One Line That Still Haunts Me

There are few things that can get me riled up like watching a news item that tells me that 20 young kids were murdered by a gunman who used legally obtained guns to carry out the attack. We are all familiar with the story now and I have no intention to recap it here. But back then, when the reports were still emanating and the media did not have all the information, ALL news articles ran one line midst their coverage. Upon initial reading, it appeared innocuous. Looking back, however, it could not have been phrased better to truly show the situation for what it was. Quoting it verbatim, it simply said:

An entire class was unaccounted for.

That line sent shivers down my spine. I had to reread that line over and over again, trying to comprehend its complete implications. It was as if the “class” had somehow become a commodity – like a production batch that had gone missing, or like a monthly payment that was never recorded. But these were small kindergarten kids that were ‘unaccounted’ for. If the only available context for the above line was ‘a classroom of kindergarten children’, it would likely be viewed as a bullet point in some school audit report  indicating wrongly maintained student roll. It would also be made to seem like an inventory of lost homework that was destroyed in a small fire.

But without the full context available, NOBODY – and I really do mean NOBODY – would even be capable of thinking along the lines of what actually happened. 20 school children were brutally murdered by a gunman who fired 3-11 bullets into each of these kids. Most of them were in a single class. And all of their lives will remain ‘unaccounted for’.

Suddenly the homework-destroying school fire and the incompetent school accountant sound so much more desirable.

***********************************************************************************************

I intended to write a long piece voicing my opinion against gun possession and all that it entails. While doing my research on it, I came across two articles. One of them, in the NYT, was by Jeff McMahan, and it articulates every single thought and opinion I have about gun possession and gun laws. Jeff McMahan has said everything I ever wanted to say. A small excerpt from his article:

The logic of private gun possession is thus similar to that of the nuclear arms race.  When only one state gets nuclear weapons, it enhances its own security but reduces that of others, which have become more vulnerable.  The other states then have an incentive to get nuclear weapons to try to restore their security.  As more states get them, the incentives for others increase.  If eventually all get them, the potential for catastrophe — whether through irrationality, misperception, or accident — is great.  Each state’s security is then much lower than it would be if none had nuclear weapons.

I wish I could copy-paste the entire article as there are really so many points made there. But the internet is a wonderful thing. It allows me to simply link to the entire post. Here is the link again. 

The other link is to an article in Jim Emerson’s Blog. This is NOT an opinion piece. It is comprised solely of facts about guns, gun laws and other statistics about homicides. It is a necessary read for anyone who wishes to debate or voice an opinion on gun control. Here is ‘a modest proposal’ that he does suggest though:

If you believe that the government is plotting to take away your guns, then you are paranoid and crazy and should have your guns taken away.

These two articles cover everything that I ever wanted to SAY or KNOW about gun control in America. Needless to say, I favor a world where nobody has guns except the police. Far from a reality I know. But as John Lennon said, “You may say I am a dreamer; But I am not the only one.”

 

About Akshay N R

Civil Engineer by Profession; Dudeist by Religion. Also allergic to mediocrity.

Posted on December 25, 2012, in America, Rant, Serious Writing, Thoughts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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