You, or the Men & Women in Blue?

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?

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About samuelehall

A follower of Jesus, husband, father of 3 adult children, writer and learner.
This entry was posted in Liberty, Risking change/changing the risk, Tackling Fears and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to You, or the Men & Women in Blue?

  1. Doris Minard says:

    Who has said confiscation of guns from law abiding citizens is the aim of current discussion? I have not read that or heard that from anyone. Let’s not jump to conclusions. Could you possibly support reduced civil liberties but not reduced size of magazine clips? Even the First Amendment has limits. Let’s not have a knee jerk reaction from either side of the argument.

    • samuelehall says:

      Thanks, Doris, for this timely question.
      No one has said eventual confiscation is the objective, but pro-gun people view the attack on assault weapons as “the slippery slope.” Another way of putting it is the story about the camel wanting to put his nose under the tent. They allow it, and then before you know it, the entire camel is in the tent!
      Why else do you think the abortion industry fights so hard to prevent ultra-sounds or parental notification?

      • If some schools are suspending students (permanent record, like commiting a crime) for pointing their finger and saying, “Bang,” they are way past total confiscation. They aren’t just banning guns, they are banning words. Interesting that other schools are arming their staff with AK47s. We have a diverse opinion of this one.

      • samuelehall says:

        John, you’ve just introduced the political correctness aspect of this whole debate. The finger-pointing example you mention is simply an example of secularists’ violation of the First Amendment to exert control over those they disagree with. Where they scream “bigot” or “hater” if we utter an innocuous word relating to racial or gender groups, they call us fanatics if we object to their almost constant use of the f-word or blasphemy of God or Christ’s name.

  2. You realize I’m not setting examples for those with rational thought. The anti-gun people see machine guns in movies, so why wouldn’t the pro-gun people have them? If you are an anti-gun person, you haven’t spent any amount of time wondering about permits. The pro-gun people think all guns, even the plastic bubble producing guns, will be outlawed. Yesterday, a school suspended a five year old student for talking about using one to shoot bubbles. So, the pro-gun people have a point.

    One of the stupidest things anyone can do is put up a sign that says “This is a gun-free zone.”

    I got the most peaceful countries from Wikipedia. I checked several sources; the results were similar. Iceland, for example is in the top five in all lists. The US is in the 80s, well below the median. Iraq isn’t a good place to be.

    Guns per capita. The US is almost double the next country. We are a gun-slinging country and intentionally or otherwise kill about 85 people each day. So the Newtown situation wasn’t even 1/3 of the killings in an average day. The only countries with a greater rate of death by gun than the US are Third World. Interesting that Switzerland is the European country with the highest gun rate and the highest gun death rate; I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to corrolate gun deaths with gun ownership.

    The limited gun clips probably wouldn’t solve much, but they might be a negotiation point. The gun people need to be willing to give up something to show the anti-gun people they are not all fascists. Likewise, the anti-gun people need to understand that children talking about shooting bubbles is not a capital offense. We have a way to go for both sides.

    I’m not in the pro-gun group or the anti-gun group. I’m in the let’s-be-sensible-about-this group. It is a very lonely group.

  3. Is rational discussion possible? The pro-gun side sees no one owning even a BB gun except the criminals and foreign extremists. The anti-gun side sees diminished capacity teens with machine guns, tanks, and anti-aircraft weapons driving to the mall. The middle ground of everyone can own a gun if they want to and are researched first, but guns of mass destruction (15, 30, 60 round clips) are left for the military, that seems to be on neither agenda. Once more the US is an all or nothing, my way or the highway, uncompromising, and polarized.

    Gun control cannot work by city or by state. If only one state has no gun control, it simply means the bad guys will still have guns and the rest of the states are wasting their time.

    It seems a first step for both sides would be to research the safest countries in the world. The US ranks in the lower 50%. What do they do that the US doesn’t? Strict gun control does not define a safe country as some of the safest countries allow gun ownership, but not runaway gun ownership as in the US. Most of the safest countries in the world lean toward non-intervention policies and do not try to rule the world as does the US. The safest countries have universal health care. They have lower unemployment.

    There are lots of things to consider to make our country safer, which both sides want to achieve. There are lots of intelligient discussion opportunities. People with more smarts than I have could focus on the overall safe picture in their discussions. However, neither more guns nor no guns is the solution. And it seems to be the only discussion point.

    • samuelehall says:

      Thanks, John, for your insights. I agree with you on most points.
      Maybe I’m missing something but I think I’d reverse your positions for pro-gun and anti-gun proponents. Getting a permit for a machine gun is well-nigh impossible. Tanks and most AA weapons don’t fall under the “bear arms” criteria. Putting a limit on clip size seems pointless; the shooter simply brings more clips and–have you seen how fast some guys can swap clips?
      Could you provide the source for your “safest countries list”?
      I’m not sure all parties in this catfight are primarily interested in making our country safer. Why do you think that?
      You’re right–impossible to have no guns (the criminals would have them).

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