Now here is a hot button topic, for sure. Every week you see the subject pop up in the news, mostly for the most obvious reason in the world. Someone died at the wrong end of a gun! Lately it has escalated to “a lot” of someones died, or were seriously injured. Historically, that is the only time the gun topic ever shows up in the news, unless it is election time and a political wannabe chooses to put it on their campaign agenda. That doesn’t happen as often as you might think really. Politicians want to get elected into a powerful and prestigious office and Gun Control is like drinking poison to a “seeker”. Politicians have to be very brave indeed to put Gun Control on their “ticket”, without recent “horrifying incidents” of abuse to support their doing so. But just where is the conflict here? Let us try to look at both sides…

Supporters of Gun Ownership consistently say it is the Constitutional Right of every American to “bear arms”. This is absolutely right, in and of itself. The original Constitution does reference the country having a duty to allow for an “armed militia”, and an amendment further expands it into a “right” to own weapons. That cannot be disputed, even though many critics try to continuously. It’s right there in black and white print, just ask the NRA…unfortunately that is just the beginning of the debate. The real issue is more of how accessible should firearms be. Me personally, I don’t care if you want to own a firearm…as long as you are a genuine enthusiast with no history of mental issues, are stable, have no history of violent behavior or abuse of any kind, and just like guns. Sorry bullies, you are not in my list of acceptable gun owners. I would say that I believe the majority of people fall into the category of “Gun Enthusiast”, including collectors of firearms (who may or may not ever actually fire one or more of their collection). You are the good guys, with no intention of ever shooting someone out of anger. Where I differ with your cause is the idea that firearms should have few restrictions on the purchase.

Don’t deny it! I’ve known people who think it is already too hard to buy a gun. TOO HARD? Come on now, most of the horror stories recently (in the US) have one thing exactly in common. All the weapons used in the act were purchased legallyI have to presume the Terrorists in Paris came by their weapons in a similar manner, since several were French citizens I believe. So the reasoning behind not making access to weapons more restrictive doesn’t quite hold up…now does it…

Some states apparently have fairly restrictive gun laws. I remember doing some work for eight months up in New Jersey for my company once, While there I found out that it was illegal to have a gun AND ammunition in the same vehicle together. Yup, a friend had a federal gun license to “own” a firearm, and had his gun locked in the trunk of his car. He had a box of ammo in the glove compartment, locked up. He was pulled over because of a burnt out taillight, and as police are sometimes moved to do, decided on a random inspection. Thinking himself perfectly in the right, he consented and the two State Troopers began a mildly thorough search. They had him unlock the glove box, and of course saw the box of ammunition. After a five minute question and answer time, they seemed satisfied and asked to peek in the trunk. No problem, right? They saw the gun just lying there, in a box (concealed weapon?), and promptly arrested him. Why? There was a gun and ammunition in the same vehicle. It did not matter that there was no magazine at all in the car (you can still load one round in the chamber), and it didn’t matter that the ammunition was some 8 feet away from the gun and double locked (glove box and trunk), they were in the same vehicle. Now that is one restrictive gun law! Nothing really came of it, other that several hours of inconvenience for my co-worker, the troopers had to follow the letter of the law. They even expressed sympathy at having to take him in, but did confiscate the ammunition.

The point here is that some states take gun control seriously, even if the implementation seems bizarre. Other states simply do not have much interest in the purchase, carrying or use of firearms. That can get frightening fast. Now don’t get your hackles up! In some respects I’m on your side. Remember my statement earlier? I have no problem with you owning weapons, as long as you meet those requirements I told you about. I don’t care if you like going out to the range a couple times a week, or even hunt on occasion (or everyday if you really need to out in the boonies!). I get a little uncomfortable though when you say you need a firearm for “home protection”, even if you live in one of the many “high crime areas”…’nuff said about that.

So, just because I don’t mind you owning weapons does not mean I’m a “gun rights” supporter. I do believe in gun control, on a National level. I believe there should be very strict restrictions, strict background checks (not the piece meal, often outdated “instant” NICS variety), and some “reasonable” waiting periods.

AND I believe you should be agreeing with me here. After all, reducing the number of horror stories in the news is better for you, since it helps justify your recreational ownership, don’t it??? Some inconvenience for you in exchange for good PR seems a pretty good trade. Or do you want to “bully” your way through this discussion…

Advertisements