Fear dictates the actions of people that lead to violence, not guns or cars or other weapons.
Fear makes people do things they normally would not do. Grief makes people do things they normally would not do. Pain, lust, greed, power, anger - these are all emotions that cause humans to act or react in ways that shock or distress society.
These emotions can have good and bad consequences. Because of the human penchant for things out-of-the-ordinary, we hear about the bad things that happen, through media, far more than the good things. This is because shock value brings in money; shock value sways people to a cause. Those who are smart know this and prey upon it to bring about their own agendas, meet their own desires. We are all human, after all.
When bad things happen, like the Las Vegas shooting, those of us who are human (which is pretty much everyone) feel something. We feel sadness, pain, grief, anger, but most likely, we feel fear. What about the families who have lost loved ones? What if it were my family? What if someone is going to shot me? What makes me safe? What will I do if someone I love is shot?
People tend to ‘what if’ a situation to death, no pun intended. But what it really boils down to for those who claim gun control is the answer to end violence, is that worry presented as concern for others is really a spiral into self-preservation and selfishness. As humans we are wired to survive. We feel we deserve better than to live in fear.
The funny thing is, in this survivalist mode we tend to forget, guns don’t have emotions, guns don’t pick their targets, guns are inanimate objects that can lie dormant in a gun safe behind lock and key or be loaded in the kitchen drawer without a care, or a purpose, or a mission.
Likewise, cars used in drive-bys don’t feel a thing, cars don’t sit around in parking lots planning to drive through a crowd, cars do not load themselves with explosives and detonate outside government agencies or near road-side military checkpoints. No one is demanding that cars be banned, bought-back off the streets, or modified so they don’t kill. That would be silly.
People kill other people with a great variety of weapons. People bury a hatchet, stick a knife through the heart, or lace a drink with poison. People cause each other pain, hurt, powerlessness and fear.
There is only one way to solve violence in our lives, and that is by loving each other, one person at a time. Start in your own family, put aside your own fear and look through the eyes of someone who is hurting. Learn to listen and understand while remaining in control of your own emotions, then take a step back and look at the big picture. What you say matters, what you do matters even more. Fear, grief, anger, pain, power, all of these are very strong emotions. But they are traps, leading only to more of the same.
There is one emotion strong enough to stop violence. Perfect love casts out all fear.