The New Gun Crisis -- The Fallout of Fear

Our nation continues to attempt to process the grief, fear and anger unleashed by September 11th's tragedy.  We know that the enormous fallout of these events is still unclear and unfolding. 

America's sense of security has been violated.  A sense of safety is at the foundation of any flourishing society. Uppermost in many people's minds is the need to feel safe.   Right now in the United States, some people are trying to regain a sense of safety by relying on guns.

Now more than ever, our nation faces a crisis regarding the proliferation of guns. The federal government is being asked to consider allowing airline pilots to be armed with guns in the cockpits of airplanes. The media is reporting a surge in gun and ammunition sales and new concealed weapons permits in various areas across the country.  These guns, perhaps bought in haste and because of a desire for security and control,  will be here today, tomorrow and for years to come.  

The costs of the increased proliferation of guns are enormous.  Firearms are deadly.  Just days after the terrorist attacks, in Spotsylvania, Virginia a three year old boy fatally shot himself with a handgun his father bought for protection.

The reality is guns in the home are more dangerous than protective:

  • Children can't leave guns alone, even when they have had "safety" training;
  • Most homicides are committed with guns, and suicide is nearly five times more likely to occur in a household with a gun.
  • Guns are more likely to be used in a crime than to prevent one;
  • Guns might have safety-related defects.

    Guns exact a terrible toll in America.  For every life lost to gun trauma, there are many other people -- families, friends, and whole communities traumatized and affected by the loss.  In the wake of September 11th's tragedy, we must search for solutions, evaluate our options and make decisions individually, as a family, community and nation, that make sense today and for the long term.