Ok, Let’s Talk About Guns

Once again, I find myself torn as to whether or not I should address an issue as touchy as this.  I had given thoughts, and even written a 500+ word draft that I never posted, on a similar controversial subject.  In fact, the draft was what inspired the whole debate on guns.  I’m sure it need not be said, but the draft I never published revolved around the events that took place in Newtown, CT. in December of 2012, just over a month ago.  Since that day, this country has been in a furor over gun control, whether for or against.  Now, I am no expert on the Constitution or the Bill of Rights but I am well aware of the 2nd Amendment and I am well aware that members of the NRA have staunchly held onto the notion that this amendment guarantees them the right to carry firearms, regardless of how destructive they may be.

Now, from what I understand about the 2nd Amendment, it is intended to allow citizens to arm themselves in the event they need to defend themselves from their own government.  I don’t see the government turning against its citizens any time soon, however if the possibility does indeed exist and the citizens need to arm themselves, then so be it, however, I see no need for these ridiculous assault weapons that were specifically designed for warfare to be kept in any household in this country.  I don’t know exactly what the authors of the 2nd Amendment had in mind as for as the definition of “arms” in the term, “the right to bear arms,” however, I seriously doubt they could have foreseen  weapons capable of firing off dozens of rounds per second and tearing through human flesh and bone.  Back then, a musket was the weapon of choice and today, that would do little more than scare away a flock of geese.  Society and technology have evolved so fast and so furiously that we now have these killing devices with no real restrictions on them.  The NRA will try to argue that it is not the gun, but the owner who does the killing, and yet they are opposed to mandatory background checks for anyone trying to buy a firearm, claiming the government is obstructing their right to bear arms.  Wait.  Only responsible people should have the right to bear arms, but checking to see if those attempting to buy arms are responsible is unconstitutional?  Is that how the NRA has managed to become so powerful?  They talk in circles so as to confuse everyone and then they get what they want?

I don’t own a gun, nor will I ever own a gun, and I do not feel any more or less safe in my household because of it.  Actually, to be fair, I probably feel safer without it than with, and here’s why.  First of all, too many people have access to weapons in the home.  The NRA will ague that responsible gun owners will keep their weapons locked away from anyone who should not have it.  They will also argue that citizens have the right to defend themselves should an intruder invade their home.  I agree, should someone attempt to enter my home while I am present, I will certainly take whatever action necessary to remove them, however, if I were a responsible gun owner with a weapon locked securely away in a safe of some kind, what are the odds I can get to that weapon before some sort of altercation takes place?  In order to have quick access, you have to provide quick access to anyone in the house, including minors and even the intruder themselves.  How ironic would it be to be shot with your own gun while attempting to defend yourself?

Whether or not you have a gun will not change whether or not someone breaks into your home, and the likelihood that that weapon will provide a positive outcome in your favor is very slim.  And let’s look at the moral issue at stake here.  Let’s say I do get to my semi-automatic assault rifle in time to blow a a few dozen holes in some thug looking to steal a TV to pawn for some dope on the street.  Now, he’s dead and I have a manslaughter charge to face.  Ok, I defended my home, and now I get to spend time in prison for offing a relatively harmless crack head.  Sounds like a good trade off to me.  And ok, maybe I don’t go to jail.  Maybe they decide I was just defending my home and family.  Great.  But now I have the blood of a dead man on my hands, and that is something I can never wipe off.

While I have yet to decide if I could ever realistically enter the political arena, should I go forward with that crazy idea my platform would be simple.    Punishments as deterrents to crime simply do not work, we need to focus on education and determining the problems before the problems exist.  The death penalty does not stop people from killing each other.  Banks are robbed everyday.  People steal because the consequences are not on their mind when carrying out the act.  Shooting a home invader will not stop others from invading other homes.  Having a weapon is not the answer.  Not needing the weapon because we have educated society and found better ways to prevent crime is the answer.  I am not naive enough to think the solution is simply eliminate all guns.  I would like to think we have reached a point in civilized society that we know and understand that crime and violence is inherently wrong, however I also understand that people will still try to attack our country as a means of terrorism, and I also understand that even on a local level, police officers need to carry weapons because they are putting themselves in situations that do in fact require them to defend themselves from harm.  That being said, I do not see the need for the average citizen to need or posses a gun, and while I can’t argue against simple pistols or other single shot firing weapons, these ridiculous assault weapons need to go.  No one needs a weapon of this size or caliber.  Those who want to defend their rights to carry these killing devices claim they are used for hunting or sport.  Shooting things is not a sport.  Killing animals is not a sport.  I have no idea why anyone feels the need to go around shooting animals for fun, but I find it barbaric.  Yes, ages ago, humans needed to hunt for food.  As a means of survival, I understand it, however we live in a world where we are no longer required to kill our own food.  If I want a burger, I go to Wendy’s, not the gun store.  Guns are not toys.  When I was a kid, I’ll admit, I loved water guns and anything that fired things at others, but I don’t think I truly grasped the concept of what a gun was really capable of.  Today, it’s not water guns kids are playing with.  They have paintball, which is supposed to be fun, and then to a larger extent, they have these realistic video games that make it seem as if you really are killing real people.  How can we expect our children to understand the difference between real and fantasy when we constantly strive to make our fantasies more and more realistic?  I gre up with Super Mario.  I never confused him for a real life plumber, nor did I expect a plumber to come along and save me should a giant lizard attack my home.  Look, I am not trying to make light of this, but we have to realize that we, as a society, are creating these monsters and only we can work to educate ourselves to prevent more of these monsters from attacking.  The NRA wants to argue that taking the guns out of monsters hands will not stop violent criminals from acting out.  Yes, this I agree with.  Anyone planning on mass murdering people will find a way to do it regardless of their weapon of choice, but why should we give them easy access to the most destructive types of weapons available?  We enable these psychos to posses firearms and then question how a tragedy like Newtown could occur.

Guns, technology, big banking, all of these things have gotten insanely out of control.  We have allowed these things to run rampant and without restraint and now we have reached a point where we see how big and powerful they all have become and yet we can do little about it.  It has to start small.  We can’t take down the NRA or the gun makers in one fell swoop.  It has to be a process; one which will take time and effort.  I believe changes can be made and our society can be brought back to a point in which the people are still in control, but it will involve us all working together, not against one another.

I don’t think any of my ideas are all that radical, nor do I think putting restrictions on firearms is in any way unconstitutional.  I have to register to vote, to drive, to be drafted, so why shouldn’t I have to register to own a weapon?  It’s simply a matter of prevention, keeping these deadly weapons out of the hands of monsters in an effort to prevent more mass shootings.  Guns against guns only leads to more deaths.  Less guns, regardless of who’s hands they are in is a better solution, provided we make education our strongest weapon.

I don’t feel the need to go on and on about how crazy I think the president of the NRA is.  I am fairly certain that will come out on its own the more he talks publicly.  My hope is that the foolishness he spews is not indicative of the way many people in this country think, otherwise I truly do fear the future of this nation.  Hopefully, the majority will feel like me, or at least similar to me and see the need for greater control over these things.  I don’t think there is much more I can say about this tonight, so I will be off.  Thanks for reading.

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~ by James on January 23, 2013.

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