Letter: Concerning mass murders

Nov 15, 2017

First of all, let us establish the goal. Why do people want heavier gun restrictions?

The answer is simple: to reduce the amount of murder in our nation. The goal itself is good, but the problem boils down to whether guns or people are at guilt (technically, other factors are always involved, but they often trace back to one of the two).

If murderers are innocent, maybe guns are the problem. However, no one ever asks the question “is the murder the gun’s fault or is there a murderous person behind the weapon?”

No one asks the question because few want it answered.

The gun did not get out of its safe one-day and think, “Today, I’m going to murder dozens of human beings.”

No, as they are not sentient.

We humans, however, are sentient beings with will and determination, even will to do terrible things.

Say, hypothetically, I have a pistol that I take to a public location. People do not die because I took my pistol to the location; people die because I shot real people with real bullets (again, because some people have selective reading, I write hypothetically).

To put another way, the gun is the method of action. However, the action, not the method, is wrong.

When mass shootings take place, people mourn because fellow Americans are dead. Within a half-second, the media blames the guns, not the shooter.

My point is that we as society, and individuals, are at fault for caring about the method for murder rather than the action of murder.

In closing, I raise a proposition. Over the years, gun control has become a euphemism for mass murders. At the heart of every actual crime and sin is a will to act, not a weapon. Will we, as the city of Mukilteo, continue to abdicate civil responsibility for such murders by calling them gun violence or shall we call them what they really are, as mass murders? The issue of mass murder would be very simple if we got back to the basic concept, do not murder.


Nate Edwards


Comments (2)
Posted by: Denise Hotchkiss | Nov 17, 2017 19:14

Nate all your arguments are disingenuous at best. Cars and alcohol don't kill people, drivers do. But we still require drivers to be licensed, have laws preventing people driving under the influence and take away their ability to drive after repeat offenses. Heroin doesn't kill people, its the people that ingest too much that kill themselves. But there are still laws prohibiting its use. Do you have a problem with these laws as well?  And how does using the term mass murder more often (and it is used all the time BTW) prevent it? Murder is already illegal and I'm pretty sure the majority of mass murderers already know that. You surely aren't suggesting they only killed because they didn't know it was wrong?

Posted by: Nate Edwards | Nov 28, 2017 15:27

Denise, thank you for replying and I apologize for the delay in my response.

First of all, I am not by any means saying that mass murders happen because they did not know it was wrong. We do have laws which are an attempt to lower the risk of drugs and automotive related deaths, and that is a good thing. Yes there are laws preventing drivers from being repeat offenders and we also have existing laws which exist to lower the risk of repeat firearms offenders. One thing I would like to point out as a difference between guns and drugs is that using certain drugs is illegal whereas using a gun isn’t the crime in itself (the example of cars works similarly). Mass shootings often involve the willful murder of others. On the other hand, a perfectly upstanding and well-intentioned citizen is able, without hurting others or breaking the law, to take his own rifle to the range and put a few rounds through a bullseye on a piece of paper. Apparently guns can be used for good or for evil.

In reply to another of your questions, using the term mass murder does not prevent anything. Rather, it is about society’s perception of the killings of other society members. In a way, the term “mass shooting” takes the dead people out of the story as well as why murder is wrong.

Finally, I have a closing question for you. How are my arguments disingenuous, hypocritical, or dishonest? (And . . . if they’re “disengenuous at best,” what are they at worst?) I think the answer to why you don’t like them might help clarify for further discussion.



If you wish to comment, please login.