Samuel L Jackson made shocking comments about guns after the Newtown shooting and the video has been getting a lot of play on social media lately. Shocking, because even though he is a liberal, he managed to stay measured and well reasoned…
“I don’t think it’s about more gun control. I grew up in the South with guns everywhere and we never shot anyone. This [shooting] is about people who aren’t taught the value of life.”
But I think this video from a few years ago is much more powerful. Some called it anti-gun when it first came out, but it’s more pro-responsibility if you think about it…
“Blame anyone but yourself for not being strong enough to put down the gun.”
We can blame guns or mental health or video games or pop culture, and it might make us feel better or help us win an argument on Twitter. But at the end of the day, the only one to blame is the person who committed the crime in the first place. The person who pulled the trigger is the one responsible.
We don’t have a gun problem. We have a character problem. You don’t solve a character problem with gun control. You don’t solve a character problem with attacking the NRA. Do you know how you fix a character problem?
By openly calling men and women to be people of character. By openly calling on men to be husbands and fathers. By openly calling women to be better wives and mothers. By openly burdening more Americans with responsibility for their actions and results in the home, in school, in the workplace.
To put it simply: personal responsibility.
But we don’t want to have that conversation do we? Because that conversation would require judgment. It would require harsh judgment of people’s actions on a regular basis long before a mass shooting. Harsh judgment when slacked off at work, harsh judgment when you screwed around on your wife, harsh judgment before you had that abortion.
Fixing character issues requires the recognition and judgment of those character issues in the first place. You can never fix them if you’re constantly absolving people of personal responsibility in order to gain votes.
I we can’t even admit basic reality, how can we even have a serious conversation about why the killing happened in the first place?