Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Guns and craziness

Evil rimfire
(Photo credit: simonov)
I am amazed that after the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that the reaction has been more guns and not less.

Guns for protection 
I have not heard one argument in the defense of unlimited fire power that makes any sense. The typical response to any criticism is of gun owners is protection. Let's face it; an assault weapon is overkill to protect a family from a would-be criminal.

Guns for hunting 
The argument about hunting isn't heard much these days, since that has pretty much been debunked as simply ridiculous. No one shoots a deer with a multi, rapid-fire clip.

Guns are guaranteed in the Constitution
Then, there is the guaranteed right to bear arms as stated in the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The only problem with this is that the wording of the second amendment is ambiguous and open to interpretation. There are some who believe it is a blanket 'anything goes.' When the second amendment was written, the weapon of the day was a single-shot musket. Those are far different from the killing machines on sale at the local Walmart to anyone who walks in off the street.

Because of the equivocal nature of the second amendment, it is impossible to know the intentions of its authors. Therefore, it shouldn't even be a consideration for guidance today. It is simply being used as an excuse by gun advocates like the National Rifle Association, which is nothing more than a money-making entity representing gun manufacturers. Do we want profit to be a motive in deciding the laws of our land?

My views about the reason people own guns are simple. No one needs that kind of fire power. I'd like to see assault weapons and high-capacity clips banned, but more than that, I'd like to see people reject these murder machines on their own accord for common sense reasons. I want to be safe to be in a theater or a grocery store or at a mall without fear of being gunned down by some crazed lunatic wielding a gun.

There are many very diverse reasons people want access to so many guns.

Simply stated, guns are to little boys what Barbie dolls are to little girls. The difference is that grown women don't play with Barbie anymore.

For some, and I suspect this is the more middle-of-the-road reason for guns, to some they represent family time between a father and his son or grandson, brother, uncle or friend. At one time a hunting trip was no different than throwing a football around or going on a fishing trip. Guns are the necessary tools that represent those family connections carried on through the generations. Even if animals weren't slain in the process, and often times they aren't, a gun is simply a prop to carry along on a pleasant day outdoors in the sunshine, sharing tales and communicating with one another.

A more sinister aspect of the need to carry a weapon is as a symbol of power. Some men like to lord their power over others, particularly a woman. A man with a gun is much more likely to get what he wants when he is feared.

One of the saddest things I've ever heard was from a woman who expressed on a social media website. She supported concealed carry laws because she needed a gun to defend herself from her husband who liked to push her around. How pathetic is it that women feel the need to be protected from their man? I understand how complicated this can be, but isn't there something that can be done about bullies, not just the kids on the playground, but the grownups that like to exert power over others. I sincerely hope this woman is able to seek help in a woman's shelter or some other place that allows her to simply get away from this guy. He needs help as well, so another woman doesn't fall into the same trap.

Everyone has the potential to lose their temper, get angry, have a nervous breakdown. When there is a gun close by, what used to be just an argument can now end in someone's death. This is not acceptable in our society.

In my lifetime, I have never seen so much hatred, fear, anger, and resentment. I am appalled at the things I read, particularly things that involve guns and the madness that surrounds them.

Something has got to be done to secure the safety of law abiding citizens without invoking our bloody history. We are not the Hatfields and McCoys any more when arguments were settled by gunfire in the streets, though that is where we seem to be headed. This is not the Wild West where blood ran whenever people disagreed with one another. We should be smarter than that. We need to solve this thing with intelligence, not raw emotion.

Picture of Laurie Dann
Picture of Laurie Dann (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I will never forget hearing about those poor dead children. Nor will I forget any of the other events that completely horrify me. I remember when Laurie Dann walked into a Winnetka, Illinois school and shot six kids. It was the first school shooting I had ever heard about. It was 1977. I was shocked to my core. The incidents since that time are too numerous to even mention. How many more? It is certainly time we do something. And the answer is most certainly not more guns.

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