The words “A safer society for all” aren’t my own. They are quoted by the Seattle Times as being said by Dayna Klein, one of the women shot at the Jewish Federation building of Seattle about three weeks ago. I certainly am sorry for her suffering and share her goal of having a safer society. I’m afraid however, that what we don’t share is a common vision for reaching that goal.
I was upset, though not surprised, that a mentally disturbed individual would act on hateful impulses that may well have been stoked from many different directions. Likewise, I was upset, though not surprised a few years ago when a knife wielding man attacked and killed a retired firefighter who was leaving a sports stadium downtown. The list of upsetting but not surprising assaults is, I’m afraid long and shows no sign of lessening.
What I do find shocking is that, knowing how many unbalanced people there are in the world, let alone how many evil people with evil intentions there are, anyone would believe that our society can successfully keep weapons, or anything that can potentially be a weapon – in other words any and everything – out of their hands. My solution for a safer society, is diametrically opposed to Mrs. Klein’s. I wish that she or one of her co-workers had had a gun on hand and the training to use it, just as I wish that some teachers in Columbine, CO had been so armed. Fairy tale dreaming may suggest that gun control reduces crime; unfortunately down to earth statistics show the opposite result. History also shows that governments that enforced strict gun control, like Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, were frequently pretty unhealthy ones for Jews among others.
I wish having a safer society could be brought about by something as simple as passing stricter gun control laws. My concern is that while emotional, passionate, and mostly well intentioned arguments can be made for that being the case, reality reveals otherwise.