Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lethal Weapon(s) (tm)..

I was recently watching the movie, "Lethal Weapon."  It's a fairly famous movie (which they then made a series of sequels from) in which Mel Gibson stars.  In the original movie, his character "Riggs" is a troubled, Vietnam veteran who had lost his wife (in a manner I neither recall nor does it matter).  Through much of the movie Riggs contemplates taking his own life.  In one of the better acted scenes Mel Gibson ever played, he takes out his pistol (a Beretta), puts one round in the chamber and puts the barrel in his mouth.  He comes a hairs breadth from taking his own life because he is distraught over the loss of his wife.  He gets labeled as a lethal weapon by his partner "Roger" (Danny Glover) in a subsequent scene because he is both lethal with his pistol (he's beyond an expert shot) and with his hands (he's a jujitsu master).

Here's the point, the reason I bring it up.  Gibson's character certainly COULD have killed himself a hundred ways, be he instead took out his service weapon loaded it and held it to his head.  Like so many, far too many, men in the U.S., after a drink or two, with a weapon at hand, in a brief moment of rage/pity/self-loathing, they end their life.  No, the "lethal weapon" isn't really the firearm, it's the desire, the anger, the despair, but the point that so many gun "advocates" (willfully) miss is that the weapon makes it FAR easier.  They chose instead to ignore that point and simply point out that it was the person, not the gun, which acted, because facing the fact that guns make killing easier means they are arguing a point they can't win.  Because guns DO make it easier, FAR easier.  Which was and is always the point.  No one says limiting firearm ownership will stop crime, end suicide, end murder, we simply say it will make it one heck of a lot harder.

My brother took his own life, he did not use a gun, he got drunk, he hung himself.  It's extraordinarily painful to even contemplate this event, much less write about it.  He found his "way" to his ends, but maybe, just maybe, for someone else's brother, son, father, not having a weapon handy, to load a bullet into a chamber and simply pull a trigger, will save them THAT day.  For suicide is a crime (very often) of the moment, the next day the next week, things may be brighter, and the lack of access to a gun may very well spell the difference between salvation and indescribable. unspeakable agony.

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