Episode 1

2 thoughts on “Reflections

  1. Great Post Tom. I was going to post something on this but got so inundated with the stuff about it, that it totally overshadowed the great news of the Congregation forgiving the moron who shot their church and it’s members up. That was a great story of forgiveness that we hear of too little in this world, but of course the media and the president wanted nothing of that…..all they were interested in was Gun Control which controls NOTHING but the law abiding citizens and doesn’t take into account the criminals who do things like this are still doing those things…..laws don’t stop them. And then they also want to take down our history because that damned flag caused this too. Give me a freaking break. Great post again, Tom.

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