Don was governed by fear, as so many of us in this country are. We are afraid of young black men, of the homeless, of people who wear turbans, of innocent young people who come to our door to trick or treat, of hooded teenagers walking through our neighborhoods where they "don't belong", of anybody different from ourselves. We turn away from them, run from them, shoot them, go to war with them--and the gun manufacturers profit.
When horrific events happen in Sandy Hook or Columbine and small children are killed, we don't know how to react. Some think the answer is to arm teachers because they can shoot first and make the school safe. Some say "when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns." Some of my very good friends, supporters of the NRA, believe that the Second Amendment guarantees the right for citizens to own almost any kind of weapon (though they do believe in background checks).
Here's some of what I believe. Yes, strict gun control, if not a total ban. Required gun safety courses for gun owners. Sure, that.
But there's more to it than that. I don't think that having fewer guns or no guns is the answer. I am an idealist. I believe that the attitude that gun control is the only answer because the horse is already out of the barn concerning guns is giving up, admitting defeat. I want to go for more. I want to go for changing our way of thinking, doing, living, relating to each other--a culture change. What if we stopped romanticizing violence? What if we learn to worship not the tough guys in Pulp Fiction or Fight Club, but instead the gentle, loving guys in To Kill a Mockingbird or Gandhi? What if our movie heroes were not the ones who used violence to solve problems; our most sought after video games were not those where realistic killing was the point ? And we did the killing!!! What if all our sports emphasized skill, endurance, cooperativeness, instead of violence where one of the purposes is to "take somebody out" with a head-on tackle and where the players are so damaged that their life expectancy is 55 years old? Oops, I know some Carolina/Clemson fans who will take exception to that one.
I believe in a world where we learn to honor God, not as an angry, vengeful God, a violent God who orders the Israelites to "not leave alive anything that breathes" or sends Joshua to destroy Jerico, or condemns sinners to hell, but as the loving New Testament God. I believe we can become a world where the mentally ill are not shunned, but are treated as any other person with an illness and we can commit the financial resources to truly help them. I believe in a world where we can learn to solve our problems without violence, but with respect, honoring one another. I believe in a world where we can overcome our selfishness, greed, lack of empathy and fear of one another. I believe in a world governed by compassion and respect for one another.
In that kind of world, Don won't need a gun.