The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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Opinion

January 7, 2013

We wrested away a knife, but would be no match for a gun

---- — I enjoy writing about the past, not because I live it, but because it can offer valuable lessons that apply in our fast-paced and at times troubling world of today.

I realize we can’t return to life as it was 40 or 50 years ago. But some of the basic tenets and principles that were such big parts of our lives in our youth could serve as valuable guidance today.

The proliferation of violence in our society is beyond description. Whether it be the activity of street gang thugs or the heinous crimes committed by people like Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, it paints a bleak picture of our lack of respect for human life.

The senseless murdering of children in Connecticut has captured the attention of Americans, but unfortunately and perhaps as bleak, no one has any workable answers about how to solve it. The NRA and anti-gun control individuals offer the same tired lines:

- Guns don’t kill, people do.

- When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

- It’s every American’s constitutional right to bear arms (AK 47s included).

Others argue that we need to look way beyond gun control and focus on mental health issues in society.

Sounds great, but how do we go about that? Since many times we don’t know of any issues people have until they’ve gone ballistic, how do we treat the problem?

A friend suggested that maybe when a person renews a driver’s license, that he or she undergoes a psychological evaluation.

Maybe more of such creativity is needed. But how about folks who don’t drive? And there’s that pesky little thing about who will pay for the exams?

Depressingly, I think of the craziness that is inherent in our changing society and our family structures, and I’m pessimistic that in a democratic society that we’ll be able to curb the violence (although I believe controlling assault weapons might be a good place to start).

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