COLUMBIA — Every time I hear that a new mass murder has been committed, all I can do is flinch. I would like to hope that people would be so appalled that they would begin a movement to stop the sale of guns immediately.
But, of course, I know better. It doesn’t really matter how many people are involved or who they are, guns are here to stay. I truly believe that those who rely on guns to save their lives will cling to them against all odds.
It is unfortunate that so many people live in the kind of neighborhoods where neither they nor their children can be safe at all times. There are not enough police to stand guard in all of the doorways left open for criminals to hide behind. There are so many people with mental and psychological problems walking the streets that one can never be certain when one is on safe ground.
According to friends, the man in the Washington, D.C., Naval Yard had anger-management issues. Well, there’s a lot of anger out there these days. Trying hard to keep tempers from flowing over the edge can sometimes be a full-time job. Some people are not as careful about the feelings of others as they could be. And so often, people feel that others are trying to take advantage of them, even when that is not the case.
These are surely the times that are trying men and women’s souls. Even when you are trying to believe the best about people, you so often feel let down. Obviously, people are not always thinking of the friend or neighbor in the same manner as they think of themselves.
Maybe, it’s not other people who are letting us down. Maybe, we are expecting too much from other people and not giving them enough credit for being themselves. Maybe we are overlooking their humanness, their right to be whomever they have to be.
Living with guns is how Americans have decided they want to live. That means that the rest of us have to live that way as well. For a long time, people in the Old West lived like this. Ultimately, they became educated and decided to live by laws rather than by guns.
Maybe, we have to live it all over again. And again.
Rose M. Nolen writes a weekly column for the Missourian. You can join the conversation by calling her at 882-5734 or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.