Don Cobb
About guns
By Don Cobb
December 27, 2012

About Guns: Guns are guns, just like cars are cars. Some are high end, some are hot, some are screaming hot. People use shotguns to hunt people and animals, and for personal defense. People use 22s (.22 caliber rifles and pistols) to hunt people and animals and for personal defense. It's not about the gun. It's about the person. Stop buying into media propaganda already. It just makes people look foolish when they do that. Guns aren't the problem. The USE of guns is what keeps our nation free and keeps nations all across the globe free. When it comes to murder, PEOPLE are the problem.

Now...what do you want to do about people? Anything? No. Cuz it's easier to pretend an inanimate object is the problem. And blaming guns is easier because other ignorant people will jump in alongside you because THEY'VE bought into the media propaganda too, because (a) they don't have the WISDOM to figure out what to do about the REAL problem (people) either, and (b) see (a) again. THAT is why people blame guns. They don't know what to do about people. But please, it's foolishness. Figure out what to do about the REAL problem — people — and then we can all talk about this again, intelligently and civilly. Blaming guns for murders is like blaming fists for assaults, blaming cars or alcohol for DUI related deaths or blaming the grill for a burned steak. It's just silly.

Most people — the vast majority, in fact — own and use guns responsibly. In fact, while the USA is number one in per capita gun ownership, we are #29 in gun-related homicides. That's because Americans are generally responsible for their weapons. Far more people die from alcohol-related automobile deaths than from gun-related homicides, but no one is crying out to ban cars or alcohol. That's because this issue isn't about people dying. This issue is driven by folks who are afraid of guns. The beauty in this is that no one has to own a gun if they are afraid of guns. But our forefathers, and many generations since our nation's founding, fought and died for our right to bear arms. Our Constitution secures that right for us all.

The problem is not assault weapons. (Assault weapons, btw, are automatic weapons, banned already in the USA — Those who call semi-automatic weapons "assault weapons" are guilty of false information, aka propaganda.) The problem is not guns. The problem is the person, when someone opens fire on school children, or on anyone, for that matter. Mental illness and emotional instability is what causes someone to pick up a weapon and use it on innocent victims. The inability to cope with life emotionally is at the root of every psycho who opens fire on innocent people.

But because our Federal government refuses to provide free mental health services and/or medication to those who need it, our communities are no longer the safe harbors they once were. Coinciding with President Carter's and President Reagan's closure of many state and federal mental health hospitals in the late 1960's and early 1970's is the escalation of child kidnappings and schoolyard mass murders. Prior to closing our nation's mental health facilities, child kidnappings and schoolyard mass murders were practically unheard of. Our front doors were left unlocked and our keys were in our cars all night. Releasing thousands of mental patients onto the streets of America started decades of unnecessary grief, crime and killings.

Granted, the system was corrupt and rife with family members having their relatives institutionalized for many reasons, some of which were about money — securing a rich family member's bank accounts once they were institutionalized, and some which were about other things, like getting out of unhappy marriages, settling longstanding family feuds and/or destroying someone's career. Doctors were taking bribes to diagnose patients with mental illnesses and then committing them to mental institutions indefinitely, sometimes. It violated the rights of some Americans because there was no accountability in the system. Again, people were the problem. And mental hospitals were expensive to run! But it's fairly unanimous that closing them created far more problems than it solved.

Having worked with and ministered to thousands of homeless persons, I can attest to the fact that the streets are full of mentally ill people who cannot get the help they need and/or want anymore. But mass homicides aren't typically committed by mentally ill street people. They are committed by folks who live in homes, who are commonly employable and who are simply overcome by Life, and become overwhelmed emotionally.

America needs to provide accessible mental health services for it's citizens, in my opinion. We need to re-open mental health facilities and insure that there is accountable oversight for the mentally ill who need help. Private enterprises would be ideal. The government — Post Office, DMV, Washington D.C., Congress — has proven itself incapable of managing a budget, and incapable of successfully managing almost everything within it's scope of control. But federal tax dollars could be provided for mental health services, instead of bailing out banks and privately owned automobile corporations, excessive state and federal employee health and retirement benefits. The money is there; it's just being misused.

Again, the problem is people, people who mismanage our tax dollars and mismanage our government. Using trillions of tax dollars to bail out financial institutions instead of providing mental health services can be indirectly blamed for the Connecticut massacre. Million dollar vacations by the occupants of the White House and extravagant retirement accounts and health benefits could be used to provide much needed mental health services and thus reduce gun-related homicides. But We, the People are responsible for electing our current leadership, who are collectively more interested in their next campaign than they are in solving our nation's social problems.

So see? We, the People are again the problem. We've made bad choices in America's current leadership, obviously. We continually put greedy, selfish and dishonest people in control of state and federal government dollars and America suffers in so many ways as a result of our bad choices. So what can we do about that?

People are the problem, in so many ways. Solve the "people" problem, and you'll solve the social problems. But no one in current political leadership seems to have the wisdom to solve the people problem right now. Perhaps We, the People should consider electing our own to state and federal leadership, rather than electing the rich, the attorneys and the judges to leadership. Perhaps electing someone who knows what it is to live paycheck to paycheck, who knows what it is to live in communities where crime occurs — perhaps electing a Congress full of regular Joe's might result in money being spent responsibly, and used to solve real problems, rather than corporate problems.

I have a website at where I lay out (suggest) a simple solution to our problems with state and national level politicians. It is absolutely cost-free and we could solve America's problem in one election cycle. Check it out and share in the forums there if you feel led.

Just thinking out loud over here...

© Don Cobb


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Don Cobb

Don Cobb, RAS is an addiction recovery professional and serves as Executive Director for North Bay Recovery Services in Sonoma County, CA. Don recently published a book entitled 12 Steps: NOT For Dummies... (more)


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