Normally, I only write about issues related to fish and rivers, but the recent noise coming from electronic devises around me has me frustrated. Following the recent mass shooting in California, the noise reached a ridiculous volume. The last straw was some junk email that said I needed to go watch a video on the NRA site titled “Demons at the Door”. I had to unplug and remove myself for a while. I went fishing and gathered my thoughts. Below is what I came up with.
The 2nd amendment of the US constitution states “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”. Our supreme court has determined that there are limits and regulations attached to that right. And most states have taken additional steps as well.
I agree with those that feel that tighter gun control laws will do little to curb gun violence and mass shootings. Religious extremists, the mentally unstable and non-law abiding citizens will continue to find ways to carry out horrendous acts of violence with guns.
However, I have no problem with registering the guns I own or being asked to wait for background checks prior to completing a purchase. Having a permit to carry also makes a lot of sense to me. I also believe that weapons that serve no other purpose than to take human life need serious scrutiny and control. I don’t feel the general public has the “right” to impulsively purchase a rocket launcher at the Walmart checkout counter. A little bit of paperwork is not that big a deal to me. There is a benefit here as well. Somebody has a record of what I own that may come in handy for insurance purposes down the road. I have not read any legislation, or proposed legislation that will enable law enforcement to come to my home and take away my guns as long as I am a law abiding citizen. But admittedly, I don’t follow the issue that closely, and so I may have missed the memo.
The recurring debate that pops up every time a mass shooting occurs is getting old. The extremists on each side of the gun control issue come out of the woodwork and make outrageous claims and contribute false data in order to stir the pot and generate fear on both sides. Something needs to change here folks, and soon. I wish I had the answer, but I don’t. One thing I’m pretty sure of is that continuing to spew ignorant bullshit on both mainstream and social media only puts us further and further from a solution. Lawyers, Lobbyists and weapons dealers get another big payday and nothing really happens in the end. Everything goes quiet until the next time. Then rinse and repeat. We as a society get no closer to solving the real issues of how stop this from happening in the first place. All of our time, energy, and money went to propaganda efforts.
Is a citizenry armed to the teeth really such a great idea? Go back to the 2nd amendment text – “a well regulated militia”. To me that means: trained, qualified, organized and has some sort of chain of command or at least, a chain of communication. Take a minute to look around your place of work, your church, your school. Do you feel safe knowing that every single person you see could be packing? Are you confident that when the shit hits the fan that those same people have your back? Just because somebody owns a Glock and a pair of Tactical socks, doesn’t mean they’re qualified to handle a weapon in an active shooter situation.
At this point, I am WAY more worried about my terrified, paranoid, untrained fellow citizens packing heat than I am about ISIS, Al Qaeda or whack jobs looking to get posthumous fame. One loud fart at a restaurant, movie theater, holiday party, high school football game and the “cold dead hands” crowd is likely going to light things up. Innocent people will be killed. The average armed citizen is going to make things worse, not better. They’re going to soil their Kevlar undies and are more likely to shoot themselves in the foot or hit an innocent bystander than they are taking out the shooter. Then when the authorities show up, they’re standing there waving a gun around, further complicating and prolonging the matter.
I draw the line at “basic” home protection for my family and property. As much as the NRA would like me to believe that Armageddon is upon us, I don’t think we’re there yet. I’m not ready to post a sentry schedule on the refrigerator and have the kids man the guard tower for a 3 hour shift each night. A 12 gauge shotgun and handful of shells nearby is good enough for me. Personally, I don’t want the inconvenience and/or responsibility that goes along with having a concealed weapons permit. I’m not going to let fear control my every waking moment when I’m out in society. I feel sorry for people that are that scared all of the time. It must be exhausting.
If I get wounded in a shopping mall by a religious zealot on a rampage, so be it. If I get shot by a twitchy neighbor while taking my garbage can to the curb in the dark, I’m gunna be pissed off. Sadly, as this debate goes on and the fear and paranoia grows, the odds of that second scenario actually happening are growing exponentially.
If anyone from the NRA is reading this, please take me off your mailing list and stop sending me junk email. Just because I’m the outdoors/sportsman type, doesn’t mean I’m also scared of the boogie man. Go sell your fear mongering somewhere else, I don’t care to help pay for it. On the other hand, I’m not going to hand over my grandpa’s double barrel 10 gauge or any other guns in trade for a flower-power headband. As of now, I have a constitutional right to possess them and besides, I’m going to need them for the Zombie Apocalypse.