In America; especially after another mass shooting, the debate on gun control is an ongoing battle with no resolution. Gun supporters constantly tout the 2nd amendment and stand rigorously behind the freedom and right to bare arms. They take any move toward the tightening of gun regulations as a move to take away that freedom.
Let’s look at the 2nd amendment in context. It was adopted in December 1791 (over 200 years ago). What was going in America in 1791? America was a fledgling country, ripe from the battle for freedom from English monarchy and tyranny, revolution all over the place, and questing for an identity of it’s own. Pioneers venturing into uncharted portions of the country, battling with native americans in a constant land grab, we new settlers sought out to carve our own bloody path and make our stake in this new country.
Pretty tumultuous and dangerous to say the least. Obviously, given everything that was happening, it seemed appropriate at the time to include some type of self defense measure for the new citizens of this new country.
Fast forward 200 years. We are supposed to be a nation that has evolved, grown up, moved with the times. We are a nation of refined laws and systems of justice and law enforcement that has been forged over the years to adapt to our society and our country. Right ?
Crime is a fact in any reasonably developed nation. We could debate endlessly on causes and effects, ways to address the issue etc. And yes, criminals are armed, some more than others. Guns are tools used to kill things. The gun was not invented as a toy, for sport, or any other casual pastime. It was invented to fight with and kill other people. (some firearm history)
I know many gun owners who fancy themselves a conceal carry hero and believe we all need to carry one for protection in general. They feel safer knowing they have it…just in case. Admittedly I am not one, though I know how to shoot and at one point I was rather good at it. I have also worked in industries where it was my job to remove said gun and person holding it for the security of all, and I was always unarmed.
Let’s break that point of view down a bit to practical application. Most gun and safety training offered to civilians covers safe operation of the gun in a controlled environment with some possible simulated situation courses with targets. Law enforcement, military, and affiliated agencies usually receive advanced training, tactical training, etc., which is supposed to prepare them for more egregious situations. These trained professionals deal with these situations as a matter of daily operation and are trained to respond in various fashions to de-escalate the situation and minimize harm to the general populous as well as neutralize the threat.
Even highly trained individuals do not respond in the best way possible in these situations. And these are highly trained individuals with express knowledge geared towards dealing with exceptional situations.
So why do people think they can honestly do a better job than the people that are expressly trained to deal with it?
Let’s take the most recent mass shooting in Orlando. Guy opens fire, mass panic, hail of bullets supposedly, people running, screaming, nobody knows what is actually going on and everyone is in fight or flight mode. How are armed civilians with standard safety training going to be a value add to this situation ? Would they be able to make sense of the situation anymore than the trained professionals responding? Probably not. Would there be a potential for them to be mis-identified as the gunman in all the panic – very likely. Think about it. Law Enforcement is responding, they know who they are -uniforms, badges, etc, they don’t know who you are outside of you being just some yahoo with a gun who may may not be an assailant at that point.
Or, let’s say you had a chance to fire back at the gun man. Can you do it without shooting anyone else in the fray ? Getting yourself killed?
There are also those that want to carry a gun with them everywhere. Seriously? Why? What are you so absolutely paranoid or fearful about that you feel the need to have it on you when you are out and about? To me, a person operating under that level of fear or paranoia is more of a danger then some idiot hopped up on drugs with a gun.
Isn’t it about time we as a people push for more common sense in our gun laws ? The media streams on all sides blow things way out of proportion but the facts are plain, guns kill no matter who has them. There are several other countries who have stripped guns from their lives with no ill effects. No tyranny has over taken them, no mass invasion has left them without a means to defend themselves, criminals haven’t run rampant over the common folk. So what is our problem ? Do we like the mass shootings ? Were the old west movies really that appealing ?
Don’t you think it’s time we got smart and pass some sensible legislation that actually keeps us all safer ?