Every day we are inundated by the call for new gun laws from politicians and anti-gun groups. They are based upon the thought of prevention. It sounds something like this “if we write and pass this law preventing the ownership of firearms by anyone who has an index finger longer than 6 inches it will prevent another heinous act such as this.”
The truth of the matter is no one has solid facts or proof that by passing any law regarding firearms that it has stopped crime. It is already a law that it is illegal for any convicted felon to own, possess, acquire, or have in their possession any firearm. That
doesn’t stop them from obtaining them. I suggest that the existing laws are, and have been written, to exact justice upon the person that violates these laws. All of them aren’t worth the paper they’re written on unless they are enforced by our judicial system. If the existing laws were effectively enforced at the judicial level I believe crime rates would drop overall. How many times in the news do we hear that a perpetrator who murdered someone was an ex-felon that was let out of prison for various reasons, time served, good behavior, or even overcrowding, has been arrested for the murder. All of the laws on the books and those that are now being proposed have no effect on the criminal component in our society. It is proven day in and day out shown through our media and their coverage of daily violence that our existing laws have no impact upon those who choose to perpetrate violence on others. What those laws do affect is the everyday law-abiding citizen’s ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Here’s a conversation I’m willing to bet money on that never happened;
Gang Leader: “listen, I want you to take this gun and go shoot that guy on the corner that selling drugs in our territory.”
Gang underling: “Gee boss, I think that’s illegal! Could I get in trouble due to HR 265 the new law that was just past preventing you from loaning me your gun?”
“ Crime Prevention”
Most, if not all of these laws are passed under the guise of “prevention”. Take for instance our drunk driving laws. Drunk driving is a crime. But there is no law that has been written that prevents the drunk driver from getting into a car and going out and killing himself or other innocent people. The law tells us it is illegal to drive drunk and sets forth the punishment for breaking that law.
Passing laws in an effort to prevent crime is a fundamental deception that has been used not only by the anti-gun movement but by most all of our politicians who pander to the latest media frenzy. There are no laws on the books anywhere that can accomplish violence prevention. If there were, there would be no violence anywhere. The world has enough laws to cover violence now.
Everyday violent criminals choose to murder, rape, and commit robbery. None of those acts can be prevented by any law. Yet “prevention” is the mantle piece of most all of these laws.
My Time in Jail
Having worked in a prison system for almost 8 years, I obtained a unique insight into the criminal society. Violence prevention could not even be accomplished in prison where every aspect of the prisoner’s life is controlled. Even in the highest securityfacility in the prison that I worked, known as the Super Max facility, inmates committed violence on officers as well as other inmates and on prison staff. And they did it with weapons they made themselves! I’ve seen toothbrushes sharpened on concrete walls and made into knives. I’ve seen secure, Vandal proof mirror frames fashioned into hand axes. At the extreme, I saw a metal strip pulled from a bed frame and fashioned into a full length broadsword. Even with constant searches and 24 hour a day surveillance the inmates made weapons. Keeping weapons out of their hands in one of the most secure prisons in the country is impossible. If such prevention cannot be accomplished in prisons, how on earth is it possible in a free and open society? It isn’t. This experience brought me to the conclusion that in truth, the only function of any law against criminal behavior is to provide for punishment after arrest, trial and conviction.
What Is Wrong With Our Society?
The problem that exists today is societal. This is not a problem that any law is going to fix. It can be seen daily in our media. From the coverage of the Trey von Martin incident, including the media’s coverage of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton jumping to conclusions before any facts were available, through Ferguson Missouri with the same two ne’er-do-wells encouraging rioting and looting, the general air of lawlessness has become an ingrained part of portions of our society.
In large parts of our culture, disdain and disrespect are taught to our youth in their formative years. Particularly regarding law enforcement. In my formative years I was taught the “yes sir, no sir” method of interacting with an LEO. There was a formal protocol that should be followed to prevent an encounter from escalating into something much worse than was the initial problem. At no time was I taught to resist or run from an encounter. Today all one has to do is a quick search on YouTube to see a simple traffic stop turn into a nightmare for both the citizen and the officer strictly due to the citizens initial behavior and reaction to the LEO’s request.
Don’t get me wrong, I know there are good cops and there are bad cops. Over the years I have had my own encounters with some LEO’s that were less than professional, and in my opinion, were not worthy or capable of wearing a badge.
