Complex issues, overly-simplistic solutions

Updated
 
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.)
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.)
Associated Press

Violence in society is a multi-faceted problem. Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) thinks he has a simple solution.

“There is no doubt that we need to do more to curb the senseless acts of violence that continue to occur in this country,” Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), an opponent of the underlining [background check] bill, said. “One of the things we need are parents, parents to be more careful and more repetitive at telling their kids that it is not right to kill people. It’s not even right to bully them. And it’s definitely not right for them to kill themselves.

“Until we can get that message across to our kids, I hope that we don’t rely on a few votes by this body to make everybody feel comfortable that all the problem is taken care of.”

So, let me get this straight. As Enzi sees it, there’s no reason for Congress to limit the ability of anyone to obtain powerful weapons. Instead, one of our top priorities should be encouraging parents to teach children not to kill people, putting society on the right track. We need to, Enzi says, “get that message across to our kids.”

I’m not an expert in child development or education, but I’m reasonably confident that parents are already telling children not to kill people. In fact, it’s safe bet that parents have been teaching these lessons for quite a while.

And guess what? It’s largely effective – the vast majority of Americans refrain from killing people.

But there are a small number of people for whom the message doesn’t work. For those folks, we need policymakers to pass laws, in the hopes that they’ll prevent needless deaths. Sure, parental lessons are important, but what I’d like Enzi to consider is the fact that some folks are going to choose to do terrible things anyway.

Perhaps if he could cast “a few votes,” some lives would be saved.

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Mike Enzi

Complex issues, overly-simplistic solutions

Updated