Thursday, December 27, 2012

If I Can't Have You, Nobody Can

Trey Smith

It is certainly true that "good" people don't walk into a classroom and shoot a group of six year-olds. It's also true that good people don't murder their wives and girlfriends – yet five times more women are killed by intimate partners every year than by strangers, and 95% of the women who are killed with a firearm are murdered by a man. If there's a gun involved, an incident of domestic violence is 12 times more likely to result in death. And while mass shootings understandably capture our national attention, the more than 30,000 American gun deaths every year (and their $37bn price tag) should spur us to action.

It's easy to read those figures and conclude that conservatives are right: we are a world of awful, violent people who are going to keep on being awful and violent no matter what, so gun control serves no purpose and we'll all be better off in Heaven anyway. But as is true with almost anything that makes life on Earth brutish and miserable, we have the power to change that. Gun deaths are lower in the states with the strictest gun control laws. And the majority of US gun deaths actually comprises suicides – acts committed not generally by evil, murderous people, but by individuals who are sick and hurting and need help.
~ from The Conservative Philosophy of Tragedy: Guns Don't Kill People, People Kill People by Jill Filipovic ~
Killing another person is bad, in most circumstances, but killing someone you SAY you love is downright despicable. And yet, as Filipovic underscores, this happens all too frequently in US society. In far too many cases, it involves the "If I can't have you, nobody can" mentality.

A couple hits a rough spot -- often caused by the fact that the male doesn't seem to love anyone except himself -- and it looks like they will or have part[ed] ways. Just like a wealthy person who doesn't want to lose any of their built up possessions, many men view the wife or girlfriend as a material possession too. When this "possession" pulls free, the guy can't cope with this perceived theft and so he decides that if he can't possess it, he will destroy it.

Death by domestic violence can occur with all sorts of weapons, but guns make it that much easier. In fact, in far too many of these cases, destroying the perceived theft wasn't the plan. The guy blows his cork and, in his fury -- with his trusty gun handy -- he impulsively kills. Filled with horror and remorse, it's not uncommon for him to then turn the gun on himself -- to destroy the destroyer.

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