Inane Wisdom?

The image to the left is a bit of “wisdom” making its way around social media. As with many such posts, it is intended to be a pithy way of making a point.

In my mind, a similar-sounding word might be more appropriate when describing the message. And, yes, I understand my position on this may not sit well with many folks. Nevertheless, the meme is nonsense!

If you cannot recognize the problem, let me see if I can help. The meme responds to those who say we shouldn’t blame the gun but the shooter.

The image’s creator implies they understand you don’t blame the gun. Then they make it clear they feel guns should be taken away from everyone. Yes, I know! In the meme context, they remove the stick to prevent the child from hitting anyone else. If it were that simple, it might make sense, to a degree.

However, even in this simplistic aphorism, it should be clear that simply removing the implement used in the assault is not enough. If the kid wants to keep hitting people, it simply picks up another stick.

Someone needs to deal with the behavior in a manner that clarifies one does not hit others with a stick. Of course, the child may have been trying to defend itself with the stick. Taking the stick away, in that case, enables the attacker. As I wrote that last sentence, I could almost hear the wheels spinning in the heads of those who disagree.

Responses appear in their minds like popcorn in the machine at the movie theatre. “That’s a false comparison!” “Guns and sticks aren’t the same!” “Adults will protect the child!” “The parents should teach the child how to avoid people that might harm it!” And! The list goes on.

Of course, the most common complaint will be that guns and sticks aren’t comparable. There I can agree, but not the way they think. Guns and sticks aren’t identical. That is why I feel the meme is more one p-word than another.

A kid can find plenty of sticks lying around, ready for use. Guns are a bit harder to come by, but anyone who truly believes it is possible to eliminate the availability of firearms is living in fantasy land. They may not be as available as sticks, but if you feel you need one, you’ll be able to get it.

As I write this, I live in a “safe” middle-class neighborhood within a few minutes of areas where one can illegally buy guns, ammo, drugs, alcohol, and almost anything else.1 In one case, the area in question, is within walking distance.

If you skimmed that last sentence, it contained the term “illegally.” Anyone believing that changing laws will change the way things are in this country, or the world, today is fooling themselves.

Despite what the talking heads in Washington and the activists across the country say, there is only one certainty if the feds find a way to make it harder for citizens to buy firearms and ammunition legally. It will create another source of income for bad actors while increasing the number of people willing to break the law to protect themselves.


  1. I added quotation marks to highlight that our neighborhood is not crime-free. We have our share of porch pirates, car break-ins, sporadic home burglaries, and occasional domestic disturbances. Some years ago, we even experienced a grisly homicide. By the way, firearms were not used in this homicide.


About S. Eric Jackson

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