Guns and anger |

Guns and anger

Not long ago, a writer commented that it’s not guns or people who kill people, but hatred. He had no hatred, he said, and so would never use his guns against another.

This is a noble sentiment, but clearly hatred alone does not kill. The fatal combination is a gun, a person to pull the trigger, and a strong emotion (even fear or mere anger).

Years ago, I read an item about a gentleman who shot and killed his neighbor over the placement of a trash can. Until the moment he aimed his legally purchased gun at his neighbor and pulled the trigger, this man was a law-abiding citizen. Within seconds of allowing his anger to overwhelm him, his neighbor was dead and he was a murderer.

If he’d had only the anger and no gun, he might have punched his neighbor and been arrested for assault. If he’d had only the gun and no anger, it would not have seen use. Unfortunately, he possessed both, so killing his neighbor was as easy as “point and click.”

And that’s the issue: Guns make transient emotions deadly and committing an irreversible act easy and instantaneous. If we could regulate anger, perhaps we’d see less reason to regulate guns.

Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff

Nevada City

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