What I was taught was that NOTHING was going to be resolved out in the street. In other words, if an LEO was acting inappropriate or just downright being a jerk despite your best efforts at being polite, the best thing to do was just shut up and let the judge sort it out. Are there bad cops? You betcha! Are there cops that lie on the stand? You betcha! But painting all lawenforcement officers with the wide brush of corruption is like painting African-Americans with the same brush that they too are all criminals. Who taught these children to disrespect and immediately be confrontational when confronted by an LEO? Yes, I am sure in the past there are those that were unduly questioned and maybe even detained. I am sure the some of those people were good people who eventually became tired of the everyday stop and frisk and 60 questions. I am positive that much, if not all of this was driven by racial profiling. Today all of the police departments I am aware of go to great extents to train their LEO’s not to utilize profiling practices. Before you send me a nasty email telling me it still goes on, let me acknowledge that I am sure it still does, but the issue at hand is how the initial interaction takes place between the LEO and the citizen.
So the real question has become “what has gone wrong in our society?” I by no means claim to be a sociologist or any type of expert on the topic, but I believe when the question is asked “what can we do?” The only answer has become pass more laws! Again, the real question is “What Has Gone Wrong in Our Society?”
Among other things, I believe the breakdown of the family unit has been key in the degradation of our society. Fatherless homes, motherless homes, children being left to be raised by a grandparent, video games and movies that not only glorify but normalize violence and the taking of human lives all impact young impressionable minds.
The one common denominator I saw during my time working in the prison system was a complete lack of value of human life. Friends, relatives, and family being shot or murdered were a part of life to many of the inmates I had encountered. More frightening was the lack of fear of the punishment that was doled out for the most heinous of crimes. Lethal injection, it was explained to me by an inmate who was sentenced to death for his crimes, was like being put to sleep. “No big deal, you just go to sleep”
What are we doing wrong in our society that brings us to the point that we don’t even value our own lives?
I saw things while working in the prison that really made me question where our society is headed. Picnic days! Whole families picnicking out in the grass outside of the prison on visiting days, just a normal everyday, nothing out of the ordinary action that everyone does right? We’re going to go visit mom/dad at the prison and have a picnic. Everyone does that right? I believe this just ingrains in the children’s minds that prison is a part of life. In that time I saw drug dealers get 20 years jail time, and murderers get six. I watched repeat offenders of violent crimes return over and over, each time there crimes becoming more and more heinous.
We don’t need more new gun laws. What we need is the strict enforcement of those that already exist. The laws are on the books… If you are a convicted felon and at any time you are found to be in possession of a firearm you go back to jail. If you use a
firearm in the commission of a violent crime you go to jail. If you receive a sentence of 20 years for the commission of a crime you should serve 20 years.
Again, the laws that exist define the Punishment For Breaking Said Law. None of them prevent or deter the commission of a crime. Enforcement of the existing laws is the key to taking violent criminals off the street.
Raising our children with sound morals, a strong understanding of right and wrong in the deep sense of belonging to a community are good places to start. Our media today, whether it be social media, television or the Internet send a message to our youth that the world revolves around them. Facebook, twitter, and the likes create a self-imposed bubble, whether intentionally or inadvertently, that actually removes the sense of community. Some may argue this point saying Facebook and twitter are communities, but if you look closely one can easily see that the vast majority of people’s pages are completely self-centered. Do I really need to know you are going to the bathroom? The Internet with all of its blog pages, websites, and information pages has given every person in this country a voice. Just check the comments under any news article that is high profile today. Without exception, the comments always become very polarizing. One side inevitably takes the “this guy is wrong” side and the other the “this guy is right” side. It was never more apparent than in the Trey von Martin incident or the Ferguson Missouri incident. Despite the fact that all the facts, or in both cases very few facts were available or made public, the Internet gave people the forum to express their belief of guilt or innocence in the absence of facts. In the case of Ferguson Missouri it was the driving force behind the rioting and looting that followed the shooting.
The political atmosphere today thrives on the division that is caused by all of this. You’re either on the “right side” or you’re on the “wrong side” there seems to be no middle ground. Our politicians thrive in this atmosphere, you’re on their side or you’re against them. What happened to statesmanship? What happened to meeting in the middle? What happened to our politicians? They have all become so polarized that they don’t seem to be able to see the forest for the trees. There are no “Statesman” left today. They ALL pander to “Special interest” groups. I would venture to say that they truly are not capable of an original thought! “I was actually for it, before I was against it” the incredibly pandering statement that led to the end of John Kerry’s presidential bid. Gone are the days that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Everything that happens today is dissected on the Internet and people are found guilty or innocent in the comment section. Once a true judicial ruling is obtained, the winning side rejoices and the losing side goes on to cry injustice. See Ferguson Missouri, Trey von Martin et al.
We do not have a gun problem, we have a societal problem.
I pose this question to the minds out there that are greater than me; What do we do to fix our society?
My only requirement for an answer to that question is that it must not contain the passage of any type of law!