The gun control wars are raging more heatedly than ever…
I’ve been held at gunpoint twice during robberies at 2 different work places, both times by an asshole with a hand gun and I’m here to tell ya I was lucky that the motivation was merely greed. If it had been a need to die immortalized as the face of evil as is the case with these mass-murdering shooters, well….I wouldn’t be here to open up this debate now would I? I truly believe until you have stared down the barrel of gun pointed at your head you lack a critical bit of perspective….
In my humble opinion, here’s the question every single American citizen (gun owning or not) needs to ask themselves and answer honestly:
WHAT CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT WOULD YOU GIVE UP TO SAVE THE LIFE OF THE PERSON YOU LOVE MOST IN THE WORLD?
What if a gunman walked into YOUR Kid’s school? YOUR local mall where your teenager hangs out? The theater where YOUR Child/Husband/Wife/Mother/Father/Sister/Brother went to see a movie?? WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE UP THEN???
Our forefathers wrote the Right to Bear Arms into our Constitution at a time when the firearm of the time was a muzzle loading flintlock musket. I do not believe they ever envisioned the technology that would enable everyday citizens to own guns that could fire a kajillion rounds per minute when they included that in our list of inalienable rights. Our weapons have changed dramatically, I think our laws giving us the right to own said weapons should reflect that….
Do I think a ban on guns is the answer? NO. Because good luck rounding up the 300M plus guns currently in circulation. And Ive heard the argument repeatedly that people hell bent on a shooting rampage will obtain the guns they want, and I get that. Here’s what I do think needs to happen though before ANYONE is allowed to purchase a gun, not only for the person applying for gun ownership but for every person over the age of 10 sharing the home of purchaser:
- Everyone trying to purchase a gun needs to undergo a thorough background check.
- A drug screen.
- A psych evaluation.
- They should be able to demonstrate a legit need for the weapon.
- Without a doubt a lengthy and mandatory gun safety class should be required.
- I think their friends/family and co-workers should be interviewed to testify on the mental competency of applicant and others residing in the home.
- A home inspection to verify a safe storage location for the gun and ammo.
- A basic intelligence test needs to be passed. (because let’s be honest here, there’s a whole lot of gun owners who are too damn stupid to be able to own a gun such as the fool who shot and killed his own son in the parking lot of a pawn shop a few weeks back with a rifle he’d been trying to sell. Because he didn’t realize there was a round in the chamber. See requirement #5)
If even some of these things had been done, the Connecticut shooter wouldn’t have been able to use the guns legally purchased by his Mother to murder 20 first graders.
Would these highly invasive measures be an infringement of peoples Civil rights? You’re damn skippy it would…and if making it harder to buy a gun keeps even one out of the hands of a messed up person and prevents the senseless slaughter of any more innocent people then I’ll gladly give up some of my Civil rights, hell I’ll give up the ability to own a gun that’s only used to fill my freezer with venison and I’ll sleep with a good old fashioned Louisville Slugger under my pillow in case of intruder….
That’s the other argument; the right own a gun as a way to protect and defend our homes and families. Personally I feel the protection argument is somewhat invalid; responsible gun owners keep their guns locked up so tight to prevent accidents that by the time you’re awakened by an intruder, get to the gun safe, unlock it, load the weapon and go find the intruder you and your family are probably toast anyway or you’ve scared the intruder off with all the racket you’re making. You’re better off with a deftly thrown Ninja star kept in the night table drawer. Or a dog…
The one thing I heard on the news that really struck a cord with me was the statement “This is the worst Elementary School shooting in US history”….Not, “This is the FIRST Elementary School shooting in US history”….When we have multiple statistics on mass shootings in our Elementary Schools (or schools in general) then we have a far more serious problem in this country than the right to own a gun….
So what does need to happen?
Maybe stiffer punishment for convicted criminals is the deterrent needed. Maybe making ammunition harder to get would help, it’s worked in other countries. Certainly there’s a need to focus on better understanding and treatment of mental illness. It’s still a stigma in this country and those suffering from it are made to feel alienated and misunderstood. Maybe educating people on how to detect the warning signs of mental instability is needed….MAYBE we need to start teaching our kids that violence doesn’t solve problems, and hate kills. I don’t know….
No one has all the answers, but without a doubt the citizens of this country have to band together and help come up with a plausible and workable solution to the problem regardless of our personal opinions on gun control and then bombard our elected officials with our ideas until they get a friggin’ clue. Call your Congressmen, Senators, all the officials you helped to elect, write them letters, bombard them with emails. You chose them to make decisions on your behalf, MAKE THEM LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND YOUR VIEWS otherwise what the hell are they good for???