Gun Control: Are we shooting at the wrong target?
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Oct. 5, 2015 — Here’s the problem as it is presented by the media: We have 300 million guns in this country.
Some of those guns are rifles, some are handguns and some are shotguns. Americans, the vast majority of them law-abiding, own those guns. They use them mainly for hunting, self protection and to protect their families.
Along come psychopaths and sociopaths who assemble arsenals, more guns than anyone would need. They decide — for reasons few of us will ever understand — to shoot as many law-abiding adults and innocent children to death as they can.
Then comes the knee-jerk reaction: Misguided individuals want to take all of the guns away. All 300 million of them.
This poses a problem: Who is going to take those guns away from those law-abiding citizens?
Gun owners may have lost a loved one or want to protect their family from the unthinkable. These are eventualities that become thinkable after every mass shooting. It seems that each day brings news of innocents killed by lunatics, and that news evokes fear. It also stokes the American instinct to hang onto those guns for protection.
Some people advocate for the surrender of all guns or of some guns, or of putting guns under government regulation. But we will never surrender our guns. Surrender doesn’t solve the problem, and we don’t trust the government to do a good job even if they come up with a solution for gun violence.
Gun control solves nothing. Look at Chicago. If there were no guns, we would be having the same discussion about knives, IEDs and blunt objects.
Please note that this article did not report that innocents were killed by a gun. That would absolve the perpetrator from responsibility for the crime. Innocents were killed by crazy people who happened to buy, borrow and steal guns. If they had bludgeoned the victim to death with an axe, a claw hammer or a rolling pin, the victims would be just as dead, and we would be dealing with the same tragedies.
This fight is all about guns.
Is there a gun problem? Americans own more per capita than any other nation in history. Deaths from guns are higher in the United States than the rest of our world, but here are some statistics that place that stat in its place: Two-thirds of the gun deaths in this country are the result of suicide. That’s right. They killed themselves, and the gun was merely the vehicle they chose to leave the world of the living. It appears to be an efficient way to die. Over 90 percent of suicides by gun result in the demise of the intended victim. That leaves the rest of us to worry about protecting ourselves from gun deaths by crime and mayhem.
Guns are an American tradition.
We fought off the English and sent them packing. We created a nation and protected our families with the best guns we could find. We hunt for food and sport. Some of the best memories of hunting season come from bagging a buck or finding food for the Thanksgiving table.
For most of us, gun ownership is non-negotiable.
The second amendment to the Constitution places gun ownership into the permanency of American life:
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.
There are no explanations to be made here: Americans have the right to own guns and to have them in their homes. We are allowed to use them at all lawful times, whether we are providing venison for the family table or defending ourselves against crazies, criminals or foreign invaders.
It is our right, and it shall not be infringed.
When President Obama and other well-intentioned practitioners of distorted reality choose to use gun control as a reason to get in front of the cameras, look at it for what it is: politics and nothing more. If the president truly wanted to address gun control, he would go back to his hometown, Chicago, and talk to the mayor, his former chief of staff, and figure out how their city has the highest rate of gun deaths in the nation while having more gun control laws on the books.
We are in a national discussion of guns, of blame and of what to do about the problem.
The solution is complicated, and our history as Americans has contributed little to that solution. Guns have been the way Americans have resolved disputes, but rarely in our history have they been utilized to resolve disputes since the end of the Civil War. The Hatfields and the McCoys tried. That feud between neighbors did not end well. There have been some notable massacres between criminals and criminals and between criminals and the law. For the most part, the rest of us have used guns for the purposes they were intended.
Gun control will always be on the national agenda of political issues, and politicians will waste our time and attention by debating it. That brings us back to the original question:
If they legislate our right to bear arms away from us, who will be knocking at the door to take our guns away?