Since the Orlando shooting early Sunday morning, gun control has once again come into the spotlight. It’s often been at the forefront of the Left’s movement to quell individual freedom, and that is unacceptable. On the flip-side, the Right talks too much about being allowed to have whatever firepower we want.
These groups are missing the point on the gun question. Killing is bad. Even killing in defense of yourself or loved ones is something we never wish to happen. The Right’s argument is that if at least one person is carrying a gun they can help prevent some heinous act from happening. The Left argues that if they put more measures on one’s ability to obtain a gun at any level, than that will limit the amount of violence.
The sad reality is that both sides are a little off target (no pun intended), even though there may be some truth to their arguments. I say this as a conservative Army veteran who probably has more range time than most people who carry guns on a regular basis. In the military, especially combat arms (Infantry for me) we are taught that there are no accidents. If you are pulling that trigger the barrel is pointed either down range or at an enemy. We focus so much of our thought and control on what level of security our weapons are at so that we do not “negligently” discharge our weapons. These are very important things to talk about in reference to the regulation of guns. What are we doing to teach people about safety?
Newsflash: an 8 hour concealed and carry class will not cut it.
Every legal citizen of the United States who is sane and not a violent threat to society should be allowed to buy firearms and use them at their discretion as long as it is within the boundaries of the law. Obviously, they must adhere to state-specific statutes as well. One of the biggest pitfalls in what I just said is the word “sane.” In the last five years the majority of mass killings or domestic acts of terror that were gun related were initiated by someone who would not be qualified as “sane.”
The level of individual sanity and amount of training are two of the main causes of these tragic gun incidents. Now, as we have seen, time in and time out the Left does not give the same amount of levity to criminal killings as they do to the mass killings of innocent school kids and other groups of individuals. Local crime and one-on-one murders seem to escape the view of national attention. Instead the Left hovers around, waiting on bated breath for the next Sandy Hook killing to take place while they could be actively brainstorming ways to curb gun-related deaths in a bipartisan fashion.
Newsflash: Buying a scoped rifle, wearing camouflage, and going deer hunting does not make you a gun expert.
(1) There needs to be local-government-sponsored gun safety courses. State legislatures have made it possible to have minimal amounts of safety requirements in order to obtain permits. So why not have additional training, either free or chargeable to the public in order to enhance knowledge and skill?
(2) The problem is not the legal guns but all of the illegally obtained guns that are out on the street. We need to do a no-questions-asked buy-back program every 6 months for 2 years. Local, State, and Federal spending is ridiculous anyway, so why not put that money into getting rid of excess weapons? I compare this to nuclear de-proliferation. The governments should not hold these weapons but instead should publicly destroy them. You can never remove all of the illegal weapons off of the street, it is an impossibility. But boy you sure can make it harder for the bad guys to not get guns.
(3) This may seem like a radical idea but what if, before the legal purchase of a firearm the local government made the individual receive a notice of mental stability from a licensed professional? If you are spending money on a gun anyway what is an extra $25-$50? We currently have no gauges in determining a person’s mental health and therefore we will continue to see horrible shootings by the mentally unstable take place. Something must be done to curb this problem.
In conclusion, you may own as many guns as you want but there must be more safety nets and protocols in place to limit one’s ability to either have an accident or obtain weapons to kill innocents. We must come together in this effort and resolve it in a unilateral way to limit those who will cause harm, access to these weapons.
4 Comments Add yours
Nice piece Mike. I like the psyche screening aspect. I would like to think it would have prevented at least one or two of the recent mass shootings. As another step I would also suggest the screening be repeated periodically. People change and periodic screening might catch those changes.
Normally background checks are re-done at the renewal of the permit. Thanks for reading and the kind words.
I’m way impressed with your attention to important topics of national interest.
As a responsible gun owner and shooting sports enthusiast I have always thought the focus should be on the shooter, not the weapon., and you seem to agree with this in your piece.
But please hear me out on a few things in your blog I find troubling:
In my experience local government can be the most corrupt and discriminatory. I would feel threatened with having this lowest level of government make important decisions over my family’s safety and protection.
Also your off hand criticism of ” the Left” needs some critical analysis. I identify as left – leaning but I would never promote any removal of anyone’s freedom. Just the opposite. I am however willing to consider new ideas. At 62 years of age I still don’t think I know it all.
Happy Father’s Day to you Mike. You have a beautiful family
Thanks for reading! I think I could have been more thorough at delving into the things I find wrong with “the Right. “(So I concede th at point) In the interest of making my view as clearly as possible I had to differentiate between the two sects, if you will. A person does not necessarily fall into either side on this particular issue. As far as local government goes I meant in the interests of keeping things nonpartisan, in order to advance the knowledge and training. Corruption is everywhere,we have to do our part to curb its existence.