Guns equal devolution, short-term thinking
Devolution. Is that what’s happening in our nation? We’re supposed to be a nation of laws, a nation that identifies issues and then goes about addressing them constructively. But with more and more people receiving permits to carry concealed deadly weapons, and so much of the national debate focusing on guns, it’s tough to not conclude that our society is devolving instead of evolving. The paranoia and fear driving these trends fog our ability to think about more constructive ways to improve our communities and make them more inclusive.
No one’s suggesting naivete as a strategy. With Sussex County’s growing population, increasing amounts of crime are coming along. We’re just a stone’s throw from the great Northeast megalopolis and all of its culture and grit. Even if there were police officers posted every other mile across the county, it’s doubtful there would be any less crime. It’s not about police presence. And it’s not about every one of us arming ourselves and holing up in our homes with our windows barred. That may be a temporary solution to crime, but it’s not a long-term solution.
The long-term solution, as it always has been, includes a combination of vigilance as individuals to avoid being crime victims, and collective efforts by all of us in our churches, service groups, families and various levels of government to make ourselves aware of and work to root out the poverty, injustice and mental diseases that provide the festering foundation of so much crime.
The issue is just as important and relevant for Sussex County as it is for the rest of the nation. Let’s not just resign ourselves to steadily increasing crime and addressing it by reverting to the guns and lawlessness that once unfortunately defined the Wild West experience. We’ve worked too hard as a nation to find a stability that allows our culture to thrive and which can provide opportunity for all. Sure, it’s idealism to constantly seek a better way, but the alternative is not, and should not be, acceptable to the majority of the people who cherish this nation’s values so highly.