Mary’s Musings

Too much anger in this world

Posted:  Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 8:45am

Last week’s tragedy in Las Vegas has political leaders and others turning their attention once again to gun control. It becomes a hot topic whenever we have a horrendous incident where lives are lost because of guns.

Gun laws are much more lenient here than in most developed countries. Many folks would like to see gun ownership banned completely, while others want assault weapons outlawed. Some want gun laws left the way they are right now. No matter where you stand on the gun control issue, we think it’s unrealistic to make the assumption that incidents like the one in Las Vegas could be avoided if we had stricter gun laws.

Making something illegal does little to stop would-be law-breakers. We weren’t around during the days of Prohibition, but we all know that liquor flowed freely through our towns and cities. By the same token, for most of our adult life, it’s been illegal to smoke marijuana, yet it’s been readily available just as have drugs such as heroin, cocaine and “prescription’’ drugs. The word illegal has done little to curb drug use. Those who respect the law refrain from purchasing illegal drugs, but there are probably precious few folks who couldn’t find a source for any of these products if they really wanted them.

We don’t believe that stricter gun laws would have stopped most of the gun-related tragedies in recent years. What we need most of all in this country is less hatred, and a return to greater respect for one another. Folks the world over aRe full of anger, and unfortunately our own countrymen have more than their share. What possible motive does an individual have for randomly firing upon thousands at an outdoor concert? What prompts someone to fire upon a church congregation just because their religious beliefs are different? Why take out your frustration on fellow workers and your ex-boss because you got fired? What pushes a student to shoot up his own school and kill his classmates? What satisfaction does someone get from killing immigrants who may not share their same values? What makes a man kill his own wife because she wants a divorce? How do we justify shooting another motorist simply because he cut in front of us?

It used to be that we thought of ourselves here in the United States as more civilized, tolerant and fairer-minded than those in other countries. Truthfully, we can no longer ignore the fact that we, too, harbor too much anger. We’ve got to have a major change in attitude if we ever hope to earn the respect of the rest of the world and return to the America we once knew.  We’re tempted to use violence as the way to “pay back’’ those who offend us. Sadly, we’ll always have to deal with a few unreasonable individuals who have an axe to grind against society, but we can certainly all agree that we need to find ways to become a kinder, gentler people.  We’ve got it in our hearts to be compassionate and caring as the survivors of the Las Vegas concert so clearly demonstrated, working tirelessly to help injured and grief-stricken strangers. That’s the American spirit that needs to shine in all of us through each and every day.