Gun defenders who believe that it is a human right to have access to any and all weapons of destruction and devastation with no accountability are the problem, and there are a lot of them. How many gun deaths are we going to be witness to before we realize that there is need for regulation, restriction, and more rigorous registration? This is no longer a guns or no guns discussion. I know of no “liberals” who are trying to take all the guns away. I know of many conscientious human beings all across the political spectrum that want a sane and safe culture that makes sure guns are used in a responsible and reasonable way.
N.R.A. be damned, and the political puppets who are in their pocket. Any organization that places profits over people and personal liberty over lives should be denounced. Each time we view the corpses of innocent children, party-goers, worship attenders, or shoppers, gun enthusiasts loudly protest that guns had absolutely nothing to do with the multiple gun deaths. This subverts any rational discussion about ways to reduce the incidence of gun-related deaths. See, it isn’t the guns – politicians will tell you it’s mental health (which they refuse to fund) or drugs (which they collude to make available) or poverty (which their legislation causes and perpetuates) or poor parenting (which they promote through insipid ‘right-to-life’ platforms). Oh, by the way, pro-life and pro-gun are essentially incompatible, especially when gun lovers defend the right to shoot other people (I only have the guns in my car, office, home, and on my person for defense…).
Guns and shooting are two different loves. I know a gun collector who has over five hundred pieces, but not one round of ammunition. He loves the elegance and design of firearms and is the most knowledgeable person I know on all forms of weaponry. He is a staunch advocate for gun regulation and control. His opinion is that most guns for hunting and home defense number in the dozens not thousands. No one NEEDS an AR-15 for hunting or home defense. Many hunters today claim that a semi-automatic weapon is their weapon of choice for hunting, but most purists say that high-powered rifles and guns take the sport out of hunting. And there are a lot of folks out there like my young pal, Jeremy who told me, “I re-rigged my AR to be automatic; I love blowing a deer to mother******* gobs. It’s very Rambo.” Hunting for food, even hunting for sport, is defensible. Destroying wildlife for the fun of blowing stuff apart is not.
And a growing number of gun advocates are choosing to turn their weapons on innocent people, not innocent animals. Granted, the majority of gun deaths are still caused by handguns, and suicides by handgun are on the rise yearly, but mass shootings are rarely carried out with handguns. High-powered, military-grade firearms are the weapons of choice, and most of them should not be in the hands of ordinary citizens.
And, please, stop quoting a truncated and ignorant misstatement of the second amendment. It never said and never intended that any citizen of the United States could own and operate any weapon of mass destruction of their own appetite and choosing, by their own personal standard of conduct. Our Founding Fathers never envisioned the kind of firepower readily available in our world today. Read the whole Constitution and then reflect on what is actually amended by the second amendment. Oops. Citizens of the United States, defenders of democracy, and those committed to the common good don’t prostitute the second amendment to get their own way, they use something called “common sense,” (in case you’ve never heard of it).
There are vehicles appropriate to the shared roads, and there are vehicles that are not. We abide by those regulations for the safety of everyone. It is against the law to violate these limitations. There are drugs that are legal and beneficial for proper use, and there are drugs that do great harm and damage and these are banned for the common good. It is against the law to traffic in and use certain drugs. There are codes of conduct that make for strong and healthy communities that strictly limit and regulate personal freedom. They are in place to protect and defend the benefit and basic rights of all. To transgress these codes is immoral, unethical, and illegal in most cases, and we punish those who violate them.
Unrestricted gun ownership contradicts so many values of so many gun owners. Strong advocates for free access to high-power, automatic/semi-automatic weaponry also claim that “blue lives matter,” “children are our future,” “all babies have a right to life,” “we support law and order,” “we support the death penalty,” and “we believe in democracy and patriotism.” Anyone who places their personal rights and freedoms above the good of all is anything but patriotic. While a simple majority of Americans feel safer with guns, almost 9-out-of-10 Americans feel less safe knowing that their neighbors have guns.
As with so many things, guns are a symptom of a deeper disease, not the cause, not the source. We are living in a culture of entitlement and fear – a terrible combination. Courageous, confident people don’t need guns. People as concerned for their neighbors as for themselves don’t scream constantly about their own rights. Christian people are not placing their trust in earthly weaponry, but trust in God and one another. The overall breakdown of community, politics, religion, and corporate responsibility results in a culture of fear, anxiety, selfishness, division, and ultimately violence. Until we begin to heal community, create environments that feel safe and secure, and make peace a priority, guns will continue to rule many lives, and sadly, ruin many lives.
Having just gone through this here in Nashville, I welcome your direct words and clear condemnation of the exceptional selfishness of those who insist that their rights to carry a weapon of mass destruction are more important than the lives of others!
I would love to be able to print your dispatches for my husband to read. However, only a one page portion of your work appears when I go to print it. I would also like to share your articles. Thank you for your thoughtful words.