(CNN) -- Cornerback Jasper Howard called his mom Saturday night after Connecticut beat Louisville, and he was given the game-winning ball. He was thrilled.
Just hours later, the phone rang again. This time it was UConn football coach Randy Edsall notifying her that her son had been stabbed.
He was pronounced dead early Sunday.
First let me extend my condolences to the Howard family. This is an unimagineable loss; I cannot fathom how I would react to the call that my son's life was cut short over a foolish argument from a school dance. No one deserves this. No parent should have to bury their twenty year old child over a disagreement. This is not about the knife used - although had it been a firearm the usual suspects would be wailing about it.
This is the inevitable conclusion of gun control. By focusing our efforts on the inanimate object and not the person misusing said object, we continue to miss the point. Rather than mindlessly bleating "GUNS R BAD" and calling for more restrictions - which only the good people will obey - we need to start asking ourselves why people have little problem employing such horrific violence over the smallest slights.
Instead, we focus on the tool used, and hope the real problem goes away.
You see, the real problem isn't simple. It's not something that's going to be fixed with one law, or even a series of laws; it may not even be "fixable" through the judicial system except tangentially. We already have laws against killing people; they didn't seem to stop whoever plunged a knife into Jasper Howard. For just about any scenario where "gun control" is proposed as the answer to violence committed with a firearm, chances are you'll find dozens of existing laws that are being broken already.
We don't need more laws. We need enforcement of existing laws coupled with real, actual consequences of breaking those laws. We may need to build more prisons (personally, I'd be happy to release all non-violent drug offenders to make room, and before the pro-legalization folks start congratulating me, I'd also like to build electric bleachers to take out the cold-blooded killers and rapists). We also need to take a hard look at our decaying culture and try to reason out why we've become so quick to kill; so immune to the permanency of death.
Maybe that's why we focus on the tool used - this is a hard question with no easy answers. Simply trying to pinpoint exactly when the "sanctity of human life" started declining is hard enough - our history is filled with duels to the death (Alexander Hamilton, call your office). Defending one's honor - or that of one's family, or betrothed, etc. - is an integral part of human nature, most likely hardwired into the psyche to protect one's clan. As our external dangers dwindle, as we spend less time clawing and scratching to make a living or defend ourselves from nature, this innate need to protect one's chosen group has expanded to include fellow sports teams devotees, local affiliations, or other interest outside the family.
But gun control - the unwavering belief that all we need to do to make all the violence and bad things in the world go away is to ban all guns - takes all the heat off the breakdown of the traditional family. It removes the incentive to look inward at our species and the remarkable violence we are capable of perpetuating on our fellow man. No, it's the "easy availability of guns" that are "more and more deadly" and "only designed for killing" that are the problem; certainly it has nothing to do with the fact that little Johnny thinks no more of picking up a Glock to shoot someone who dissed him than the rest of society would think about swatting a fly.
A baseball bat, knife, or wooden board can be used to murderous ends. Proponents of gun control like to say that firearms make it easier to kill, as though the actual physical act of pulling a trigger being easier than swinging a Louisville Slugger is the only thing stopping young Timmy from killing the kid down the street that looked at him funny. It's preposterous on its face, and hundreds of thousands of incidents the world over show this to be utterly false - we are a creative species, and can always think of new and innovative ways to injure and or kill our fellow man than by simply pulling a trigger.
Gun control will always fail to reduce violence. Always.
What it will not fail at, however, is removing guns from the hands of people that should have them - the good, honest, law-abiding folks who serve to protect themselves, further their hunting or sporting needs, and keep the government honest. As many before have said, "gun control" is not about the gun, it's about the control. Unless and until we stop being dazzled by the BS of "no one needs an assault weapon" or "handguns are made for killing", they will continue to turn up the heat on the pot in which we frogs are swimming...
We're making headway, but I won't be happy until that pot is overturned and the frogs hop away free...
That is all.