Guns, Guts and Glory

Yesterday President Obama passed a number of executive orders to curb gun violence.  His proposals included:

*Require criminal background checks for all gun sales.
* Take four executive actions to ensure information on dangerous individuals is available to the background check system.
* Reinstate and strengthen the assault weapons ban.
* Restore the 10-round limit on ammunition magazines.
* Protect police by finishing the job of getting rid of armor-piercing bullets.
* Give law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime.
* End the freeze on gun violence research.
* Make our schools safer with more school resource officers and school counselors, safer climates, and better emergency response plans.
* Help ensure that young people get the mental health treatment they need.
* Ensure health insurance plans cover mental health benefits.

In light of this action, which I have to admit, was pretty fast (just a month since the Newtown tragedy), I’m already fatigued by folks who complain that it won’t make a difference.

While I see that point, this is a huge problem and will take many years to address, why is the default response to throw up our hands as if there is nothing that can be done.

Probably the most effective outcome of all of this effort is the end on the freeze on gun violence research.  And discussion.  The first step to addressing gun violence is talking abou it, something the NRA has tried to stop for decades.  There is good reason for this: talking about gun violence makes us aware of it, and the need to stop it.  That’s been the first step in making a difference drunk driving, smoking, and child sexual abuse.  Wayne LaPierre should be very afraid that we’re talking, tweeting and blogging about guns.

The more you know, the more likely you are to act.

3 thoughts on “Guns, Guts and Glory

  1. Pingback: Anthropology-Gun Reform-American Anthropological Association | Anthropology Report

  2. John A. Bartelloni

    Both of my grandfathers were hunters. Neither of my parents, however, cared to follow in their footsteps. My own mother wouldn’t even let me have a BB gun.

    Years ago a now deceased friend gave me a non-working Japanese rifle his father had acquired during his WW II naval service. I would like to get rid of it.

    I hold no grudge against guns and support the Second Amendment It just seems that our society needs more therapists and fewer bullets.

    Treatment is fraught with possibility of failure and obtaining mental health services can be daunting for anyone. About a year ago, I was crashing emotionally. I needed help and met with a social worker who referred me to a psychiatrist. The doctor quickly prescribed meds which I tried, but thought were ineffective.

    Shortly after discontinuing the meds, I went on a school project to another state. It was honestly the worst week of my life. I was filled with anxiety and dread the entire time. Upon returning home, I resumed taking the medication which finally worked after several months.

    Most folks with a broken leg wouldn’t hesitate to visit an emergency room to remedy the problem. Yet they are hesitant to admit their own vulnerability when confronting mental health issues due to perceived stigma..

    I deal with depression and anxiety and readily admit it in the hopes that others will likewise confront their demons.

    My story is not unique.

    Again, our society needs more therapists and fewer bullets. Perhaps one day we will see fewer massacres such as that in Connecticut and the one at my alma mater Virginia Tech if access to mental health services (for all, not just young people) is improved.

  3. Pingback: Gun Reform, Anthropology, & the American Anthropological Association

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