This morning while paying bills I turned on Mike and Mike on ESPN. David Stern the NBA commissioner was on talking all things basketball. I do not care much for that sport, so I pretty much tuned out the interview until Mike Greenberg brought up the recent shootings in Connecticut. Mike had asked Mr. Stern why they did the tributes to the victims before each game. Apparently they held a moment of silence to honor the victims.
Mr. Stern said(paraphrasing here), really it was worthless. There is nothing to do. We do these things to make ourselves feel better. It makes us feel like we are doing something and that helps us to feel good, but what did it do to help? Nothing.
Very well said.
This is what we do and I am no exception. I want to help others and I want to feel good. Who wants to dredge through life miserable and afraid? Not me. But feeling good should not legislated and it shouldn’t be paid for with the rights of others.
When we pass new laws, cancel television shows, stop accepting coupons from gun companies, when we enact new laws, etc, etc, etc. We are doing things to make ourselves feel good. It doesn’t matter if any of these things had any barring on the events that unfolded in that school or if they have any hope at all of stopping the next one. All that matters is that for a second we can feel better and we can go then back to sleep having effected nothing.
We control the mind not the other way around. If we just stop thinking about it and convince ourselves a few more laws or a few more restrictions will be enough we go on. That way we have “done” something. We have “done” all we can and plus it means we don’t have to actually DO anything. We don’t have to take responsibility or make any changes. We get to tell ourselves we did something, we tried and then we can blame the cops, the politicians, the crazy gun owners… We get to call folks who stock up on food and supplies wacko preppers because then we don’t have to give up a trip to Disneyland when we should probably be taking a look at how we can better prepare ourselves to first avoid and then deal with a disaster.
The only problems is people are dying and in gruesome fashion. They are dying. Those children died. They were murdered. Violently and without mercy murdered. If you have shed a single tear. If you claim to have an ounce of compassion. If you really care at all you will stop trying to do things to feel good and you will do something good. You will do something that has at least a chance of working. Making more laws that criminals will not follow is about making you feel good. If that killer was willing to break 24 laws then I doubt the 25th would have made a flying flip of difference. This monster was not sitting around watching Top Shot and planning his rampage. People do not murder casually. Punishing law abiding citizens who have committed no crime is about making you feel good.
I hate to break it to you, but when people are murdered it really isn’t about you or how you feel. I really have no desire to put my life at risk or my children’s and walk around defenseless, so you can feel better.
My mugging should have zero barring on the laws of this land. I am emotional about it, so right or wrong, I can offer nothing more than an understanding of what it is like to be mugged. Emotion does not have a place in law making. Laws are there to protect us from the power hungry, the corrupt and the emotional. For every victim who is for more gun laws there is an equal number against them. Laws should be made for the good of the entire people and should be put in place to guide us in times of emotion, not be developed out of them.
When I was mugged I blamed only 2 people. My attacker and myself. I can’t control him, so I looked at myself to figure out what I could do to put myself in a better position for survival should the element I couldn’t control decided to come after me again. I took responsibility. I didn’t blame the cops or the grocery store parking lot or even my parents. They had some influence as did society, but it was me who stood there and did nothing. It was me. I did not come after you or anyone else. I didn’t go to congress and ask for new laws to protect my lack of action. I took action. Law abiding, legal action and I took responsibility for my part in that day. I can tell you none of it felt good. I didn’t feel good after I picked myself up off the ground, I didn’t feel good as I hid in the bathroom and took care of my scraped up arms and back. I didn’t feel good when my so called friends turned their backs on me. I didn’t feel good when my daughter looked me in the eye and told me she didn’t feel safe because I didn’t stop the and guy. It didn’t feel good when I showed up in the park to learn how to defend myself. I felt anything but good. I felt sad and lonely. I felt lost and broken. I felt ashamed and confused. I felt scared and and hopeless. And I fought all of that everyday for over a year in order to take responsibility. In order to feel good again.
Not a single law has changed in my town since the day I was attacked, but I am safer. My children are safer. My community is safer. Granted I feel better, but I feel better because I know if my life is in danger again, I have viable solutions to up my odds of stopping the threat.
My extra bag of rice, my gun, my ammo, my kerosene heater are of real value to my survival. I used no government funds to purchase those items. In fact the purchase of those items only helped contribute positively to a failing economy. I have never harmed a single person. I am of no threat to you. Your desire to label me crazy and limit my rights will only serve to put me at more risk and it has ZERO chance of doing anything for you other than to make you feel good.
Please forgive me, but your facade of happiness just isn’t worth my life. I won’t hand it over without a fight.