Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Another Murder Suicide...Some Thoughts...
KC Chiefs football player Jovan Belcher is dead. So is his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, who Belcher shot before he took his own life. Murder-suicide. No matter how you come at this, its bad. Bad for everyone involved, especially their young daughter.
We've seen the typical reactions across the internet and in media circles. We need more gun laws, we need more domestic violence prevention, we need more this, we need more that. Yes we do, no we don't. There is no evidence that Belcher obtained his gun illegally. Since we already have laws on the books against shooting other people, what do we gain? As far as the domestic violence prevention, well-who would be against that? The reports I've seen so far suggest the couple had been fighting through the weekend about Perkins coming home late from a concert. I haven't seen any reports of long standing issues of this nature. Not surprisingly team mates, coaches and even neighbors have stepped up and said Jovan Belcher was a great guy. The last guy on earth you'd figure for something like this.
A reasonable person can want there to be fewer guns in society. I do. But as soon as those words leave someone's lips an opposing viewpoint steps up and says "hold on, we're guaranteed the right to have a gun. It says so right in the Constitution. The Second Amendment." That's not going away anytime soon. Politicians are scared shitless to even bring it up. Every time someone loses it and shoots a wife, a boss, a co-worker or a bunch of movie goers, the arguments are always the same. The gun didn't kill those people, the person did. No more than a fork or a spoon is responsible for someone being obese. Besides, if you toughen the gun laws, then the law abiding folks will follow the tougher restrictions, fewer good guys will have guns, while the bad guys will continue to be bad guys and use the tougher laws to their advantage.
Belcher snapped. Went bad crazy. I can't conceive of a solution for that. Maybe better mental health programs but probably not. This may just be one of those messed up things that we need to accept and live with. At least until we can have an adult conversation about doing something different with guns in this country. Which we're not real good at. ANY concessions asked for regarding gun laws ignites a firestorm. People lose their minds. I read earlier this evening that Belcher was "evil for doing such a thing." I disagree. This wasn't a criminal. This wasn't a gang member. This was, according to those who knew him, "a good guy." This doesn't sound like it was pre-meditated. To write this tragedy off as an act of an evil person is to take the easy road. This was, it seems, a horrific act committed by a good guy who had every reason to live. One can make the argument that he took the easy way out by killing himself. I say you can make an alternate argument, just as easily that he was so appalled, so sickened by his shooting of his girlfriend...the mother of his daughter...that in his mind the only honorable solution was to terminate his own life. Who knows?
If I were King, I'd snap my fingers and try to improve the education we provide our young people about coping skills. About how things don't always work out and how to handle conflict in a health way. We do some of this already but maybe we should do more. It wouldn't hurt. Would it have stopped the murder/suicide? I have no idea.
This is America. We love our guns. Guns aren't going anywhere. Ever. So buckle up, keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Please don't lose your mind, especially if you're going to be around me or my family. With all due respect to the Constitution, I say this is one hell of a way to run things. This is a helluva low bar to set for ourselves.