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More Gun Control or Control Gun Control?


Guns. It's a hot topic in the Ozarks right now. People who do or desire to own them are defending their right to own them while many are vocalizing their disdain for them and expressing their own fear in people walking around with them criminal or not. I have read many of the comments on News-Leader.com and it projects quite an argument, but I also have noticed that the people who log in to the website and comment on articles are usually the same little handful of people. You'll see their name and picture all over every article it seems where an opinion can stir up some argument. This proves that you can't accurately understand how the general public feels about guns or anything else for that matter just by these comments sections. I wanted to take it to my blog to ask everyone what their thoughts were. I'm not interested in starting a debate on this and will refuse to debate with anyone on this issue. This blog is simply a chance for me to express my current opinion and for you to do the same. Since our stances on issues do change over time due to changes in our society, I wonder if some day I will feel differently about this. In which case, I would like to have a record of my current belief and maybe even yours if you will contribute it in a comment.

The reason for gun ownership being a hot topic around here lately is for several reasons. First, a two-year-old was killed Sunday morning in Stone County when the child found a handgun in the home and accidentally shot itself. I say "it" because I can't remember if the article I read about it in revealed the gender of the child. This is obviously a terrible tragedy. Unfortunately, some people are cold and heartless and those people decided to jump on the article and start typing up comments that berated the parents of the child for their negligence. Maybe I'm putting to much faith in the goodness of people, but I can't imagine that ANYONE (especially the parents) needs to be told that there was negligence involved. I think everyone would agree that if a two-year-old was able to get to the weapon and find it loaded, that there was some obvious parental negligence involved. So apparent, in fact, that no one needs to have it spelled out to them least of all the parents who must be completely destroyed by the loss of a child by their own mistake. I can't imagine and don't want to try.

To make matters worse, the father is not your average citizen. He is a Stone County Sheriff's Deputy. However, the weapon that was found by the child was not the father's issued weapon, but rather a personal weapon. There are enough people already who have a tendency to abhor law enforcement officers, so it never helps when one of those officers finds their name in a headline involving an innocent death regardless of the circumstances. I really feel terrible for this family. There will most likely be a charge of involuntary manslaughter given to the parent directly responsible for the weapon's accessibility. As long as the investigators find no reason to believe that any other negligence was responsible, the sentence will probably be suspended. But, imagine losing a child, carrying the guilt of that child's death, and having a court of law officially announce that it was your fault. Marriages commonly don't survive a child's death. Other children in the home suffer from the loss of a sibling as well as the loss of their parents' emotional stability. It's tragic for years to come.

The second reason for the local debate is our new President-Elect and Vice President-elect. Both are viewed as "pro-gun-control" politicians, which in and of itself makes me snicker because aren't all politicians for gun control of some kind? But these two have voted for strong gun control that could even result in a ban on assault rifles, handguns in "inner-cities", and huge restrictions being added to the purchasing of any firearm. My problem with Obama's stance concerning gun ownership is that much of what he has said was said with vague language that could do much more to prohibit gun ownership for people everywhere than what the language appears to do on the surface. For example, he wants to ban handguns in "inner-cities". But, what is an inner city? And why can't people who live there own a gun? Will the ban remove handguns from everyone in the inner city or will it only remove them from the responsible people who register them leaving handguns in the hands of the criminals and irresponsible gun owners? Gun sellers have reported a bubble in gun sales since November 4th and it's because people are wanting to get these bought while there is still an opportunity for them to do so.

Lastly, the conceal and carry law is still relatively new around here. When it went into effect, there was an overwhelmingly amount of people applying for the permit. The local police said that they were surprised at the number of people applying and were somewhat not prepared to deal with all of them in a timely manner. They had to shuffle around some manpower to handle the load. Many people around here don't know what to think about citizens walking around possibly carrying a handgun legally concealed.

Here comes my opinion: I don't think that that any U.S. Government local, state, or federal could ever keep guns out of the hands of the criminal element and simultaneously keep a free society. In order to enforce a gun control policy effectively that would keep only responsible citizens owning weapons would require a serious breach in our right to privacy. There would need to be a "Gestapo" style policing of people's homes and businesses that never ceased to invade people unannounced. And even with this, there would still be plenty of guns in the wrong hands that would never be found. So, governments should stop trying to fight this through regulation and restriction. Also, punishments are pretty strict when using a firearm in a crime. Yet, that hasn't helped reduce the number of instances when they were used in crimes, so stiffer penalties may not be the answer either. The answer, then? Put guns into the hands of normal citizens. The facts and statistics speak for themselves. Washington D.c. banned handguns in 1976 and a 200% rise in homicides was the result compared to the national rise of 14%. In contrast, Florida adopted a right-to-carry law in 1987 and enjoyed many large scale drops in their homicide rates compared to rises in the National averages. Florida's homicide rate dropped 36%, firearm homicide rate dropped 37%, and handgun homicide rate dropped 41%. Stiffer gun control laws are not the answer in my opinion. Adopting Right To Carry laws are. In 2008, 40 states now have Right To Carry laws compared to only 9 in 1986 and violent crime has not been as low as it is now since 1972.

One more reason that I think that guns should be available to the public and not restricted from is because it helps to keep our government balanced. You've probably heard the phrase, "The people should not fear their government, but rather government should fear its people." Throughout history, societies that allowed their leadership to be the only ones that could carry weapons found themselves subject to the will of that leadership and justice eventually took a backseat to greed. England was a good example of this, people were "tried" by a jury of the King's Royal Court and not of their peers. Hundreds of innocent people were slaughtered with every King and Queen. Where do you think Alice in Wonderland's quote of, "Off with her head!" came from? Queen Mary, later called "Bloody Mary", had 300 "religious dissenters" burned at the stake. Their crime: they were caught reading or simply known to have read Holy Scripture which was only to be done by the Roman Catholic Church's Papal Authority. The Declaration of Independence states that it is our right and duty to alter or to abolish any government that becomes destructive to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, the equality of people, or who overstep its bounds and is no longer operating under the consent of the governed. How, then, might I ask, we do this if the citizens are not armed against a government that is overwhelmingly armed? Most "assault rifles" look like sticks and stones when compared to our government's military weapons.

This is my opinion. As I said, I will refuse any request to debate, but I would love to hear some more opinions whether you agree with me or not. I do, however, ask that any comment left be polite. We should all be able to express ourselves without our emotions getting in the way. Thanks for reading. I hope to hear from you.

2 comments:

Outlaw guns, and only outlaws will have them. Governments can pass whatever laws they like, but criminals do not obey them. Gun control laws serve only to disarm the law-abiding citizenry, and are unconstitutional by definition. What part of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" do people not understand?

Make no mistake, the framers of this country knew what they were doing when they put the second amendment into the Bill of Rights: "A well regulated Militia [is] necessary to the security of a free State."

This right, and I would argue that it is also a duty, enables the people to defend against tyranny, both foreign and domestic.

Thank God I Had a Gun: True Accounts of Self-Defense

I have guns in my house just try and take them away.

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