We have lost our sense of humanity

Guns and the values placed upon them seem to have far surpassed the values of the people who are being shot by them. Why?

Guns and the values placed upon them seem to have far surpassed the values of the people who are being shot by them. Why?

Silly, silly me: during my growing-up days, I thought I’d been taught that religions were generally based on beliefs of peace, tolerance, and understanding. I guess I must’ve misunderstood things, somewhat, or misinterpreted them. Or maybe I’m just really, really old. Dictionary definitions of ‘religion’ really don’t mention anything about peace, tolerance or understanding. Nor do they mention guns, violence, or killing, although it seems remarkably typical that war-mongers — even those who claim their battles are religious — depend on guns and violence as the sole solution for dealing with (i.e., killing) those who oppose them. Isn’t that denying the victims their freedoms?

Unfortunately, it seems that ‘Love thy brother,’ whether taken literally or figuratively, may — like ‘Merry Christmas’ — soon lose its place within our vernacular, and even in our belief systems. Adding the words ‘and trust’ to the Love-thy-brother-expression isn’t likely to happen, either. It’s so easy to speak those words. But it’s becoming harder and harder to know who your symbolic ‘brother’ actually is. So you tell me: is my understanding totally confused?

Do you remember when it was actually rather common to extend goodwill gestures toward others? Now it seems that these actions often become 6 o’clock news features, basically because the occurrence of selflessness is a rarity.

The recent mass murders have undoubtedly demanded and received their due attention. However, certain opponents of the media’s grandiose storytelling are now suggesting the wrong-doer’s actions not be glorified, particularly by name and picture; perhaps then there would be less incentive to destroy. That makes sense to me: when something so common as television or a computer search is at liberty to broadcast anything — according to its own interpretation of the ‘freedom of speech’ clause — its influence may well affect anyone who hits the ‘on’ switch, and especially envelop our most vulnerable.

Another opinion advises that gun ownership be curtailed, especially toward non-emergency services (i.e., police, etc. would not be affected). In opposition, the proponents of firearms are pushing for everyone — even school teachers — to be trained to use such weaponry, and be legally permitted to carry guns with them at all times, regardless of their location or their activity. Some voices of the legalize-guns groups insist all civilians be welcome to possess — and use — military-style weapons, such as the AR15. Small ‘pieces’ are, in their opinion, inadequate. We’re supposed to have driver’s licences, too, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some who abuse the privilege by speeding and driving recklessly, or driving under the influence of alcohol, or driving stolen vehicles. Can we just assume that everyone will follow rules made by someone else?

And their operation? Not even a weekend how-to workshop is required. In fact, I understand that there’s no real educational requirement for gun ownership.

Military guns don’t belong in the hands of civilians. Non-militia who do possess guns: please use them at designated gun ranges or on hunting trips; keep them away from picnics, and out of schools, movie theatres, shopping malls, churches, and all other public places. Another personal opinion: regardless of occupation or lack thereof, all education — whether it’s practical or book-based — is good and necessary, but we as a society simply don’t teach enough ethics. We care too much about ourselves. Self-preservation is a requirement, yes, but — couldn’t we try to balance it with the preservation of others, also? I agree with John Diefenbaker, who defined freedom as “The right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong.” And I think that we shouldn’t have the freedom to kill people, because killing people is wrong. Very wrong.

Colleen McNaught

Bentley

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