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What do we tell the children?

no guns allowed
no guns allowed
Calvin J II

The killing of eight year old Jakari Pearson on July 30 2014, while he slept in his bed in a townhouse complex in the City of Detroit has disheartened me to the point of human suffering. Kamiya Gross, the two year old Inkster toddler who was shot point blank in the head in front of her father only adds to my befuddled lack of comprehension over the gun violence in our country.

There are so many mixed messages in our society that are confusing when it comes to killings, murders, violence, and guns. Americans have the right “to bear arms”, but to what degree? Currently, the right to bear arms has extended to openly carrying firearms in some restaurants, banks and on residential streets.

It is no secret that guns were used to subdue and eliminate Native Americans in order for the Settlers to seize their land. Likewise, guns today are still used to subdue, eliminate and destroy whatever is targeted.

Shot to kill

Chicago is struggling with a death toll that puts them on the map with Detroit as a murder capital. However, these two cities are not alone in their arm’s race.

The massacre at Sandy Hook took the lives of over twenty people, most being children, by the hands of a very mentally disturbed man who stormed the school with a high powered weapon. In a recent interview with a Fox news affiliate, the father of the Sandy Hook murderer said that he wished his son had never been born.

Rampage shootings in Colorado, California and other states makes this arm’s race a national epidemic. A recent comment (July 30, 2014) in the Associated Press indicated that shootings in Detroit are so commonplace that they are no longer shocking. On the contrary, shootings are common place in America, not just Detroit.

When we hear of a rampage shooting in America, most of us listen to the details, shake our heads, and finish our evening meals. Figuratively speaking, disgust might fill our plates but we keep on eating.

Gun advocates profess that firearms protect our homes. Maybe. Currently, there is a trial going on in Wayne County where a 55 year old homeowner felt threatened by a female intruder on his front porch. He took aim, shot, and 19 year old Renisha McBride was dead in an instant. The defendant, Theodore Wafter, is on trial for McBride’s murder.

Trayvon Martin was allegedly killed because George Zimmerman was protecting his community.

This year, Elliott Rodgers killed six people in Santa Barbara, California, after posting messages on social media that he was tired of being rejected by females.

On Jan. 8, 2011 Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford of Arizona was shot in the head when an assailant opened fire outside a grocery store during a meeting with constituents, killing six people and wounding 13 others. Congresswoman Gifford lived, but her career ended due to her injuries.

Guns, guns, and more guns

Our lawmakers are the most fickle of the whole bunch. When rampage shootings occur our legislators immediately call for stricter gun control laws. Politicians condemn the shootings and when the furor dies down its business as usual. During a political campaign politicians promise to decrease violence and if the candidate is elected for public office, the violence level remains unchanged.

The pro-gun control super PAC known as Americans for Responsible Solutions and the National Rifle Association (NRA) will continue to support and advocate for their cause. These groups are big contributors to political campaigns and they profess to maintain the American way of life.

It is blatantly obvious that guns are available to anyone who wants one. The recipient can be a gang member with felony charges, or someone who had demonstrated anger against a portion of society, or a person with a score to settle, or even a person who is mentally unstable.

All things considered, guns are here to stay. Incidentally, this article does not attempt to call for actions to stop gun violence, nor is this writer attempting to re-trial the shooters in the court of public opinion or hold the government accountable. The sheer number of people affected by gun violence is not at issue here either; but rather, what do we tell the children?

Should we tell them that people get mad and kill others because they…, or can we tell them that guns are a way of life and we use them to…, or, that one day you may see your friend get shot but do not fret because… People, we need to formulate some plausible answers in case our children do not understand why gun violence took their 2nd grade classmate way too soon.

The hardest thing I ever had to endure was watching a third grader cry because his daddy was killed by gun violence and he just wanted his daddy back. The youngster was inconsolable and I was disillusioned. I did not have an answer for him, but he did not ask me why.

No guns allowed

I will let you in on a little secret. I have lived in the City of Detroit all of my life. I have lived on the Eastside and Westside, and I have never held a gun in my hand. Never.

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