Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Our gun culture is pervasive

Now, even our children are conscious of our culture of violence. Can we even stop it?

From The Political Carnival

Two fifth-graders conspired to murder a "really annoying" girl; a knife, semiautomatic gun found in backpack
---from The Political Carnival by GottaLaff

Honestly, it's getting harder and harder to know if these horrifying stories are new or updates of recent ones. There are so many, it's as if a mushroom cloud-sized explosion of gun scares and/or massacres has occurred, or maybe we're just seeing more reported. Either way, it's scary as hell, and insanely unhealthy both mentally and of course, physically.

My jaw is dislocated from all the dropping. I'm in tears. I'm enraged. I'm appalled. I feel helpless. I'm confused. I'm determined. I'm re-energized. Why do gun zealots not see what most of America sees? Why is common sense gun safety legislation such a threat? (rhetorical)

A slippery slope, the gun huggers call it, because next thing you know, Big Guvmint will take ALL their guns! What about the slippery slope we are now experiencing, right now, right this minute? The one that leads to more mass murders, more senseless deaths, more children dying. What about that slippery slope?

The latest incident occurred in the state of Washington where two fifth graders may face charges after school authorities found a knife and a gun in a student's backpack.

The student who owned the backpack is ten years old.

Ten years old.

L.A. Times:

School authorities said two fifth-grade boys planned to use the weapons to lure another student outside the school and kill her "because she was really annoying."

That's right, two boys (the other was eleven years old) wanted to murder a classmate because she was, in their opinion, annoying. They also targeted six others.

And to make matters even worse, they promised to pay $80 to a student if he promised not to tell anyone about their plot.

Had a fourth-grader not told a teacher he had seen the 11-year-old with a knife, who knows what might have happened?

Here's what was found in the backpack: The knife, which had a 3¼-inch blade, a .45-caliber Remington 1911 semiautomatic handgun, and an ammunition clip.

A semiautomatic handgun.

Here's what the 11-year-old had to say:

"I was going to kill her with the knife and [the other boy] was supposed to use the gun to keep anyone from trying to stop me or mess up our plan."

What were their parents teaching these kids? Why were weapons like these even accessible to them? Why did they think murdering someone was the answer? Why weren't they taught that words should be used to solve personal problems, not violence?

The older boy said he had been friends with the girl for several months "but that he hated her now." He said the girl "had recently become rude and would pick on him."

The obvious solution: End her young life.

Thankfully, the school had been promoting a program that encouraged students to report anything suspicious, which is exactly what happened. Thankfully, a child made the decision to step forward and report the suspicious thing.

And thankfully, School Supt. Mike Cashion said this when asked about arming teachers:

"I told them [the legislature] I can't imagine a teacher taking a gun out, leveling it at a fifth-grader and killing them," he said. "It's the antithesis of what we are."

If only murder and gun adoration were the antithesis of what way too many of us are.

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