Monday, October 12, 2015

Gun violence in America--our own Hunger Games

I'm listening to The Hunger Games on audiobook.

If you've never read them, the action takes place in a futuristic America, called Panem. There had been a major war and the country had set up as a capital and twelve districts. To punish the districts, every child from age 12 through age 18 had to put their name in a lottery. If they were chosen they were sent to an arena where they had to fight to the death for the amusement of the Capital. This book set off the dystopian wave of YA books and it is extremely good.

I'm always struck at the passivity of the parents in the books. I know the rules of the genre preclude  too much in the way of adult involvement. These are YA books and therefore the majority of the action surrounds people under the age of 18. I also know that if I was supposed to participate in a lottery where my kid might have to kill other kids or be killed herself, I would find a way to get away or die trying. This has been going on for 74 years and people are just now rebelling?

Then I see the news.

Another school shooting.

Since the horrific massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school there has been 142 school shootings.  That's one per week.

And we are doing nothing.

I am realizing that we are beginning to consider other people's children, spouses, loved ones as tributes to a different kind of Hunger Games. This one isn't controlled by an evil government, it is controlled by a lobby who controls congressmen and women.
Every day we wring our hands and say "our thoughts and prayers are with the victims", is a day that we are sending our loved ones out to be tributes. Somebody can get their hands on a gun and turn their school, their college, their place of business, the movie they are going to into a massacre. Then the news will appear on social media and we will wring our hands. Loved ones will cry.

Can someone explain to me why "the right to bear arms" seems to have no responsibility attached to it? A toddler can't drive an automobile, but a toddler got a hold of a gun and shot his mother dead. When you learn how to drive, the teacher has a break that he/she can employ if you are driving poorly, and there is an age limit of how old you must be before you learn to drive. With guns a student can shoot her gun instructor at the age of nine.

I am done.
I will not volunteer to be your tribute. Nor do I want your children to volunteer to be mine.
In order to purchase a vehicle in all fifty states you need to have a license. If you want to own a gun, fine, but you should take gun safety classes and no one should be given a gun without them. People with certain disabilities cannot get a license. It is time to regulate these guns as much as we regulate driving.

It is time to have sensible gun laws in this country. I have called my congressmen. Hell, even People Magazine has said that we must call our representatives and do something.

I add my voice.
Do something.


  1. You are so right about the comparison to the Hunger Games.

  2. I'm at the point now where I don't think gun laws are the answer. We need an entirely new paradigm. We need to revisit the 2nd amendment and determine what the actual purpose was and whether it's still relevant. We needed it in 1776 for personal protection against the hazards of an unexplored land and the potential tyranny of the government. Now, we don't really have the first hazard (although some accommodations can be made for people who live in areas more susceptible to wildlife incursions) and the second hazard...well, what are your firearms going to do against a tyrannical government that has tanks and drones? I'm not even sure what we should have, but what we have now is not working.

  3. I agree, something definitely needs to change in the US to bring an end to all the gun violence. Prayers are not enough. There is no good reason why people should be able to gain access so easily to weapons, especially extremely dangerous assault rifles.