02/06/13 — Crime watch: OK, talk about guns, but let's address the real issues, too

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Crime watch: OK, talk about guns, but let's address the real issues, too

Whenever there is an incident involving a gun, there is an outcry to do something about the proliferation of weapons in the United States.

Both sides rally and the debate begins again about which concern in paramount -- the crazy man or criminal who pulls the trigger or the possession of the gun itself.

This is not that debate.

It is, instead, a reminder that as we talk about guns, background checks, limits and all the other issues that swirl around gun ownership and the prevention of tragedies, we need to address the real issues, the root causes and the aspects of society that will not be affected by any new gun laws.

Bottom line? Criminals are not going to stop finding guns because new limits are put on them. They haven't in the past 100 years, and they won't in the next 100.

So if we are serious about taking action against violence, crime and the other concerns in society today, we absolutely have to deal with what prompts someone to pick up a gun in the first place.

And that is a much harder debate to have, but a very necessary one.

As we continue our gun control debate, we must also take into consideration the factors that affect how people act -- mental health concerns, the drug scene and the children who are sucked into it every day, violence on television, violence in movies and in video games, and the disintegration of the families that would offer support and direction for many of these young people who later turn to crime.

We can't come up with a real solution to stopping the violence that takes place every day in this country until we deal with all the factors that prompt it and that perpetuate it.

We have to talk about parents, education, poverty and housing projects, teenage pregnancy and fatherless households.

We have to really want to make a change and to address the issues that will make that change a reality.

Otherwise, it is just another speech for the cameras.

Published in Editorials on February 6, 2013 11:12 AM