Monday, January 28, 2013

Gun Control

Con control!  It is amazing to me the amount of passion that these two little words seems to generate.  I must confess, being a non gun owner/user, that I do not understand why this is such a hot button issue for so many people.  My Facebook news feed is filled with claims from both advocates for gun control and those opposed, although my 'friends' seem to overwhelming oppose anything that even hints at any form of control.  But just why eludes me.

The second amendment of the US Constitution reads:
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
As best as I can tell from what I have read, the intent of this was to allow a citizen militia to be able to stand against a standing army that is trying to oppress the populace.  If my reading of this is correct, we citizens have fallen well behind in the arms race with our standing army (military).  I suspect that my neighborhood, city, county, state would not last for long against an attack by any branch of our military.  Seems like SAM and  anti-tank missiles should be available to us regular citizens as well; wonder what an F-16 would sell for at Walmart?

I wonder what the chances are of our military turning on us?  Or of a President turned Emperor attempting to use the military to limit the freedom of the populace?  And if your worst fears were realized, and such a President did arise and threaten us, would he actually have the support of the folks who would actually be pulling the trigger?  I personally have a hard time imaging that, but even if it did happen, what recourse would we have against our army?  Are we willing to be gorilla fighters like the Taliban?  No doubt there are some in the US who would be able to pull that off, but I can't think of many I know that would last long, regardless what the movie Red Dawn portrays.

Another argument I hear frequently is that being armed would allow me to defend my home and family from 'the bad guys'.  And yes, it might, assuming you were ready for them when they came, and trained to be able to effectively use your weapons.  But what happens when the bad guys come when you aren't home, and your weapons become their weapons?  Or they come when you have your weapons locked in a safe to prevent them from being stolen or used accidentally?  Or someone you love is a victim of friendly fire?

I have no doubt that there are those who would be able to effectively protect their home and loved ones from armed robbers with evil intent.  But I have just as little doubt that I am not one of them. If I had guns, they would be locked away and unavailable to me, unless given sufficient warning.

Please do not get me wrong here though.  If you want to have a gun, I would not dream of trying to prevent you.  It is, after all, a constitutionally guaranteed right.  But please, if you have guns, be responsible in their use, keeping them away from children and bad guys.

And please quit using emotional appeals like "Guns don't kill people.  People kill people."  While it is correct that bullets rather than guns actually cause the bodily harm, guns sure do make it a lot easier to take the life of another, or multiple others.  If there were no guns, there would be no gun deaths!  While we could always find another way to kill folks, it would at least take more effort without guns.

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