How far will we go to protect our children?
by Chris Collett
December 29, 2012 12:00 AM | 1832 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chris Collett<br>Columnist
Chris Collett
While watching the news the other night, the news anchor asked the question of how far will we go to protect our children.

As a parent, I am not sure I really understand that mentality. Wouldn’t the answer be that we would go as far as we need to go?

Ever since the tragedy in Newtown, television programs and newscasts have been flooded with the debate over gun control.

Many people have spoken out, blaming the accessibility of guns for this tragedy.

They did the same thing not many months ago when a crazed shooter started shooting in a crowded movie theatre.

Just a few weeks ago, a shooter took the same action in a hospital. And just a few days ago, two brave firemen were shot when responding to a fire.

I imagine the government can ban assault weapons or any weapons they choose to call dangerous. This no doubt will keep the 95 percent of Americans that are law-abiding citizens from owning these weapons.

But if anyone believes that banning these weapons will stop the 5 percent of Americans that have criminal minds from getting their hands on assault rifles, then you just may be living in a fairy tale.

There is a reason that the jails are full. They are full because there is a segment of society that simply can’t follow the rules.

Many times this behavior surfaces during the school-age years, although not always.

But when it does, many times parents believe the problem to be with the teacher or administration instead of holding their child responsible for their actions.

I am not a gun enthusiast even though I do own guns. My father owns guns, as did his father.

In my family, the guns were locked away and kept out of the hands of children unless there was strict supervision.

Could I have taken them anyway when I was home alone? Maybe, but it would have been very difficult.

But more importantly, I knew there would be severe consequences if I committed such a transgression.

You see, I would have been held accountable. And I would have been punished.

In my 50 years on earth, I have never seen a gun load itself, point itself at a human being and pull its own trigger. No, there was a person taking all of those actions that it takes to make this happen.

I have never seen an automobile seduce a drunken person to get behind the wheel and drive down the road to kill someone. No, there was a person taking the actions to make this happen.

I have never seen a knife pull itself from a sheath and lunge into the body of a human being. No, it takes a person to make this happen.

So maybe, just maybe, we should stop blaming the instruments used in these heinous crimes and start putting the blame where the blame goes.

It goes on the criminals that commit these crimes.

But our society doesn’t use this method of thinking. What we now do is try to figure out who is to blame for why the criminal committed the act.

Did the criminal come from a broken home? Did the criminal have some mental issue that caused him to commit the crime?

It must be someone else’s fault, for our precious child wouldn’t do such a thing.

Many people come from broken homes. Many have mental issues that they live with their entire life. Be assured more than are actually diagnosed.

And yet they are productive law-abiding citizens who laugh, love and live good lives.

So whatever happened to plain ole mean? Did that term disappear? For not all people are good.

There are mean people in our world that want to do us harm. So let’s catch them and hold them responsible instead of making excuses for their actions.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think most people need an assault rifle in their arsenal. But they do have a right to bear arms, unless of course the Constitution was re-written and I missed it.

I was not only held responsible at home but at school also. And my parents sided with the teachers when I got in trouble.

So to Lee Roy Tippens, Danny Tippens, Homer Key and Ronnie Smith, thank you for caring enough to hold me responsible.

How far will you go to protect your children?

As for me, as far as I need to go.

Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County.

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