I am always sad to hear that lives have been taken. It is especially unfortunate when it is young lives that are taken. At 24, I’ve experienced a lot, but there are still many things that I have yet to accomplish. Each time something tragic happens to a young person, they are denied the ability to achieve their goals and pursue their wants.
It is also unfortunate when these tragedies are committed with firearms. Of course, it is tragic, no matter how a life is taken, but when it is with a firearm, the tragedy takes on a whole new meaning. As a gun owner, I know the extreme caution with which firearms should be handled. I have been taught and have practiced gun safety since my youth, when I first learned to use a gun. I also know that while a gun is a fine tool for sport, it is never something that should be drawn against a human being out of offensive anger.
This cartoon is ridiculous. It purports that somehow the psycho that shot these people was helping to protect American “gun culture”. What is the “gun culture” anyway? To me, it’s NOT someone who owns a pistol or shotgun for hunting, sport, or home defense. To me, it is the sect of Americans that insist on maintaining a fully operational arsenal in their homes, replete with fully automatic weapons. Sure, they are allowed to by law, but is that really necessary? Also, you’ll notice, that there were no weapons of these sorts used in the NIU incident. By shifting attention away from the extraordinary lives the deceased lived and placing blame on an undefined “gun culture”, this cartoonist is doing the victims’ memories a great disservice.
I don’t think anybody has really ever doubted that guns can be an instrument of death, but again, you are shifting the blame. This guy could have just as easily driven his car wildly through a quad or common area and killed people. No one doubts that cars can be dangerous. We make efforts as a society to keep dangerous people from behind the wheel, as operating a vehicle is a tremendous responsibility. So it should be with gun ownership. We tend to place the blame on an object, but a gun has never, by itself, killed anyone. Someone MUST wield it. Perhaps this cartoonist too would be better off offering a decent memoriam to the deceased instead of creating fear of an object.
This is the kind of cartoon we should be seeing more of. Ones that ask why this incident happened, not with what weapons this incident was committed. As I said before, the loss of life is a tragic experience for everyone involved. We should be focusing on preventing tragedies like this from occurring again, and a bullwhip reaction like “Take away the guns!” is not a reasonable course of action.
Rest in Peace
Ryanne Mace, 19
Gayle Dubowski, 20
Catalina Garcia, 20
Daniel Parmenter, 20
Julianna Gehant, 32