American Caribou, the Gun Control Debate

The debate over gun control is a topic that is extremely important to me.  I have strong opinions and about this subject, and if I am not careful, I can tend to overlook the fact that to so many, great suffering and emotional trauma is attached to such a debate.  After the recent failure of the gun control laws to pass in the U.S. Senate, many of the Newtown tragedy parents have vowed to continue to fight for more strict regulations.  This is a serious subject.

I believe that stories are a powerful medium. They make a point while distancing the point from the subject.  The concept is then grasped and hopefully applied by the individual instead of being forced upon the individual.  For this reason, I am presenting to you one of Wyatt’s Fables.

The Wolf and the CaribouCaribou Bull

One day a wolf was wandering the plain in search of prey.  He was hungry, but didn’t really need food because he had eaten only yesterday.  Suddenly he spotted a caribou calf on the edge of a small glade.  “This defenseless gangly creature will make for a fine chase and good sport.” he thought as he stealthily approached.  Just as he was about to spring and begin the chase, there loomed out of the woods the mother caribou and a large bull with her.  The bull was strong with towering antlers, and the mother had long, powerful front legs with sharp hooves.  The wolf immediately began to flee.  No chase was worth the risk of those antlers and hooves.

Moral:  Predators avoid danger while the defenseless are vulnerable.

 This fable specifically is not the story that people need to hear, especially those who have suffered at the hands of violent crime.  The difficulty comes from the perspectives involved.  To those who have suffered, they see the weapon as the problem.  What could that man have done if he didn’t have a gun?  The realistic answer is that he could not have done what he did.  The missing link in this perspective is that regulations only matter to law abiding citizens and the man who did the murdering is in no way law abiding.  I am not arguing the Newtown tragedy specifically,(for example was that specific gun legal etc.) I am just stating that those hindered by regulations are not criminals.

I live in central Virginia and remember clearly the day that the Virginia Tech shooting occurred.  One of my school teachers had a daughter attending there at the time.  I was thinking once again about that terrible tragedy with its anniversary so recently past.  I asked myself, “What would have happened if the professor or any of the students in the several classrooms he entered had been armed?  Certainly several students would still have been killed, but would he have been able to make the parents of all 33 mourn?

My fable is completely inspired by this video.  I believe this man to be saying something that the U.S. government needs to hear, even if individuals need to be treated more gently.  As the governing body of the nation, the significance of the decisions they are making must be forced upon them.  I am not denigrating the feelings or motives of those who hold a position opposite to my own.  I simply feel that something is missing form their understanding.  Perhaps someone will be able to bring clarity and decisiveness to the debate over such a serious issue.

-Wyatt Fairlead


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