Dave Petzal on the Aurora Shooting
I know it’s bad blogging form to block quote an entire post of someone else’s but I just thought this was really insightful. Dave Petzal has been one of the gun writers for Field & Stream for many years. His opinion on guns is well-respected by shooters across the country (and myself). These are his thoughts on the Aurora tragedy from last week.
The United States has always been a country in which guns of all types have been readily available. In the 1920s, Sears Roebuck sold Thompson submachine guns. After World War II, we were awash in military weapons. Yet Aurora and Columbine and Virginia Tech are all very recent. What’s changed?
What has changed is this: We seem to have finally succeeded in creating young men with no regard for human life. Probably there are not legions of them, but only one is too many. Their numbers cut across lines of race, education, and class. They shoot people, friends or strangers, singly or en masse, as casually as they slaughter in video games.
Maybe we’ve been in a few wars too many. Maybe our popular entertainment is too violent. Maybe our educational system has failed in this respect, as it has in many others. Maybe the news media should stop feasting on these horrors as vultures do on a carcass. Maybe it’s part of a general breakdown in society.
What are we going to do? No one has a clue. No one is even asking the question.
Guns are the least part of the equation. They are machines, and they do what their users want, no more no less. There is a line from the movie Full Metal Jacket that sums this up perfectly.
“Your rifle is only a tool. It is a hard heart that kills.”
There are more hard hearts out there, and we have no idea how to change them, so this is going to happen again.