The Commerce Journal

Local News

December 29, 2012

Focusing the gun control debate: our illusion of control

COMMERCE — Newspapers from coast to coast have already spent a lot of ink reporting, discussing, examining and analyzing the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut earlier this month.

I doubt I can add much more of value to the discussion, but I think that, perhaps, looking at the way people have reacted to the tragedy can give us a useful perspective.

After the initial feelings of sorrow and horror died down, people quickly began to pick sides on the gun control debate, as always happens after mass shootings like this. People overreacted, others perhaps did not take the situation seriously enough.

Regardless, I am not very interested in the various sides of the debate right now. People on both sides are concerned about control: the government tightening their control over what kind of guns people can buy, schools increasing their control over school safety, or communities controlling access to schools through the placement of armed security guards or police officers on every campus.

Both sides have merit. Both raise interesting points that need to be discussed publicly as we wrestle with this issue as a nation.

But, the scary thing is, as much as we want to control what happens to us and our families, we have very little power to do so.

Random acts of violence are random, and while we can certainly limit their frequency and effectiveness, we cannot predict when they are going to happen.

We can eat healthy food and exercise every day; we can wear seat belts in the car and on airplanes; we can save money from every paycheck and make low-risk investments.

But problems still come. We can’t predict when illness or disease will affect our lives, or a malfunctioning machine will threaten our health, or the bottom will fall out of the national or global economy.

There are actions we perform every day to give ourselves an illusion of control and safety. These are just illusions, though.

At this point, you may be getting a little weary of the doom and gloom that I have been preaching, but stay with me.

I am certainly not saying we should live recklessly and dangerously, throwing caution to the wind.

But I do think it is important to acknowledge that we simply cannot control much of what happens to us and those we love, both good and bad.

So that anxiety of the unknown that plagues our lives is unnecessary. I know that I often worry about things that are outside the reach of my influence. This simply adds stress and a sense of helplessness.

Instead, I believe we should focus on the decisions we make that impact the world we live in. Decisions like what we eat, what we do in our free time, who we spend our time with and what we spend our money on.

As for our general lack of control, I simply make sure to tell my friends and family that I love them whenever we part ways, because if it is the last thing I ever say to them, I want to say something meaningful.

Text Only
Local News
  • kerryCrews.jpg Police to increase patrols after two incidents

    Two incidents last week in Commerce should have residents on alert when walking through poorly-lit areas, according to Commerce Police Chief Kerry Crews.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Zoe Peak.JPG Zoe Peak signs with Henderson State

    Most high school athletes are passionate about the sports they play, but few demonstrate the dedication of swimmers like Commerce High School senior Zoe Peak.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holocaust-Poster-2014-180x180.jpg Holocaust survivors to speak at A&M-Commerce

    Texas A&M University-Commerce students and community members will have a unique opportunity to hear firsthand from three Holocaust survivors their individual experiences, an opportunity that is becoming rarer by the day.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • DavidBrown.jpg Dallas Police Chief to speak at A&M-Commerce

    Dallas Police Chief David Brown will be on the Texas A&M University-Commerce campus on April 25 to give a speech in the Traditions Room of the Rayburn Student Center.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • University to host Korean Consul-General

    Texas A&M University-Commerce will host a distinguished international politician today as former ambassador and Consul-General of the Republic of Korea Suk-Bum Park visits the campus.

    April 15, 2014

  • CR 1081 Damage 2.jpg Storm damages Hunt County

    Although Commerce was not struck by the series of tornadoes that occurred on April 3, it bore much of the impact of the severe weather caused by the storm cell. 

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Food pantry assists the ‘working poor’

    When Bread of Life Church of the Nazarene took over a monthly food pantry from Word of Life Church in Commerce, Pastor Jan Wilton told members of the Commerce Lions Club she felt a need to help the Commerce community.

    April 9, 2014

  • CR 1081 Damage 2.jpg Tornado bigger than first thought

    Additional details were released Monday about the size and intensity of last week’s tornado which struck northern Hunt County.

    April 8, 2014 2 Photos

  • Drumming up some fun

    Have you ever wondered what it takes to be part of a drum line at a university?

    April 3, 2014

  • Teachers honored at Commerce board meeting

    The Commerce ISD Board of Trustees held open session on March 20 to recognize the achievements of the Commerce ISD Campus Teachers of the Year, as well as discuss the potential offering of non-core classes to students not enrolled in the district.

    April 1, 2014

Featured Ads


What should be new A&M-C women's basketball coach Jason Burton's goals for the 2014-15 season?

Winning 10 games
Winning and LSC tournament game
His focus should be on recruiting/building the team, rather than immediate success
     View Results
Must Read
AP Video
Raw: Kangaroo Rescued From Swimming Pool Raw: 3 American Doctors Killed in Afghanistan Raw: Obama Arrives at State Dinner in Tokyo Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Raw: Obama Visits Meiji Shrine in Tokyo Stars Talk Guns N' Roses at Golden Gods New Pictures of Ship That Sank in 1888 Oregon Gay Marriage Ban Goes to Court SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide