I’ve been wanting to tackle this topic ever since the terrible tragedy in Newtown last week but have been wary as this is such an emotive issue. However Tarot does have something to say about the mania for gun ownership. So (deep breath) here goes…
I guess the easy thing to conclude is that The Devil in this scenario is the boy who shot all those poor children. Full stop. No need to look any further for a culprit. Yet anyone who performs such a heinous deed is clearly suffering from mental health issues. Which is not to absolve him. I’m big on accepting responsibility for your actions (as is Tarot). I just don’t believe anyone acts in isolation. We are all influenced by our environment (so says the Hierophant card.) And we have a responsibility as a society to examine what we are doing to contribute to the escalation of situations like this (Judgement). I’m not alone in thinking this. Even in the United States where the right to bear arms is enshrined like gospel in the Constitution voices of dissent are being raised.
Now. I have many beautiful American friends who love their guns who have been frantically protesting on social media how it’s not guns that kill, it’s people. That rather than getting rid of guns we should be handing them out like jellybeans to teachers for them to keep handy in their classrooms. And of course there is a logic to that argument. However there are so many arguments against.
First of all. There is no evidence to show that having a gun keeps you safe. Killers have the element of surprise on their side. Logic dictates that a teacher interrupted while reading a story to her class would not have the time to reach for the handgun in her desk drawer in the face of someone with a semi-automatic in their hand.
If the evidence shows anything it is that children are more likely to die when guns are kept nearby. Just by accident. A gun kept in the home is apparently ten times more likely to be used on a member of the household than an intruder.
The perpetrator in this situation had apparently been whipped into a state of stress by a mother who believed the apocalypse was coming. Imagine how different the outcome of his mental distress if he’d never been shown how to shoot a firearm. If they weren’t kept at hand in his home?
Then there’s the fact that if there are more guns around they are bound to be used more. The Harvard Injury Control Research Centre has found substantial evidence to indicate that more guns means more murders. This holds true whether you’re looking at different countries or different states.
In Australia where the right to bear arms does not play a big part in our national psyche we had our own debate about the whole gun ownership thing a few years back when a man (who I refuse to mention by name) went on a rampage in Tasmania killing 35 people. The upshot was our Prime Minister at the time instigated the biggest gun buyback in our history as well as tighter rules for licensing and safe storage of those firearms remaining in public hands. And he was a Conservative i.e. Like a Republican. This law did not end gun ownership in Australia but reduced the number in private hands by one-fifth especially the kinds most likely to be used in mass murder. In the 18 years before the law took effect Australia suffered 13 mass shootings but not one in the 14 years since. The murder rate with firearms has also dropped by more than 40 percent and the suicide rate by more than half.
So that’s the statistics as far as I know. But what does Tarot say?
Tarot says that when we make choices out of fear we are living in The Devil card. Most Americans own a gun for protection. Out of FEAR for their safety. In the aftermath of last week’s tragedy one American said, ‘Americans love their guns more than children.’ Of course that’s not true. But the fear of being assaulted seems to make them blind to every other consideration. And that is very much The Devil according to Tarot.
Do you think the U.S government should crack down on gun ownership?