Future Positive — Timothy Wilken, MD writing in 2002: Interestingly, the recent advent of the Washington D.C. area sniper has brought renewed interest in the subject of weapons and their role in our present society. …
Think of the power of the tools we humans use everyday—a Boeing 747 airplane, our automobiles, computers, cell phones, televisions, household appliances, the tools in our garages and at our places of work. The knowing in these tools multiply our human power by orders of magnitude. They allow us to do what was considered impossible just a few years ago. It is the power of the knowing embedded in these tools that give them their power. You don’t have to be wise to use a tool full of wisdom. You don’t even have to be knowledgeable to use such a tool. McDonald’s fast food restaurants, use picture icons of the food and drinks on the buttons of the check out computers, so that the illiterate and innumerate humans working there can operate the computers without reading, adding or subtracting. The computer even tells the operator the correct amount of change to return to the customer.
However, there is risk in using tools you don’t understand. Remember, “a little knowing is a dangerous thing.” Today, we commonly put enormously powerful tools into the hands of those who do not understand them. This means the risk of using these tools in an unsafe manner is high. And since weapons are specifically designed to hurt or kill, they are among the most dangerous tools available in today’s society.
And yet they are easily available to anyone who desires them. They can be purchased legally by any adult who passes a background check for criminal record. If you are not a convicted felon, you can legally purchase all the weapons and ammunition you desire. You are not legally required to be literate, numerate, or have any knowledge of science or physics. No knowledge of weapons or the consequence of their use or misuse is required before becoming armed. As to felons, minors, or non-citizens—anyone wishing to avoid the background check of legal purchase, they can be purchased illegally in any town in America. (02/04/2016)