from Facebook, and resulting thoughts

A friend posted this on Facebook, and it’s been copied by a few people (including me). It’s generated some very animated and good discussion:

To everyone who is calling for stricter gun laws in light of the tragedy in Tucson, may I offer this little tidbit: If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars drive drunk, and spoons make people fat. Remember: Hold the person accountable for their actions, not the means they chose to utilize!!!

Yes, I know, guns can inflict a lot more damage in a short time. But if someone is determined to hurt someone, any object will do.

There are far more beneficial discussions to be having about the Tucson tragedy – beginning with how we handle the mentally ill. It’s a fine balance – we don’t want to get like totalitarian regimes throughout history where you can report me for some spurious crime just because you don’t like me, and I get hauled away on the basis of your false report. However, it’s just not right to family and neighbors that nothing can be done to get a manifestly disturbed individual in for evaluation and treatment – until it can be proven that the individual is a danger to himself or others. By that point, you’ve got a Tucson event all over again.

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