Month: April 2014

Guns and License Plates

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I saw a license plate the other day that read, “I AM MAD”.  My first thought was how sad it is to always be angry.  My second thought was, what did this person have to be so angry about?  Money didn’t seem to be a problem.  It was a rather nice car.  Custom license plates cost more than regular ones.  Maybe the person had had some unpleasantness in life in the past, but, you know, that’s life.  I’ve had my ups and downs in life, but I don’t want to stay angry all the time.

Maybe it was a political statement.  Being angry at the government is in fashion.  People on opposite sides of the political fence seem to think that the other side is to blame for everything that’s wrong.  I don’t think that way.  I believe both sides are equally to blame.  It’s people (not political parties) that screw things up.  I don’t waste my time being angry at them, though.  I vote, and I’ll keep on voting.  That’s my voice.

This license plate got me to thinking about guns.  Actually, people who use guns to attack others at school, work, and even movie theaters.  These people are angry, and have been for a long time.  Their anger burns until it reaches a level that they can’t stand anymore.  That leads to depression and rage, and then hopelessness.  That’s sad, and that’s why I believe there should be background checks for all gun purchases, even at gun shows.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not for gun control.  I’m a gun owner, andI believe possessing a gun carries a lot of responsibility.  Your basic background check isn’t going to catch everyone that might decide to become a mass murderer.  I don’t think basic stuff like, “Have you been convicted of a crime?” or “Have you been treated for a mental illness?” is all we need to do.  Each person should be required to fill out a form.  The form should ask, “Are you angry?”  If yes, then “How long have you been angry and who are you angry at?”  It should go on to ask, “Do you feel hopelessness setting in?”  If yes, then, “Please call this number to talk about your anger to someone who really cares.”

Gun proponents say, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”  I agree with that.  We don’t do background checks on guns.  We do background checks on people.  Background checks are not gun control; they are people control.  For background checks to be effective, we need to ask the right questions.  And we need to keep asking these questions so that the people who are going to kill people can be identified and helped before they kill people.

I told my children to be nice to everyone and treat them with respect.  That way if they bring a gun to school, maybe they won’t shoot you because you were nice to them.  We should all be nicer to each other and care about people who are angry instead of being so self-centered.  We would probably have a few less people killing people.

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