When I blogged about the shooting at Sandy Hook, I predicted that the talks around gun violence would ramp up. That prediction was not all that much of a stretch because it was all going to come to a head sooner or later. But because children were victims, now the nation has put up its collective head and is trying to address the issue. Whether this will fade into obscurity or not is really based on who is conducting the conversation.
I found an article today on the gun control hearings going on now. Former Representative Giffords made a surprise visit stressing the need to get something done soon. NRA Chair, Wayne LaPierre, is also at the table putting in his view on the subject and while I personally think he is a bit crazy, he touched on a part of the issue that is going to be very difficult to enforce; the mental illness aspect. Even if states are willing to report such records and provide the funding to do so, many people will not get the help they need until a crisis situation occurs, and sometimes it is often too late. Americans are by and large afraid of mental illness mostly because they are generally ill informed as to the malady and possess a somewhat unfounded fear.
Despite all the talk and all the pundits’ squawking about something getting done now, this issue is going to take a long time to correct itself and is more about changing our culture than anything else. I happened to see an interview with Bob Costas on the Daily Show where he briefly broached the subject of this culture. Guns, like apple pie and football, are engrained in our traditions like no other and possession of guns is cherished. Until we realize that there are deadly consequences when we take on the responsibility of being a gun owner and understand that better control is needed, our nation will continue to be no different that the Wild, Wild, West.