The recent rhetoric on gun control demonstrates the laziness of American society. Americans have evolved into lazy citizens looking for the easy way out of problems. Knee-jerk legislation is nothing more than the symptom of a lazy American populace.

Instead of collectively demanding personal responsibility, Americans would rather abdicate their responsibility and have the government tell them how to live, how to behave and what to eat. Americans have become followers instead of the world’s leaders they self-proclaim to be. They have collectively decided that legislative morality is the answer to their problems.

Although the topic is gun control, the reality is that the collective head-in-the sand psyche is today’s American society. Whether it is trans-fats, government entitlements, or guns; Americans are now happy to be told how to live, what to eat and how to remain safe. Personal independence has given way to dependence on the collective. Self-determination has given way to collective decision making.

As much effort as America spent trying to eradicate Communism from the world scene once it achieved it, Americans collectively embraced communism as the American ideal. Although the America of yesteryear sacrificed much to end Communism as soon as it defeated the communist nemesis, Americans fully embraced the ideal of collective leadership where power derives from the top and controls the thoughts and actions of its citizens.

America was born with the ideal of charging forward through the world, the past and the way things were, and who cares what others think be damned, turning it into, oh helpless me, I need to be told how to live.

America was a leader, a revolutionary looking to change the world. Today, Americans are happy to abdicate their zeal for pushing the boundaries of life to one of lazily living life as dictated by others. Americans have become lazy.

When the decline of American leadership began is hard to pin-point and there are many instances we could point to. But, one of the most recent ones is America’s knee-jerk reaction to the September 11 terrorists’ attacks.

There is no doubt that America needed to act after being attacked but its actions betray that of the actions of a self-serving power-grabbing political elite rather than one of an orderly solution to a problem. Many Americans today are advocating the same knee-jerk reactions of dealing with the horrific murder of children by a murderer the same way they dealt with their fear of a disorderly world shortly after 9/11; a knee jerk reaction to a problem.

Years later how much safer are Americans? Most Americans dislike, if not outright hate the TSA. The box-cutters since confiscated by the TSA have not stopped new terrorist actions. What actually stopped another terrorist crisis with box-cutters are the enhanced security doors into the cockpits and a vigilant and ever active flying community willing to take action when necessary.

The Patriot Act, for all of its glossy-political rhetoric has done nothing but create a more uncertain world and a more dependent US citizenry. In fact, the Patriot Act silently erodes freedoms and encourages more compliant citizens. The power of government increases while the power of the citizenry is willingly given away.

It was the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 that decided to take matters into their own hands rather than passively wait for the government to intervene that saved countless lives.Had other passangers on the other airplanes acted, instead of waiting for government intervention many more lives might have been saved. But Americans are teaching their children to be passive rather than proactive. The government will solve your problems is the mantra of today.

Today, rather than teach personal reliance, Americans let their government make them more dependent through no-fly lists and the TSA. The courage and the willingness of the passangers to take matters into their own hands was forgotten, or ignored during the rhetoric of security.

And so it is today. President Barack Obama and Joe Biden are on a mission to quell public outrage not by addressing the real problem but by putting lipstick on a pig to make Americans more passive and compliant to government oversight rather than empowering them to be more independent and self-reliant.

The fiscal cliff and the country’s budgetary woes should be the government’s primary responsibility at this point in time. The economic uncertainty of the country impacts many more people, worldwide then gun control. The problem though, is that dealing with the economic realities of the country requires great sacrifice from many sectors of the community, none of which wants to deal with it, so the gun control focus is a convenient distraction from what truly hurts the country. Gun control is the easy, make-me-feel-good government action that will do nothing to end violence.

Coincidently, making personal responsibility and leadership the central issue would solve more problems than the knee-jerk reactions Americans have grown accustomed to. But personal responsibility takes too much work and the truth, is that Americans are just a lazy bunch.

Just like limiting the size of our soda drinks will not control obesity in the United States, so will enacting gun control, in whatever form it takes, will not stop murderers. Only personal responsibility and the willingness to take control will solve the problems.

The children died at the hands of a murderer, who was enabled by a permissive society that ignores mental problems under the guise of avoiding discrimination and a mother who well knew the dangers of her child and yet did nothing to protect the community from him, all because taking personal responsibility is just not in fashion anymore.

Sorry lazy Americans, it wasn’t the gun that murdered the children; it was the irresponsible mother, child and society that is too dependent on others to make the right decisions.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...