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Viewpoint: Banning guns in NOT the answer

By Meredith Berg, Hudson

In light of the horrendous school shootings/murders in the last few months, we have seen an increase of fear among our children that is just heartbreaking, but truly justified. And everyone is looking at answers to stop the slaughter. Unfortunately, I believe our well-intentioned schools/students are looking in the wrong places.

Blaming guns for these terrible slaughters makes stopping them look fairly easy. Take away the guns, take away the problem! Unfortunately, there are many cities/towns and even nations that have tried this and the truth is, while taking away guns may indeed stop some deaths, the problems run much deeper than that.

On a visit to my grandparents' home country of Norway a few years ago, my grandfather took me out to one his potato-growing fields to show me the 4-foot thick cement walled "building" the Nazis had built on his property during World War II, as a "resting place" for the soldiers while they were either shooting/killing the farmers or destroying their farms and disarming them. The citizens in Norway were left defenseless when their personal guns were taken away (by the government of Norway, in its earlier days of the war). A defenseless citizenry was seen, earlier on, as a way of destroying their own country!

A police officer in Australia tells about what has happened in that country since a ban on firearms was made law a year ago. The government forced the surrender of 640,381 personal firearms, that were eventually destroyed by the Australian government, and which cost taxpayers more than $500 million. The monetary cost was nothing compared to the real cost to Australian citizens. Australia-wide, homicides were up 6.2 percent, assaults up 9.6 percent, armed robberies up 44 percent! In Victoria alone, homicides with firearms up 300 percent. Note that, while law-abiding citizens turned their guns in, CRIMINALS did not and they still have their guns!

In Australia, there had been a steady decrease in armed robbery; however, in the last year, this has changed dramatically and there has been a dramatic increase in break-ins, assaults on the elderly, even while residents are home!

GUNS aren't the problem—PEOPLE are and we need to get off our devices and cellphones, reach out to the teen who seems troubled, a loner, friendless, when everyone is "hooked up" to an inanimate object, ie. one kind of phone or another. Those teens that are in need of someone to care, to talk to, to take an interest in.

GUNS DON'T KILL, PEOPLE DO! Let's start thinking of ways WE can stop these terrible incidents by actually caring about one another, NOT banning guns!

I was a public school teacher for over 25 years, and have seen too clearly how kids themselves set the tone for these kind of terrible incidents to happen. What this world needs now is LOVE, more LOVE.