Saturday, July 21, 2012

Gun Controls

With this hideous mass killing in Colorado of innocent attendees at a movie theatre...once again the press is making a field day of this tragedy. Somehow, when these mass shootings in the USA happen, many in the press start heaping the blame on guns. I would like to simply start by pointing out, guns are programmed or shot by...willful human beings. Guns are not the culprit...people are.

How is it in our human condition that in this day and age we have come to the point where we cannot confront our own insane behavior or mental conditions...and continue to take out our wrath on inanimate objects? If you carry this logic very far, you start questioning the legality of knives or even basic tools that are used in construction and everyday living. Hell, you might as well start outlawing all the bad foods that people eat that kill more people every year than guns. Since it seems so impossible for the average human to learn and use these things the right way, this mentality says we really should have bigger government to control our access to guns, knives, basic saws, screwdrivers and hammers we use in everyday life. After all...people die everyday from irresponsible use of all these objects.

If you question that, just think of all the loose nuts and bolts of faulty auto parts that have caused thousands of deaths in collapsed construction or auto accidents. I think we should outlaw the use of those tools that have been so irresponsibly used in construction. Also...robots. Robots...programmed by people...have caused systematic failure in certain assembly line goods that have led to hundreds of accidents and deaths. Gas systems have been faultily constructed so that they caused leaks that kill hundreds of people worldwide in recent years. We should outlaw those terrible robots...and the tools that made them...for the great anguish and pain they have caused the human race. I know you are thinking I am sounding ridiculous now...but how different is this than the mentality of the article referred to above?

From a legal argument...lets focus on this from another angle. One of the most common bumper stickers I have seen on this subject over decades has been ¨if we outlaw guns...only outlaws will have them¨. I personally find significant reason to this sentiment. Laws are passed usually to protect the law abiding. People who don´t care about law usually don`t care what the law says or means. Do we REALLY think outlawing guns will keep bad people from getting them? Come on...get real. ¨ Illegal¨ drugs have been illegal for decades...yet any of us can find these drugs on any major American city street-corner in 5 minutes...if we know the right neighborhood to look in. How is that working for us...apart from making the prison industry one of the fastest growing industries in the USA?

I know some other people in the USA who think that only police and military people...tied to the government...should be allowed to have guns. Hmmm...I guess the historic wars including the USA´s own civil war of the 1800s and War of Independence were meaningless in guaranteeing freedoms and independence of all Americans to have equal rights...including the right to self defense and to bear arms in defense of liberty and justice? Or...are we suddenly so irresponsible and careless that having a gun means we are going to kill someone or have to use it against another person? I would argue that a vast majority of guns are NEVER used...and when they are it is on paper targets or occasional game hunting excursions.

Finally, as crass as some of my Liberal friends will find this statement...I truly think guns in a society as crazy as the USA is a solid deterrent for what happened this week in Aurora Colorado. If I was caught in such a hellaceous cross you think I would hesitate to use a firearm in defense of myself or others in that theater? Not on your life. The perpetrator would deserve no mercy...nor get any.

And excuse me for saying...but I find it very hypocritical of any American to question the legal rights of owning and using firearms in self defense within our country, while supporting our troops use of guns in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan or as we did historically here in Panama against foreign ¨enemies of State¨. We took the lives of thousands of innocent bystanders and citizens of these other countries. How are guns somehow more ¨moral¨ in those instances?

The morality of ¨firearms¨ to me is a very neutral topic. Like so many ¨things¨ in is how these things are USED that determines their morality. Therefore, it is the intent and mentality behind them that is moral or immoral...not the object itself.

Am I saying I love guns or the idea of having to carry one? Absolutely not. My feeling about guns are about the same as a car or shovel in the garage. I can kill someone with either one of those possessions. That doesn`t mean shovels or cars are moral or immoral. Lets get our thinking caps on straight.

