The recent mass shootings ignited a firestorm of action and reaction by politicians and other people in high places to “do something about guns.” New York State enacted a new gun control law in two (2) days! Gov. Cuomo said speed was necessary to prevent people from stocking up on guns. Never mind that that haste precluded public input or rational discussion. Other states are following suit.
The president last week authorized 23 executive orders which will require federal background checks; trace seized guns and (supposedly) ensure they don’t go back into the hands of people in low places; make sure schools and other institutions are equipped and prepared for the possibility of shooter situations (armed guards, anyone?); aggressively prosecute gun crime (I thought that was already on the books.); improve mental health resources (does that include identification of potential shooters?); on and on.
There’s talk of banning assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, etc. The only way of getting assault guns turned in would be if the government set a deadline for turn in and, after that, going house to house. The logical end of such bans is that when the government stops believing that the innocent can also be responsible citizens; it ends up presuming everyone guilty. Pro-gun people hear the rhetoric and believe the ultimate goal is to ban all private ownership of guns. As a result, NRA membership swelled by 250,000 in recent weeks. Anti-gun people scoff at the idea that guns—especially assault weapons—might be needed for defense of person, place, and property. After all, we have our sheriff or police department to keep us safe.
You read the papers and you know better. Our men and women in blue are dedicated professionals but there’s only so much they can do.
Although FBI crime statistics for 2009 (latest I have available) show that nearly every category of violent crime decreased from 2008, Home Invasion News (Yup, I hadn’t heard of them, either.) reports that in one 24-hour period, Google News sent them fifty stories about home invasions all over the country. In the event of a home invasion, the citizens of suburbia or Smalltown, USA know they won’t have the opportunity to call 9-1-1. Even if they make that call, a lot can happen in the minutes and seconds before police can respond. That leaves you and me with the sole responsibility to protect our person, place, and possessions. A gun comes in handy at such times. Or even the threat of a gun. (My photo of the Iraqi Embassy, taken in Pretoria, South Africa, shows one of the typical signs on homes and businesses in that neighborhood: “ADT Armed Response.”)
Every clear-thinking person wants to protect our public places from crazed shooters. Identification, treatment, and possibly confinement may be necessary. We need the latitude to commit potentially dangerous people before they wreak havoc. We’re talking reduced civil liberties here, always a difficult line to mark in the sand in a free society. The confiscation of weapons for self-defense from law-abiding citizens is not the answer.
We should not allow knee-jerk reactions to trump good sense as far as it pertains to the Second Amendment. That’s my take on this; what about you?