Shh, Don't Talk About Guns
I don't own a gun, I probably never will; I have small children and simply don't want to risk an accident. That being said, if I am ever in a mall where a crazy person starts to hurt people I really hope the guy next to me is packing heat. Just because I don't want a gun in my house does not mean that my opinion should have any bearing on your right to have one in your house. The problem is that this conversation goes far beyond an interaction between you and me and into a major media conspiracy.
The 24 Hour News Cycle
Names like Sandy Hook and Columbine strike a nerve whenever we hear them because we were literally conditioned for them to have such an effect. 24 hour news coverage on every station with graphic images and overhead views are thrown in our faces. Every news outlet has so-called experts shouting at each other to cause more turmoil and increase ratings and we are told that if we don't watch this - if we don't absorb every detail of somebody else's tragedy - we will not be popular around the water cooler on Monday. Then when the initial shock wares off we are told that to be safe we need to get rid of all of our guns, stop thinking, and keep listening.
Purposeful Under Reporting
On the other hand, when guns are used for the greater good, we are lucky if it even makes the news. If it does it is usually buried in a single sentence in the lower portion of the body of the article. Don't believe me? Here are three examples of good guys using guns to protect themselves and others, all three of these have happened within two weeks of me writing this article:
80-year-old woman fatally shoots intruder who broke into Washington state home and stabbed her husband
This one got a little more attention than the others because the county was considering bringing charges against the woman for protecting her husband and her home.
Dining Off-Duty Cop Stops Fatal Stabbing Rampage in Massachusetts Mall
There is so much going on in this article. First, they only mention the fact that the officer shot the man once in a brief sentence. Next, no one is calling for all knives to be banned even though more people die from stab wounds every year than being shot. Thirdly the article goes on in depth about the mental health issues of the assailant, then says that they don't want to talk about mental health issues or gun laws. My bet is that you never even saw this headline.
9-year-old Carlie Trent is found safe, her uncle is in custody
In this case, most of the news outlets flat out omitted the fact that a pastor with a gun held the uncle at gun point until police arrived to deescalate the situation. The few who did, again, buried it in a short sentence toward the bottom of the article. That gun may be the only thing that stopped the uncle from running and could possibly have saved Carlie's life, but shh, don't talk about guns.
The loss of life is never something to be celebrated whether it is a disturbed person killing innocent people, or a good person killing a bad person. No one celebrates gun death, and if they do they have no place here with the rest of civilization. The problem here is that there is a huge one sided narrative in this country that says all guns are bad and we should melt them all down and turn them into playground equipment - yes that is a Simpson's reference. Instead of glorifying the bad in this world why don't we take the time to glorify the good and show that there are still good, responsible, people in this world who are capable of using guns in a manner that makes the world a better place.