"There is renewed debate on guns and gun control following the Copley shootings. Are guns the problem, and does this hinder or validate arguments for an against gun control?"
Easier asked that answered, in large measure because it is a question that goes to the heart and emotions of the values you hold highest when it comes to public and personal safety.
As The Akron Beacon Journal pointed out in it's reporting following the August 7th shootings at Schocalog and Goodenough, mass killer MIchael Hance procured one of the weapons he used to slay seven neighbors -- including three children -- from a local pawn shop. And it was perfectly legal. Hance had no criminal record and, as far as we know so far, no glaring mental health disability that would have stopped him from buying a weapon at the pawn shop or any other establishment that legally sells guns to the public.
The problem is, it's easy to want to find a scapegoat. Especially in cases where the are no easy answers. Especially in cases such as the Copley shootings where we may never get answers to such anguished questions.
Pointing the trigger finger at guns is easy. Hance used a pair of handguns to destroy so many lives. But that logic is similar to blaming automobiles for the 32,788 traffic fatalities last year. That logic assumes the knife is responsible for stabbing assault. We want to affix responsibility for the unthinkable to something thinkable. It's just too difficult to comprehend why something -- or someone -- is so horrible. We rightfully don't want to accept the premise that somethings are just beyond rational reach.
Like a boyfriend, neighbor, de facto brother-in-law, de facto uncle, would use a handgun he purchased five days prior against the people he loved. Blame Michael Hance, and try to find a reason why. Blame the gun, because there is no reason.
When Ohio joined other states allowing for citizens to secure concealed carry permits, there was outcry that the Buckeye State would change from O-H to O-K Corral. It hasn't happened. In point of fact, most national studies indicate the crime rate actually dropped following passage of concealed carry laws. There are dissenting views, notably the Violence Policy Center, but even the Center's assessment and numbers fail to show an overwhelming failure of concealed carry.
One of the most oft-repeated observations of gun owners is the peace of mind security they have; having a gun ready and not needing it helps them sleep at night. Not having a gun when they do need one is what keeps them up awake. One can imagine that conversation taking place in home across northeast Ohio this past week.
What was responsible for the tragedy in Copley? Michael Hance, just not the guns he used to kill.
This commentary reflects the opinion of the AkronNewsNow.com editor and is not necessarily the opinion of AkronNewsNow, it's staff or the management of Rubber City Radio Group.