And finally, I DO think it is important to teach people how to use guns responsibly. I thankfully grew up in an age where hunting and guns were normal everyday realities. My Dad taught me how to fire one at about 10 or 11 years old...and my favorite memories with him were hunting trips in Northern Michigan's woods where I learned many arts of ¨survival¨. A friend and I used to take our rifles or shotguns to school in our cars back in the early 70s to go hunting right after school...sometimes with our Biology teacher. I imagine those days are forever gone. It is sad when guns are now so demonized when the demons are basically a few bad humans in our midst.

So, do I want to return to the days of the wild wild west not so long ago where everyone carried guns for self protection since there were no police around in those places? No...I am happy to let public servants like my nephew and a niece who are police officers carry the load on that front. Yet...I also believe all free citizens in a society should have the right to bear guaranteed in the USA constitution...even if from time to time they are used for hideous crimes or for taking out aggression. When those people come along...I for sure want my own firepower. And morally, I will not hesitate to sad as that reality may be. To me that is more moral than being a helpless, unprepared victim.


Bonnie said...

I picked up on two interesting things you said here. One is that you would shoot the perp of this crime in the theater if you were there and had a gun. One of my best friends is a licensed gun dealer, has a permit to carry a concealed weapon and is always armed , and sells guns but only to those who get approved by the ATF. I asked him about this and he told me that no way would he pull out his weapon in those circumstances. It is far too dangerous to shoot into a crowd aiming at one person, hoping to hit that one person even if you are an expert marksman like he is. You would probably end up shooting one or more innocent persons and end up in jail yourself. He said that his reaction would be to get out of their himself as quickly as possible, that it is not his job to be a vigilante and take on the protection of those individuals in the theater and get himself into all kinds of trouble. He would only use his weapon if he himself or someoone who was with him was contfronted face to face in a situation he couldn't walk away from. Then he would defend himself. In almost every instance of violence, he says, your best bet is to extracate yourself from the scene as fast as you can. George Zimmerman should have taken a page from his book.

The other thing was you appreciated your Dad taking you hunting when you were a kid. It does my heart good to know that you have such fond memories of your Dad and that you were able to get out there with him in the woods and enjoy the outdoors and that he taught you how to use firearms for a good purpose. Ken didn't hunt much after I met him,. but I did get out with him a time or two. He was a calm and measured human being who was masterful with weapons and knew how and when he should pull the trigger.

I've just recently gotten interested in firearms and have gotten to the range a couple of times. The people I have met there and at the gun shows I've gone to are very nice people who I can't imagine going crazy and shooting up a crowded theater. I think shooting can be a very viable hobby.

I suppose if those crazy people didn't have access to guns, they might do something like poison the water...but, if they have mayhem on their minds, I'm sure they will find a way.

edward said...

A couple people close to me have commented that I was suggesting that I would or others would start firing blindly in a crowded theater. I apologize if that was misinterpreted. At the same time, I think people trained and licensed to carry...such as your friend Bonnie...SHOULD be prepared to defend themselves and others in a crowd if need be. I have never thought or suggested that people would or should start firing away blindly in a ¨firefight¨. But yes, if directly confronted face to face with a madman like this...I am quite sure your friend would fire without thought or remorse. I do think if a few people in that crowd had been ¨carrying¨, this looney tune would not be sitting in a jail somewhere...and a few more people might have been spared their early loss of life or limb.

In general, I would agree with the sentiment. You always run or avoid conflict and danger first...but if you are unable to, you have NO chance without a firearm in that instance.

Following, I post another post from a friend who has been in this situation before...

edward said...

¨Ed, Post this in your blog.

I've had firearms all of my life and trained from my early teens the safety and how to use them.. More training in the Army and Vietnam. I had to save my life in the early 90's due to a carjack. If I had been unarmed, I would have been dead. The two criminals were not so lucky. Anyone who thinks a concealed permit is a licensed to kill is so off the chart. Just look at the major gun control cities and their crime rate. Main reason that I would never retire to Mexico....No way Jose... would never be there without a gun. Lambs waiting to be killed.

Lord help anyone breaking into my abode....dead on arrival.

Other than that, it's a nice day so far.

Take care my friend.
Bill A¨

city said...

thanks for sharing.