Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Opinion

December 16, 2012

HOPKINS: Can't make sense of the senseless

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Tighter gun control is the obvious choice for many. I can’t agree. Most gun owners are law-abiding. Most people who drive a car are law-abiding as well, but that doesn’t stop others from driving drunk and killing a skateboarder or child on a bike. Instead of blaming the instrument, blame the person.

A person intent on breaking the law is not going to be deterred by the laws that try to prevent him from running afoul. If he’s determined, he can just as easily build a bomb, or drive a car through a crowded plaza at lunch time.

Perhaps something we can do is become more aware of the people around us. Does a colleague or friend seem to be irritable, angry or withdrawn? Why? Chat him up. Sometimes we’re so absorbed with our own lives that we miss the bigger picture.

Simply talking to people might be enough to prevent a few tragic situations; not by deterring someone from doing something heinous, but by listening we may hear enough to raise a red flag. We can report what we’ve heard. Perhaps that person will be evaluated or will fall under the watchful eyes of law enforcement.

Far-fetched? Perhaps, but then again maybe not. We have to be willing to try, and it appears there are enough people willing to advocate for changes that will make us safer. Why not try something different than going for the knee-jerk reaction?

In the mean time, my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Newtown, Conn. They have witnessed an evil I can only imagine — and I’m sure it’s far worse than what I’ve conjured up.

I pray that one day they will find happiness again. I pray that they have the resources available to help them through this most difficult time. I pray that there won’t be a next time, and I pray that if the opportunity arises I will recognize a troubled person and find a way to get him the help he needs.

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