God, it happened again. Some lost, demented, violent, amoral, evil soul decided to take the lives of innocents. If the loss of these innocent lives isn’t awful enough, these murders were perpetrated allegedly by a white man and took place in what should be a sanctuary, a safe haven: a church. And it wasn’t just any church. It was a Black church in the heart of the south, a church which was built after its predecessor had been burnt to the ground by racists in the bad old days.
Our president spoke emotionally and eloquently about the loss of these special lives. He spoke forcefully to us about the need to acknowledge just how violent this country is. And then he spoke of guns, likely to no avail.
There is a major disconnect when it comes to guns in this country. Even the most sensible course of action — registering all guns and doing background check on owners — is emotionally opposed by gun owners. Whereas gun control advocates see little difference between this and what one has to do to get a license to drive a car, gun advocates feel it’s the government trying to control them.
My opinion: Excluding rifles for hunting, a gun is designed to hurt or kill human beings. Sometimes the killings that occur are justified and sometimes they are not. Either way, it is a stark and substantively significant action. Its society’s role to treat it as such through oversight. Anything less than this is abdicating its role.
That said, I’m not sure some form of gun control would help tame the violent nature of this country or somehow bring opposing sides closer together. Violent and hateful emotion can’t be legislated away. It has to come from within and good luck with that in a society that is increasingly coarse and decreasingly civil. Maybe our greatest hope for murders that are white on black is that they’re the last gasp of fearful racists who know their country has no place for them.
But until then, and with all other senseless carnage, the disconnect will remain. Gun owners will live in a country exceedingly free for them to own as many and as advanced guns as they want. Meanwhile, many individuals who favor gun control will not be able to fathom why so many of their fellow citizens want to own something that is inherently deadly, something that can produce extreme results that are final in the deepest sense of the term.