Saturday, January 19, 2013

On (Gulp) Guns

I have played around with the idea of writing about guns on here since the Newtown shooting, but I was hesitant.  I mean, who wants to offend what is likely a fairly high percentage of people that read your blog?

But then I got thinking about the purpose of my blog, at least in my mind.  I WANT people to have conversations.  It is my deepest desire that people will engage in meaningful discourse, and that's not going to happen if I'm not willing to get into tough subjects.

So here goes ...

I hate guns.  In fact, I hate violence of any sort.  In my dream world, nobody would ever feel the need to resort to hurting other people physically.

That being said, I recognize the need for guns to exist.  Furthermore, I agree with the right of American citizens to bear arms.  If you feel the need to own a gun to make yourself feel safer, you should have that right.

The problem that I have with the status quo is twofold ...

1.  Based on the increasingly common instances of gun violence being perpetrated by mentally unstable individuals who should never have had access to firearms, guns are clearly waaaaaaaaaaay too easy to get your hands on.

I don't understand why people that want to own guns for legitimate purposes (hunting, home protection, target shooting, whatever) would have a problem with there being oversight in terms of gun ownership.  The second amendment gives you the right to bear arms, and it doesn't put a cap on how many arms you can choose to bear, but is there any sort of compelling reason that there shouldn't be a record of this?

I see it more as public safety ... as a parent, a teacher, and a human being grateful for every breath of air I take in, I see no feasible argument against keeping track of where guns are and who owns them.  You have the right to bear arms, I have the right to live in a world where a maniac isn't going to start shooting up a movie theater with guns he should never have had access to.

2.  At Sandy Hook Elementary School, 20 children were slaughtered in a matter of a couple of minutes.  In fact, that's more measurable in terms of seconds.  When we're talking about firearms that have the capacity to cause that degree of destruction in such a short period of time ...

Well, we shouldn't be talking about it.  I do not see any compelling reason for weapons capable of destroying large numbers in seconds to be available to the general public.  I have yet to hear anybody give a compelling reason for why these types of guns should be accessible to people without good cause.

And, I'm sorry, but "Because it's my right as an American citizen" is not, in my humble opinion, good cause.

Someone explained to me that the second amendment was originally meant as a checks and balances kind of thing against the government.  In other words, the American government could not go running completely amok because the American people had the right to be prepared to do the whole militia thing under the provisions of the second amendment, and the government was completely aware of this.

With all due respect to the U.S. Constitution, it was a document drafted in the 1780s.  Many parts of the original piece would be downright offensive now; amending the Constitution is neither new nor out of line, so why people froth at the mouth when it comes to the second amendment in particular is just beyond me.

I should mention that I've been avoiding news coverage on what's going on with Congress bickering over semantics and President Obama talking about executive orders and so on because it is such a hot button issue, and one I'm not sure that anyone is fully taking the time to think through, instead doing the whole "knee jerk" thing, which scares me perhaps even more.

What are your thoughts?  

9 comments:

  1. I don't like the way gun nuts throw around words like TYRANT because they didn't get the election result they wanted. The NRA and their ilk have had it their own way for far too long. I always wonder WHO these people who need their guns will be fighting against and even with a powerful assault rifle, they wouldn't stand a chance against the military if they ever decide to take away the guns so it's a non-starter in my opinion. And in all these massacres, I have never heard of a person with a gun saving the day. It just never happens.

    ReplyDelete
  2. In the UK we have stringent laws on gun ownership. We also have gun shops, armed farmers and people who shoot for fun. If a crook wants a gun, they can get one easily enough so gun laws won't prevent it. That said, we don't have the hunting tradition in the UK you have in the US.

    What I don't understand is why anyone wants a sub-machine gun or automatic rifle for hunting. Are they planning to massacre the deer en masse and feed a whole town?

    The self-defence argument is a good one, but again, are these people planning to sling an M16 over their shoulder when they go to work.

    From a British perspective (a nation that's had to put up with armed terrorists since the 1970s - UDA, al-Qaeda, IRA etc) liberal gun laws cause problems for ordinary citizens.

    One final question for the NRA: Whose freedoms are more important. That of a child to live or yours to hold a gun?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thought-provoking as ever, my friend :-) You raised points that hadn't even occurred to this American woman. (I'm pretty sure I have/had IRA relatives, though...so I'm sorry on their behalf)

      Delete
    2. No apology necessary. People often forget that the loyalists had (and still have) armed groups too, so I can't just point at the IRA. Both sides were as bad as each other.

      Besides, there is campaigning for a united Ireland (no problem with that) and killing for it (problem with that). Some IRA supporters want a united Ireland but dislike the violence.

      Delete
  3. I was in the Royal Navy,the only reason a person has a gun is to kill.
    Jane x

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think gun ownership is always going to be something people don't like to talk about, but people HAVE to talk about it. The second amendment was also put in place because of us Brits. It was partly to protect you from British invasion. I don't think that's too likely these days. I don't see the problem people have with keeping records of who has guns. Really I thought you already did that and I was shocked to discover that not only do you NOT do this, but people are moaning that it's being considered. I do not like guns, and I can only just see the point in their existence, JUST. I don't however see what gives an ordinary citizen the right to have more powerful weapons than a lot of people in the military.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Who needs an assault rifle? The mom in Georgia would have had there been more than one attacker/thief/criminal, in her home. She is a perfect example of responsible gun ownership. She took her children, went to the furthest point in her home, tried to barricade herself in and the scum bag hunted her and her children down in her own home. She fired 5 of 6 bullets in her pistol. I hope she and/or her husband own an assault rifle. Two assailants and she and her children would have been dead. I am 210% in favor of responsible gun ownership but I do agree more in depth background checks need to be performed and you shouldn't be able to buy any gun or rifle or ammunition without one. Remember, criminals don't obey laws. If you take the guns away from the good, responsible gun owners the only ones that will have guns will be the criminals. I'm a single mom with 4 kids. I don't like those odds.. Just my opinion.
    Here's the post I did on gun control.. Feel free to leave a comment. - http://magicalmysticalmimi.blogspot.com/2013/01/whiny-ass-wednesday.html
    Enjoy your weekend. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree on all points with you. I think the (sane and rational) people against the laws limiting semi automatics and high round guns are saying that it violates the 2nd amendment because it limits us in how we'd protect ourselves against the government's weapons if the case arises.

    But really? We have many other parts of the constitution that prevent the government from taking over in a militant style. And if they were going to do that wouldn't they have already? Seriously... they hold us all hostage just with the congressional process alone, they don't need guns and militia to stop the country from working. All they have to do is show up for work and get nothing done.... so status quo.

    The thing everyone forgets is that we HAVE all the laws we need to prevent these things from happening, just no resources to execute them. And in the Newtown case, the guns were purchased LEGALLY. Her son had access to them because she wanted him to have access to them. Legal or not, if a crazy wants a gun, they will get them. Sadly, I don't think this case was about gun control, but more about accountability of the people around them to report what was going on. They knew he had issues, they knew they had guns, they knew the family was "planning" for a financial breakdown of society. (does anyone else think maybe just maybe there were red flags here?)

    ReplyDelete