I’m from the boomer generation. We had very realistic looking toy guns when we were growing up. We played “cowboys n’ injuns” and “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” and nobody batted an eye. When we got older, we all had at least a .22 rifle, and I had a .22 revolver. I don’t recall anyone ever being hurt, even though we’d take them out in the woods for “plinking.” And nobody ever shot up their school or threatened another kid with their gun. (We would never have let them live it down, as only a “sissy” would need a weapon!)
Today there has been an obvious attitudinal change. Guns are more tightly restricted than ever before, yet sick, 15-minutes-of-fame headline grabber wannabes with no regard for human life dominate our news. And when they can’t get guns, as in France, they simply plow their trucks through throngs of people. This change in attitude isn’t confined by our borders.
Well-meaning people focus on guns, thinking that new laws can change everything. In reality, there are tens of thousands of laws, yet the real problem of what is going on in our collective psyche goes unaddressed. It seems that murder as repugnant to many of us as it once was. Empathy has become a quaint, old-fashioned artifact while we elect narcissistic sociopaths to high office. They called the ’70s the “Me Decade.” Like Orwell’s 1984, I think they called it a bit too early.
Just my two pennies….