Gun control, we hear a lot about it in the news. Every time there is yet another massacre we hear the cry for stricter control while on the other side there is resistance to any safeguards because it will compromise the right to own guns. Once again, everybody falls for the simple emotional response instead of more nuanced reason. We’re missing the point.
Guns aren’t the issue, it’s the cultural attitude around them. It’s the attitude that if I, as an unarmed citizen ask that there be some boundaries to their use and ownership that I am immediately viewed as anti-gun and wish to take your’s away. No. I believe we have the right to have guns. Call me paranoid but they may be our only protection from an increasingly militarized police, and Orwellian government.
People use them for hunting, sport and self defense; all fine with me. What is NOT fine is having anyone under 18 having easy access to guns. A minor should NEVER handle or use a gun without direct adult supervision. You wouldn’t let anyone under 18 drive a car without an adult present, right? There’s a reason why. Endless statistics and studies have shown why. Children including adolescents do not understand or process danger like adults. Add to this the easily prompted idea that a gun is simply another appliance like a lawn mower or toaster and it’s a deadly mix. As I have already pointed out in an earlier post, tragic accidents happen because people were irresponsible.
Don’t accuse me of infringing on your rights when I ask that they be regulated like any other potential danger in our society. Don’t lump me in with the evil jack booted authorities trying to violate your 2nd amendment rights. Don’t turn my fears and concerns of the mentally ill, the deranged and the furious ex boyfriend / lover / husband having easy access to arms into a political “us vs. them” argument. I’m not playing that game and neither should you. It’s not that simple. The media and the politicians want it to be, so the issue can be avoided all together. We’ll just put in some stopgap unrealistic banning of this and that and the problem is solved.
It’s fine to own guns, but I want to know that you own them responsibly. That means they are safely locked up, out of reach of minors, thieves and the malicious. That means you know how to safely handle them. I want to know that you took a NRA certified gun safety course before you even purchased that gun for personal protection. Especially if you’ve never handled one before in your life so that you don’t accidentally shoot a loved one in the middle of the night, because you mistook them for an intruder. I want to know that your kid, who goes to the same school as mine isn’t going to get hold of your assault rifle one day and come to class in a rage. I want to know that your five year old can’t get hold of that pistol and shoot themselves or others out of curiosity.
Gun owners claim that they need protection from an increasingly intrusive government, fair enough but I don’t want to have to depend on that same government to be protected from gun owners. Like the emotionally disturbed co worker who takes out his frustration on the innocent. Never mind the police or the law, it’s your responsibility to possess a gun properly and educate others of the virtues / dangers of them. We need to understand that it’s a gun owner’s job not only to protect their own safety but also the safety of those who don’t own one.