Minden Press-Herald

Wednesday
Oct 01st

When the Unthinkable Becomes Reality

In the aftermath of the unimaginable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School and other recent mass shootings where guns were involved, it isn't surprising that issues ranging from stricter gun control to outright bans on firearms would vault to the forefront of the nation's consciousness.

What is surprising are statements from individuals who believe the root of violence in our country lies not just in guns, but extends to those who believe private citizens have a right to own a firearm. Examples:

** Last week, author Joyce Carol Oates reportedly tweeted that new gun control legislation might be forthcoming "if sizable numbers of NRA (the National Rifle Association) become gun victims themselves." Oates also called Sandy Hook an "NRA-sponsored massacre." In keeping with the sentiment of murder to eliminate murder, former "CSI" star Marg Helgenberger tweeted, "one can only hope."

What one can only hope is that Oates puts more thought into her next novel than she displayed in this little finger exercise. My problem with this particular tweetist is that many of her followers most likely are herbal tea-brained, pseudo-intellectuals who nodded their approval and forwarded this insanity to other like thinkers.

What one can only hope is that Helgenberger will stick to voicing lines from scripts written by others and taking direction from someone who may or may not know what they're doing. When she speaks without direction she puts on display a serious lack of ability to transmit coherent thought from brain to tongue.

n Piers Morgan, the man who has single handedly taken Larry King's once-sizeable throng of viewers to an assemblage which might not fill Tiger Stadium, showed recently his unique ability to turn off members of the human race in large numbers.

Earlier this week, Morgan's guest on the CNN talk show was Larry Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America. The segment could hardly be called an interview; it could more accurately be described as an assault.

Pratt, according to Morgan, is "..an unbelievably stupid man" who is "talking complete and utter nonsense." Morgan also called Pratt dangerous and ended the segment by saying, "You shame your country."

Pratt's crime is believing the Second Amendment is real and that, in his opinion, "We need to ban gun control laws that keep people from being able to protect themselves."

Morgan is one of those who has come to this country determined to changes us into an image which he believes only he can create. He is one of those with a massive ego without cause, and his intolerance is exceeded only by his inability to appeal to an audience. CNN is a good place for the man who some in England believe was neck deep in the phone hacking scandal which cost Rupert Murdoch a newspaper.

Whatever your views, I think we all agree that the problem is much deeper than guns and gun control. The city with some of strictest gun control laws is also the city with one of the highest crime rates in the country, and is the city where 535 "lawmakers" have the confidence of roughly 20 percent of the voters. I surely do not put into their fund-raising hands much hope for a common sense resolution.

I don't know the answer to the violence which seems to be escalating. I do know a gun ban will not solve anything beyond making gun ownership more necessary. In the words of Morgan's guest, "The problem is not going to go away if we ban this or that gun."

The problem might go away if we ban every conceivable human frailty (i.e., uncontrollable anger, intolerance, hate) and placed an increased emphasis in recognizing and treating individuals with mental health issues. The answers are more complex than the problem.

And while we're looking for solutions, how about putting a sock into the pie holes of extremists on both sides of this issue. Some people are better left unreported, but that means the national mediaites would have to earn their money. They certainly aren't earning respect.

Pat Culverhouse is a journalist and political columnist who lives in Minden. You may contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

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