Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I don't own a gun. I probably never will. But that is not an act of protest against gun ownership. I don't own a gun for the same reasons I don't own a python or a table saw or a motorcycle... That shit's dangerous. At least it would be in my house, because I'm not qualified to own those things. What I DO own are violent video games and multiple video game systems to play them on.

Some people in this country would like to think that the mere existence of guns or our right to own them is the cause of violent crimes and mass murders. Other people like to think playing violent video games causes a person to want to go outside and shoot people. Both groups are wrong.

Mental illness is borne from within the brain, sometimes lying dormant until it rears its ugly head. If we knew what triggers mental illness, well, that would be quite the medical breakthrough. Any number of things could trigger any number of behaviors in humans. I can't stand men in sandals. Do I want to kill them? Maybe. Should sandals (for men) be outlawed if I go on a mass male sandal wearing killing spree? Of course not.

That's a silly example, I know. But I'm bothered by our lack of inward focus when it comes to dealing with the fall out of a poor/misguided/delusional decision. And isn't it funny how we conveniently dismiss all the horrendous things that have happened due to the apparent effects of alcohol? The large number of deaths attributed to drunk driving alone should make us question whether or not alcohol consumption is a safe thing.

"Hey, no way! I'm a responsible person! I know how to handle consuming alcohol. I know how to be a safe alcohol drinker." Same goes for gun owners and video gamers. In other words, stop trying to find something to blame and focus on the real problem: Mental illness and our lack of wanting to deal with it.

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