OPINION – I think Pink Floyd got it right, I think we’ve all become comfortably numb.
We have become so blasé that we don’t feel much anymore, we aren’t shocked or outraged as we should be, we accept far too much of what should be unacceptable behavior.
There has been some very bizarre news from a local to national level recently, everything from some guy trying to steal a commercial jetliner from the St. George airport to the shooting spree in Aurora, Colo. during a midnight screening of the new Batman movie.
There was a momentary jolt, a speed bump in our minds, if you will, before the discussion splintered.
In both instances, there was dull acceptance. “Well…you know…if a crazy person wants to (sneak into an airport, go on a killing spree, or, well, fill in the blank with your own idea of tragic behavior) there’s nothing you can do about it.”
So, are we to simply accept these intolerable attacks on our humanity?
In both instances, there was abject ignorance. “What do you want, a police state?” to “You’d better not use this to try to take my guns away. You’ll get my gun when you pry it from my cold…dead…hand!”
Look, people, have we become so desensitized, so defensive, so utterly inundated with bizarre behavior that mass murder and the attempted theft of a commercial jet no longer freeze our spine? Have we witnessed so much calamity and mayhem that our threshold for shock has risen to a point that we shrug off such horrendous behavior? Have we become so jaded and selfish that the first response we have to a gunman opening fire on a movie house is “Better not try to take away MY guns?”
God have mercy on you if that was your reaction, because you have truly lost touch with your humanity.
You can, unfortunately, learn a lot about the human condition by monitoring social media. In the aftermath of the tragedy in Colorado, I saw an outpouring of posts proclaiming “I Support the Second Amendment,” “Guns Don’t Kill People, Bad People with Guns Kill People,” and, of course, proclamations that the president has an agenda to strip people of their right to bear arms, which could not be further from the truth.
If you dared argue that the sale of assault weapons, such as the AR-15, which was one of the weapons used in the shooting spree in Colorado, should be examined, you painted a bullseye on your own back and became the target.
There was rarely such thing as calm and rational discussion.
As a point of disclosure, I have, in my lifetime, collected a few weapons and used them for target shooting and hunting, although I must admit that I could never drop the hammer on a deer I had cleanly in my sights. After a couple of years in Utah, I soon realized it was a place where I really didn’t feel the need to protect myself with a gun because, well, you might get into a beef and go home with a bloody nose but the odds of having some clown pull a weapon on you in Utah are slim. You really don’t need a gun for self-defense in the Beehive State, and, contrary to the NRA or gun enthusiasts, not because of how many people own and carry — legally or illegally. I just don’t buy into that argument, just like I don’t buy into the argument that all guns should be banned.
So, I know a lot about guns. I’ve shot a lot of different kinds of guns. I know what they can do, I know the differences, so my question was, and remains, relevant.
My point here is that people were so caught up in their own needs, wants, and desires that they lost focus.
“You’re not gonna take MY guns away!”
Well, I don’t want to, unless you have a weapon that serves only one purpose — to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible, which is the purpose of assault rifles.
Look, there are race cars out there capable of going faster than 200 mph. We are all entitled to purchase a car, right? But can we purchase a race car to make the daily commute from St. George to Cedar City a lot faster? Of course not. Race cars have a specific purpose — to drive as many laps as possible around a racetrack as quickly as possible. To turn one loose on Interstate 15 would be to endanger the lives of innocent people needlessly.
Do we need race cars on the interstate?
Do we need assault rifles in our homes?
No bad days!
Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
Copyright 2012 St. George News.